Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Cold Granite (a Logan MacRae novel

Cold Granite
Stuart MacBride

If you like your detective stories hard, cold, wet, and pretty revolting at times then Cold Granite will appeal. This is Stuart MacBride's first novel in the Logan McRae series and it can be placed firmly in the Tartan Noir form of crime fiction.

Cold Granite begins at a crime scene on a cold, rainy, night in Aberdeen, Scotland, aka Granite City. It is the first day back on the job for Detective Sergeant Logan McRea after spending the last year recuperating from stab wounds. Logan expected to be eased back into the job but instead finds himself with a new boss and in the center of the investigation of the murder of a four-year old boy.

Other children disappear and the police feel pressure from the higher-ups, the public, and the press. Compounding the problem is the leak from within the department feeding information to a particularly annoying reporter who is despised equally by his co-workers and the police. Are all these crimes against children related? Is there a paedophile serial killer at work in Aberdeen?

The author is excellent in his descriptions and the reader won't have difficulty picturing the scenes. He is particularly vivid with the crime scenes and autopsies. He also seems to have taken great delight in describing in horrid detail the hording habits of a refuse collector nicknamed Roadkill. Think about it... it is worse than you just thought.

MacBride introduces multiple story lines and deftly manages them to satisfactory conclusions. I wouldn't say that there is anything clumsy or predictable in the way he handles the situations or in the way that Logan finds the truth.

This is an author I am going to continue to read.