Review: 22 Dead Little Bodies by Stuart MacBride

22 dead little bodiesTitle: 22 Dead Little Bodies

Author: Stuart MacBride

Series: Logan McRae #8.5

Genre: Crime

Received for review from the publisher

Summary (from Goodreads)

It’s a been a bad week for acting Detective Inspector Logan McRae. Every time his unit turns up anything interesting, DCI Steel’s Major Investigation Team waltzes in and takes over, leaving CID with all the dull and horrible jobs.

Like dealing with Mrs Black – who hates her neighbour, the police, and everyone else. Or identifying the homeless man who drank himself to death behind some bins. Or tracking down the wife and kids of someone who’s just committed suicide.

But when the dead bodies start turning up, one thing’s certain – Logan’s week is about to get a whole lot worse…

Review

This is a short little story – just 192 pages – that features the popular characters of the Logan McRae series. I’ll confess, I’ve never read a Logan McRae book – crime novels aren’t really my thing – but that didn’t stop me settling in to the vivid world that MacBride creates, and the twisting turning plots of murders, missing people and a neighbour dispute gone horribly wrong.

Both the Boyfriend and I have worked for the emergency services in some capacity, and what I liked most about this was how well it captured the gallows humour that people on the front line have. It’s laugh or cry in a lot of situations, which means police officers and fire men and ambulance staff often have a very twisted sense of humour, and a callousness that might make them seem heartless – but in fact is so they don’t break their hearts every day. The atmosphere throughout rang so true.

The characters were pretty good, though I admit I sometimes floundered trying to work out their relationships and connections. They are obviously well established within the series, and without any prior knowledge I did occasionally have to read a paragraph a couple of times. The only thing I can’t say I enjoyed was DCI Steele, who was a little bit too larger than life and vulgar for me. I understand she’s a very popular character, and perhaps within the context of the series I’d like her more, but in this snapshot, I couldn’t find any reason to like her.

Which brings me to the value of the book as a whole. I imagine for staunch fans of the series, there’s a lot to love here, but for a newcomer, it didn’t really persuade me to go and pick up the first book. As I said, I’m not a massive crime fan, so perhaps not the best judge. If you love the series and the characters, definitely pick this one up. If you think you might love the characters and the series, I’d start with book one, rather than jumping right in the middle with this episode.

Rating: 3/5

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