READ BY THE AUTHOR HIMSELF! Stuart MacBride who read his previous book for HarperAudio ‘Blind Eye’ was a complete success and we have no doubt that this will be another triumph by MacBride. With his ability to set the scene and goings on of Detective Sergeant Logan McRae this is a must have audiobook.
Richard Knox has served his time, so why shouldn’t he be allowed to live wherever he wants? Yes, in the past he was a violent rapist, but he’s seen the error of his ways. Found God. Wants to leave his dark past in Newcastle behind him and make a new start.
Or so he says.
Detective Sergeant Logan McRae isn’t exactly thrilled to be part of the team helping Knox settle into his new Aberdeen home. He’s even less thrilled to be stuck with DSI Danby from Northumbria Police – the man who put Knox behind bars for ten years – supposedly here to ‘keep an eye on things’.
Only things are about to go very, very wrong.
Edinburgh gangster Malk the Knife wants a slice of the development boom Donald Trump’s golf course is bringing to the Granite City, whether local crime lord Wee Hamish Mowat likes it or not. Three heavies from Newcastle want a ‘quiet word’ with DSI Danby about a missing mob accountant. And Richard Knox’s dark past isn’t done with him yet…
©2010 HarperCollins Publishers (P)2010 HarperCollins Publishers
Actor/director/teacher. Split my time between Beijing and Seattle now. Listen to Audible on the subway and while driving or riding my bike.
Five minutes into this book I was completely captivated. MacBride is a master storyteller, both as a writer and as a narrator. Imagine a dark, Scottish Carl Hiaasen read by Robin Williams with the characters brought to hilarious life in a variety of UK accents. Actually, don't bother imagining. Just get the audiobook....unless.
Unless you are put off by incessantly crude language. Unless it will drive you a little crazy when you can't understand some of what is being said because it is couched in dialects and idiom which is occasionally incomprehensible. Unless you find daunting the prospect of a lesbian detective inspector with a pregnant wife and the sensibilities of a longshoreman. Unless you are offended by laughter coupled with vivid evocations of the grotesque or tragic.
On the other hand, if you really love good writing, you might want to tuck your reservations away somewhere and listen in spite of them. I have seldom encountered such memorable characters or an author who could so consistently bring a moment or place brilliantly to life with a single telling and original image. Or one who could read so incredibly well.
I love Stuart Macbride's books - gritty and funny with some fabulous characters. But what makes these audiobooks special is Macbride's narration - he's brilliant (and makes me laugh out loud whenever he does DI Steel's voice). A real pleasure to listen to - so much so that I buy the audio versions even though I already own the print edition. I wish he'd go back and record the earlier books done with other narrators!
The story lines are good in this series, but the hook is really the funny characters and dialog. I've listened to 4 now and yet to be disappointed. Can be a little gritty at times, so not for those who prefer "clean and proper", but if you don't mind an R rating, definitely good stuff,
I read the first book in this series and then purchased the audio book of "Dark Blood" on a whim, primarily because the author is his own narrator. What an inspired choice and definitely not my last.
Stuart MacBride is a lunatic in the best possible sense and his cast of characters is immediately likeable and very funny. It is his narration, however, that puts these books into a class above everyone else. To hear real Scots accents is the best part and his characterizations--the insults, curses and frustration--are priceless.
The books, for all that they are wildly funny, are not lighthearted or easy listens. They are real, gritty and dark, but what a great balancing act MacBride pulls off. I've already purchased the previous title, "Blind Eye," and can only hope there will be more read by the author.
Main interests are crime, some science fiction, fantasy & comedy. Also very interested in playback hardware for audio books.
I was very pleased to find Stuart MacB's novels 'Dark Blood' & 'Close to the Bone'. Lots more wonderful dark Scots humour & abuse as well as excellent plotting. Not for the faint heated. I'm looking forward to reading the rest on the list.
I really enjoyed the first few books of this series but this one is hard to take. MacBride has a tendency to exaggerate his characters to the point that they become unbelievable and it seems that this gets a little worse with each book. When he narrates he goes one step further in that he tries to further the various characters description by giving them "voices" that he feels match. The outcome is farcical. His DI Steel for instance is a rather cranky bulldozer of a woman with some occasional soft bits thrown in. Every time I hear him doing the voice he believes suitable I get visions of the wolf that is about to blow the house down: seriously overdone.
Unfortunate, because he has shown to be a talented writer with at times a brilliant sense of humor. I have listened to Jonathan Hackett doing a few books in the series with a totally different result.
sorry stuart, your take on your own characters was abominable, surely the audible people have some quality checking in place, i blame them.
no, just bad scottish semi-bellowing accents in general.
probably not, or only after having a careful listen to excerpts beforehand.
pain, then disappointment then a tinge of anger followed by indifference.
as you can tell, i wasn't particularly taken with the author's take on the characters, however i might have struggled further with it if the actual plot had grabbed me, which it did not... sorry stuart.
Not on purpose
I have three and I doubt I'll even open the other two.
The reader, the author, lays on the Scots so thick and the language is so coarse I couldn't get through a paragraph without thinking "This is really terrible."
I found these books by accident and I can't wait for more ..He just developes his characters and you can see them in your head .Just priceless. If he writes it I'll buy it!
"brilliantly dark and funny"
This was a fantastic listen and I found the characters funny and the story was addictive.
I would highly recommend this novel for anyone that enjoys a good listen.
I listened to it on holiday and it was the best way to pass a hot afternoon.One of the best
"A thoroughly good, entertaining 'read'."
Stuart McBride takes you along on a roller coaster ride of a police story. Like the previous books in this series, it is full of violence and stretched reality. However, the multiple plot lines keep the reader enthralled as Logan McCrae picks his way through, battling against the criminals and his superiors. The characters are highly entertaining, and Detective Inspector Steel is nearly worthy of a book of her own. The interplay between the characters is superb, full of threat, slightly sarcastic, and highly amusing. I'm a fan of the series, so I'm biased, but I would recommend this, and the previous books, to anyone who enjoys a really good, intelligent story.
Stuart McBride narrates the story, and he adds much to the story by giving each character an identity of their own. His narration shows that he is a natural story teller and his enthusiasm for his creations is displayed in the telling.
I have listened to this book whilst working out in the gym, and I became so lost in the story my workload has increased.
I look forward to the next book.
"The best audiobook in a long time"
Exceptionally funny with warm rich characters. There is some 'colourful' language but it adds some contrast to what can sometimes be quite dark subject matter. Stuart MacBride turns toilet humour into an art form with enough ?pull my finger? and tampon related gags to keep the average 14 (or 38) year old lad amused for a year.
The author is also a very talented narrator with the ability to create almost tangible characters. I would say that his Geordie needs a bit of work though.
Can't wait for book 7.
"A very Scottish masterpiece"
Loved this book. Stuart MacBride excels in making me feel uncomfortable :) If you like your plots with no holds barred then this is the book for you. Great narration too.
"Such a good series of books"
This is the second McBride audio book I have listened to after reading some of his books in paperback. I love them. They twist and turn like the best of Taggart and his narrative is just right. If you know Aberdeen I think it makes them even better, I would recomend it to anyone who likes a good british detective story.
A friend put me onto Stuart MacBride a few weeks aqo, since then I have either downloaded or borrowed from the local libraries all his other novels.
None of them have been a let down. Just the right amount of suspense, with a bit of gore thrown in, a smattering of sex and lots of laughs.
Dark blood had me on the edge of my seat, and rolling on the floor laughing. Some of the lines are classic. The 'Beware of the lesbian' speech will keep me giggling for a long time.
Totally enjoyable romp. It is good that the author has taken the time to read the story as I consider it might, although not guarantee that the characterisations are on key. Professional readers also do an excellent job I have discovered. My only real gripe, if gripe it is, is that the lesbian DI sounds too much like a gruff male Scott. (No offence meant Stuart), but once I had got used to the characterisation I thoroughly enjoyed the storyline. I shall defiantly be listening to more McBride on the basis of this story.
this is absolutely great would read/listen again and again. The one liner's are brilliant and there are so many that you want to go back and listen again. brilliant just wish i knew how to share my book.
"Gripping, gruesome, crude, rude and great!"
Stuart MacBride is a new author for me, and I thought I would give this book a go after reading the reviews. I was a little wary because in my opinion books read by the author are not always a great success.
I needn't have worried, the plot kept me gripped all the way through its many twists and turns. The language is gritty and graphic, whether describing violence or people's appearance - descriptions such as someone looking like a 'happy potato' or like a partially shaved rat with a receding hairline 'probably trying to get away from his face' made me laugh out loud. The terse and elliptical Aberdonian conversation is in places hilarious (I lived in NE Scotland for many years, so it was a pure pleasure to be reminded of it)
I loved, just loved the narration by MacBride. Great accents, all except for his Estuary English (shades of early Michael Caine), but the vigour and variation in the reading more than makes up for this.
If you like detective stories that are well-plotted and don't blench at the f-word or the odd nipple twist then this book is highly recommended!
"A strong editor might help"
This is Stuart MacBride's sixth book in the Logan McRae series and they are not for the squeamish. To call them gruesome is to put it mildly. In fact I thought that in the fourth of the series, Flesh House, he overstepped the mark of what most would consider crime fiction and strayed into horror territory, and I was sorry I had read it. I had all but decided not to read any more, until the next in the series, Blind Eye, came out and was available in unabridged audio format read by the author himself. I was intrigued and bought it. Thankfully he, (or maybe his publisher?), seemed to have realised that he had gone too far in Flesh House, and the violence had been toned down. When you consider that, as the title hints, it involved people having their eyes gouged and burned out, you will get some idea of how hard edged the series can be. With Dark Blood the gruesome has been toned down another notch. However the author seems to take an almost schoolboy delight in throwing in as many bodily function references, with vomiting the current favourite, as he can, much to the detriment of some good plotting and great characters.
MacBride does a very good job of most of the accents with which his characters speak, but I may be just a bit cynical in suspecting that he is giving characters accents which he can do. If so he might want to seek a second opinion on his 'Essex Girl'.
Overall an enjoyable 'listen'. If only someone in the editorial team could make the author excise the 'yeuch' factor. The books may be reduced by 50 to 100 pages but would be much improved for it.
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