Losing the plot

I’m normally feel quite satisfied after reading a “Stuart MacBride”. HIs style is fast paced, and his tales normally right at the edge of acceptable in terms of the level of depravity he portrays in his criminals. This is normally a good thing and the bleak settings and weather only add to the atmosphere. This is his first foray away from Aberdeen and is, essentially more of the same, all be it in a slightly different setting. In my opinion this is where it starts to go wrong. The initial premise of the “Birthday Boy”, a serial killer of teenage girls, is a good one and the development and execution of the central storyline is pretty much what you would expect from MacBride. There was a good story here, but the investigating officer “Ash Henderson” and his spiralling decline into absurd actions, which are simply un-believeable, let the whole thing down.  There was also a rather superfluous side-track to Shetland. This added nothing apart from a bit of additional squalor. The contrivances were strained even by the standards of his previous works. A waste of a week of late night reading.

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