It’s hard to say that I “like” Stuart MacBride’s work. I admire the craft and skill in his storytelling but the gritty drama is as stark as it gets and it lifts the genre of the police procedural to a greater level.
This one is particularly gritty following the trail of a murderer who appears to have lost themselves within the fiction of a best selling teen novel. This novel “witchfire” is being turned into a film and the film is being made in Aberdeen where the writer lives. Here we catch MacBride drawing the parallels to writing and fiction from within fiction itself , a recursive exploit which works really well and I bought it completely. Logan Macrae goes about his business of catching the killer in the usual way but the scenes are well drawn and highly engaging.
I am, however, getting a little bored of the DI Steel character and would not be sad to see her go. I find her fictional voice grates each time she “speaks”. I’m also unsure as to how long MacBride can string out the personal storyline of Logan Macrae and Samantha. It didn’t really work for me and I did not find any emotional connection to this story.