All That’s Dead by Stuart MacBride | #20BooksofSummer

Author : Stuart MacBride
Title : All That’s Dead
Series : Logan McRae #12
Pages : 437
Publisher : Harper Collins
Publication date : May 30, 2019

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

Inspector Logan McRae was looking forward to a nice simple case – something to ease him back into work after a year off on the sick. But the powers-that-be have other ideas…

The high-profile anti-independence campaigner, Professor Wilson, has gone missing, leaving nothing but bloodstains behind. There’s a war brewing between the factions for and against Scottish Nationalism. Infighting in the police ranks. And it’s all playing out in the merciless glare of the media. Logan’s superiors want results, and they want them now.

Someone out there is trying to make a point, and they’re making it in blood. If Logan can’t stop them, it won’t just be his career that dies.

| MY THOUGHTS |

Few things get me as excited as the arrival of a new Logan McRae book so as soon as my pre-order arrived, I dropped everything and settled in for what I was sure would be an entertaining afternoon.

On his first day back at work after a year long absence, Logan McRae is hoping for a nice and easy ride but luck is not on his side. High-profile and anti-independence campaigner Professor Wilson goes missing from his home and that’s just the start of a major shit-storm all over the place. Social media goes mental, there’s a war brewing between between factions for and against Scottish Nationalism and the media is having a field day.

Gee, I wonder where Stuart MacBride got his inspiration from 🤔. All That’s Dead is extremely politically tinted, if you hadn’t guessed that yet, and thus sadly incredibly apt in this day and age. This may not be to everyone’s liking and I dare say the author took quite a risk putting this out there. Personally, it didn’t bother me at all. It makes for a great story and ultimately that’s all I’m ever looking for.

I always worry slightly about how much Logan McRae can actually be involved in an investigation, being that he now works for Professional Standards. I shouldn’t have though, because he’s not on the fringes of this one at all. Logan McRae is tasked with keeping an eye on the investigating Detective King and this puts him smack-bang in the middle of it all. There are some surprises, some twists, many dubious decisions and quite frankly, if I were the big chief who gets a say in these things, I’d fire pretty much the entire force.

The Logan McRae books are always a treat but even though I found this one a fabulous read and it had me hooked as these books always do, I also felt it was missing something. It’s hard to explain but there’s a special kind of Stuart MacBride magic that seemed to be lacking this time around. Many of the characters that normally bring a brilliant kind of dark humour to the table were now just plainly getting on my nerves. I missed that particular way Stuart MacBride has of combining the darkest of crimes with a healthy dose of chuckles, even sometimes at the most inappropriate moments.

Was this the best book in the Logan McRae series? I’m sorry to say that no, it wasn’t. Although I also fully admit that my expectations are always insanely high. But I did still enjoy it immensely and if Stuart MacBride decides to carry on with this series, I’ll still be every bit as excited as I used to be.

Can’t leave without mentioning that for a The Hobbit fan like myself, seeing “Tuftin Oakenbeard” pop up in the middle of a page genuinely made me laugh out loud.

All That’s Dead is available to buy!

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Other retailers : Amazon US | Amazon UK | Kobo | Waterstones | Wordery

Book 1 from my 20 Books of Summer list.

After He Died by Michael J. Malone @michaelJmalone1 @OrendaBooks @annecater #blogtour #bookreview #AfterHeDied

Thrilled to bits to join the blog tour for After He Died by Michael J. Malone today, alongside one of my favourite people, Karen at My Reading Corner. Make sure you check out her review as well. Huge thanks to Karen Sullivan at Orenda Books for my review copy and to Anne Cater for inviting me to join the tour.

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Author : Michael J. Malone
Title : After He Died
Pages : 295
Publisher : Orenda Books
Publication date : September 20, 2018

aboutthebook

When Paula Gadd’s husband of almost thirty years dies, just days away from the seventh anniversary of their son, Christopher’s death, her world falls apart. Grieving and bereft, she is stunned when a young woman approaches her at the funeral service, and slips something into her pocket. A note suggesting that Paula’s husband was not all that he seemed…

When the two women eventually meet, a series of revelations challenges everything Paula thought they knew, and it becomes immediately clear that both women’s lives are in very real danger.

mythoughts

If you haven’t yet introduced yourself to Michael J. Malone’s books, you are missing out on an amazingly talented author. If there’s one thing I love about his work, it is that I never quite know what to expect when I pick up one his books. But I do know I’m in for a treat as he always delivers a most devilish tale.

After He Died once again shows of Michael J. Malone’s ability to diversify so if you’re expecting something along the lines of the gothic greatness that was House of Spines or the extremely powerful A Suitable Lie, this isn’t it. This one is quite different, again, yet awesome in its own right. And that’s exactly why this author should be on everyone’s bookshelf.

Paula’s husband dies unexpectedly from a heart attack. During these hard times and feeling lost in a mental fog, the last thing she needs is a woman coming up to her at the funeral to tell her there are things she should know about her late husband, Thomas. But that’s exactly what happens when Paula is approached by Cora.

This domestic noir / psychological thriller had me on the edge of my seat. It’s a dark, utterly absorbing and incredibly addictive page-turner. All throughout the story you wonder what Thomas had been up to, if anything, and if there’s anyone Paula can trust. While I thought I had a few things figured out, I couldn’t connect the dots at all and I was left guessing until the end, when a massive curveball completely threw me for a loop.

Michael J. Malone is an incredible storyteller and has delivered a complex and character-driven story that had me hooked from start to finish. His writing style is utterly absorbing. I adore the realistic touches like the Scottish dialect since this story is set in Glasgow, which wasn’t too confusing to follow so I didn’t have to hit up my Scottish chum to ask what the heck the characters were saying. A pacy read, a thrilling ride and a mind-blowing conclusion … what more could you possibly want?

This is one exciting author who quickly shot his way up my list of go-to authors and I can’t wait to see what he comes up with next!

After He Died is available to buy!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Bookdepository | Kobo | Wordery | Goodreads

abouttheauthor

Michael Malone is a prize-winning poet and author who was born and brought up in the heart of Burns’ country. He has published over 200 poems in literary magazines throughout the UK, including New Writing Scotland, Poetry Scotland and Markings. Blood Tears, his bestselling debut novel won the Pitlochry Prize from the Scottish Association of Writers. Other published work includes: Carnegie’s Call; A Taste for Malice; The Guillotine Choice; Beyond the Rage; The Bad Samaritan and Dog Fight. His psychological thriller, A Suitable Lie, was a  Spines soon followed suit. A former Regional Sales Manager (Faber & Faber) he has also worked as an IFA and a bookseller.

Author links : Facebook | Twitter

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The Blood Road by Stuart MacBride @StuartMacBride @HarperFiction #mustread

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Author : Stuart MacBride
Title : The Blood Road
Series : Logan McRae #11
Pages : 496
Publisher : Harper Collins
Publication date : June 14, 2018

aboutthebook

Logan McRae’s personal history is hardly squeaky clean, but now that he works for Professional Standards it’s his job to police his fellow officers.

When Detective Inspector Bell turns up dead in the driver’s seat of a crashed car it’s a shock to everyone. Because Bell died two years ago, they buried him. Or they thought they did.

As an investigation is launched into Bell’s stabbing, Logan digs into his past. Where has he been all this time? Why did he disappear? And what’s so important he felt the need to come back from the dead?

But the deeper Logan digs, the more bones he uncovers—and there are people out there who’ll kill to keep those skeletons buried. If Logan can’t stop them, DI Bell won’t be the only one to die…

mythoughts

Stuart MacBride has been on my list of go-to authors for as long as I can remember. Every time there’s a new book of his on the horizon, my anticipations and expectations are sky high but I also always have faith that he’ll deliver. So of course I dropped whatever it was I was doing when I got the opportunity to read this one early and I didn’t regret it for a second.

The Blood Road is the eleventh instalment in the Logan McRae series and it’s every bit as brilliant and fresh as its predecessors. Logan McRae now works for Professional Standards but that doesn’t mean he’s not able to stick his nose into a good crime now and again. The Blood Road starts with a road accident and Logan McRae is rather confused at first as to why he’s called to the scene. Until he realises the dead body is DI Bell and that’s a huge shock because DI Bell died two years ago. They had a funeral and everything.

Lots of questions that need answering then. Why did DI Bell run and hide? Where has he been these last two years? Why did he come back? And who the heck did they bury in his place? Logan McRae sets out to investigate but danger lurks as there are people out there who will stop at nothing to keep the truth hidden.

What follows is an incredibly dark, disturbing and harrowing case that will chill you to the bones. My lips are sealed as you really need to get the full effect of this one but it’s one case I won’t forget in a hurry. It’s a truly frightening and, sadly, believable scenario. Yet, true to form, Stuart MacBride manages to lighten the mood with a healthy dose of humour. I found myself chuckling at the most inappropriate moments. It shouldn’t work but it actually does and really well too. Nobody does this as brilliantly as Stuart MacBride does and this is what makes him stand out from the crowd.

I worried when the magnificent team of Logan McRae and Roberta Steele was broken up but I shouldn’t have. The incomparable Roberta still makes unforgettable appearances but quite frankly, there are two new show-stealers in town by way of Rennie and most importantly, Tufty. These two have me constantly in stitches in their own unique inimitable ways and I dare say they are totally entitled to their own spin-off. I’d pay good money for that.

This has been one of my most favourite crime fiction series for years and it continues to blow my mind with every new addition. If you are not reading these, you are missing out! With a fantastic cast of characters, absolutely brilliant writing and a fabulous dollop of wit, this author should be on everyone’s bookshelves. I for one can’t wait for whatever Stuart MacBride comes up with next!

My thanks to the publisher for the review copy, which I received via Edelweiss.

The Blood Road is available to buy!

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