This is book one in the Logan McRae series. DS McRae has just returned to work after a year off. He gets swept up into a case(s) involving murdered and assaulted children. He is just trying to find his footing again, with a new partner of sorts, WPC Watson (as an aside, he is attracted to her but this is not a romance). This is a police procedural and thriller first and foremost.
Well written and staffed with characters who have depth to them, complex motivations and histories. The reader sees DS McRae’s doubts, his fears that he is not up to the job yet, his insecurity in working with a new DI, and his conflicted feelings about his ex, Isobel, the pathologist. His ability to deal with all of this and then the gruesome details of the crimes and the criminals makes him a great protagonist. McRae is methodical, a thinking man’s sleuth. He makes connections between the cases and sees where there are no connections. It makes for very engaging reading.
There are more than the average number of twists and turns built into the mystery plot here. Everytime you think you have it solved, another curveball comes out of the blue and McRae leads you charging off in a new direction. In the end, all the plots are untangled and all the loose ends are tied.
This was my first outing with Stuart MacBride and I am so glad that I was introduced to his writing by the Kindle English Mystery Club. I will certainly read more by this author!