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Publisher's Summary

Terrifying serial killer thriller set in the gritty Glasgow of the near future, from the best-selling author of the Logan McRae series.There are worse things than the death penalty….

They call them halfheads: convicted criminals, surgically mutilated and lobotomized by the State, then sent out to do menial jobs in the community so everyone will know what happens when you break the law. There are no appeals, no reprieves, and no one ever comes back. Until now.

Dr Fiona Westfield, one of the most prolific serial killers Glasgow has ever seen, is waking up. Surrounded by blood and death and darkness.

William Hunter has risen through the ranks since putting Westfield away; now he’s Assistant Network Director, in charge of police actions. But a routine murder investigation is about to embroil him in an appalling conspiracy.

The vast connurb blocks on Glasgow’s deprived south side are ready to explode. Eleven years ago the VR riots killed millions – now someone wants to start them all over again. And Will is being dragged back into a past he desperately wants to forget….

©2011 Stuart B. MacBride (P)2011 HarperCollins Publishers Ltd

Critic Reviews

"Slick, gruesome and brutally intelligent, this is bare knucklesthriller-writing." (Michael Marshall)
"Compelling." ( SFX)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

MacBride can tell a story!

I'm a huge fan of His Beardiness' and didn't know what to expect from this foray into sci-fi of his. Hooked me from the first page and I could NOT put it down. There's something in the way MacBride grabs me with his characters, dialogue and very dark humor that lets me accept a level of creepiness and violence that would turn me off of other authors. His very human heroes get really really scared, which gives their heroics more weight, and keeps me biting my nails. The cliffhanger ending seemed like a setup for a follow up visit to this dystopian world. Hope so. Still never read a MacBride book I didn't chow down like candy. Angus King does a brilliant job bringing it all to life.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • wbc
  • California
  • 02-23-18

Too much like Zombies

If you could sum up Halfhead in three words, what would they be?

I liked it okay and was entertainined but I am getting tired of the whole zombie thing. Zombie, halfhead, same thing.

What does Angus King bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Great narrator

Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Ian
  • 04-13-13

Worrying!

The theme is nightmarish! Criminals are lobotomised and have their lower jaws removed. However in one case it went wrong. The scariest of the villains is regaining her memory and wants to rebuild her shattered face and body. Then she wants revenge. I started to cheer for the villain. The world that is portrayed is so grim that the reader starts to sympathise and identify with a psychopathic murderer. That is scary!

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Alan Hughes
  • 11-13-15

Great read

Really enjoyed the book, kept me listening right to the end and hope there will be anothet

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Reg
  • 12-05-15

Futuristic local storytelling

If you could sum up Halfhead in three words, what would they be?

Futuristic detective story

What other book might you compare Halfhead to, and why?

Cold granite by Stuart MacBride, gritty, dark humour Scottish detective storytelling.

Have you listened to any of Angus King’s other performances? How does this one compare?

Haven't heard Angus King before but did enjoy his storytelling. For me he has a pleasing and listenable voice with good character interpretation.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

There wasn't any particular moments in the book but it all presented a Glasgow of the future which was bleak and polarised with criminals being used for menial duties to serve the rest of the population.

Any additional comments?

Having listened to a couple of Stuart MacBride books i enjoy the gritty and dark humour in his stories. Its nice to have stories from Scotland that are from areas i have visited and can relate to. Ok they are very dark but is that not what happens in real life and in some cases humour can come from that and as human nature being what it is we laugh.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Pj
  • 10-30-15

Disappointing

I didn't finish this. I love MacBride's other novels but this was a venture too far.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mum Mac
  • 05-13-18

superb, horrific sci-fi

I think this is my favourite Stuart McBride story read by of of my favourite narrator's. the futuristic setting does not distract from the human suffering and realism of the story. definitely recommending to friends and family

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • sharon
  • 08-05-17

A rare unworthy read

I am a recent newcomer to this author, having never indulged in his particular genre.