20 July 2021


  • this edition an e-book through Libby, through my local library
  • #4 in the Oldcastle Novels
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ HarperCollins (January 7, 2021)
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ January 7, 2021
  • length: 494 pages

Synopsis (publisher)

A house of secrets…
As a massive storm batters the Scottish coast, Gordon Smith’s home is falling into the sea. The trouble is: that’s where he’s been hiding the bodies.

A killer on the run…
It’s too dangerous to go near the place, so there’s no way of knowing how many people he’s murdered. Or how many more he’ll kill before he’s caught.

An investigator with nothing to lose…
As more horrors are discovered, ex-detective Ash Henderson is done playing nice. He’s got a killer to catch, and God help anyone who gets in his way.

My Take

It is years (before I began this blog) since I have read any Stuart MacBride novels. This one is particularly macabre. 

The headland that Gordon Smith's house is sitting on begins to disintegrate and fall into the sea. As the land breaks away bones buried under the house and in the surrounding land become visible. 

Gordon Smith himself has disappeared but in his basement are before and after photos of his victims.

Nobody wants this case and it is assigned to the "Misfit Mob". Henderson is actually working as a private consultant for Police Scotland alongside his friend and housemate Dr Alice McDonald, a clinical psychologist. Their team is in pursuit of one serial killer, who is taking and abusing children.

Alice continues to profile the child killer while Ash is drafted to work on the second case, alongside DS Franklin of the Misfit Mob.

There is a lot going on in this novel, a huge cast of characters, and not everyone is a squeaky clean policeman.

My rating: 4.4 

I have previously read

COLD GRANITE, Stuart Macbride, my rating 4.8
Aberdeen, oil capital of Europe … Christmas is coming, cold, dark and wet, bringing death with it.
It's DS Logan McRae's first day back on the job after a year off on the sick, and it couldn't get much worse. Four-year-old David Reid's body is discovered in a ditch, strangled, mutilated and a long time dead. There's a killer stalking the Granite City and the local media are baying for blood.
If that wasn't enough, Logan also has to contend with a new boss, DI Insch, who doesn't suffer fools gladly and thinks everyone's a fool, and his own ex-girlfriend, the beautiful but chilly Isobel MacAlister, who also happens to be the chief pathologist. The only good news is WPC 'Ball Breaker' Watson, Logan's new guardian angel.
The dead are piling up in the morgue almost as fast as the snow on the streets, and Logan knows time is running out. More children are going missing. More are going to die. If Logan isn't careful, he's going to end up joining them.
Very readable. Black humour mixed in with the serious stuff about the world of crime and child abuse. Interesting thread about how Colin Miller from the press is getting his information and the effect that the press can have on an investigation.

1 comment:

Laura said...

The title of the book is so intriguing I would buy it based on the title alone.


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