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A Dark So Deadly by Stuart MacBride. Book Review

April 25, 2017

A Dark so deadly

Callum MacGregor is a Detective Constable in a unit of misfits who are assigned work that amounts to little more than investigating cases which, like them, are going nowhere in life.

But, when an ancient mummy is found at the local tip, it is only the beginning of a case that will have the Misfit Mob on the trail of a serial killer with a particularly unusual and unpleasant dedication to their work.

The main protagonist might have issues, but Callum is a really ordinary guy at the bottom of the plainclothes food chain and unlikely to ever move much higher. Given that he has covered for his pregnant forensic girlfriend’s mistake at a crime scene, he may not even be on the police force very much longer.

That he is a lowly DC, makes it possible to tell the story from a different perspective to one usually seen through the eyes of a Detective Sergeant or a Detective Inspector. He is the most maligned of all of the members of the squad, but behind that brow-beaten facade is a competent and caring copper just trying to get out; a fact that his DI Flora Malcolmson, aka ‘Mother’ knows only too well whilst dishing out good helpings of ‘tough love’. The different members of the squad, each with their own quirks and problems, are also intelligently written and add to the rewarding read.

Stuart MacBride makes good use of a large amount of dialogue which, interspersed with economic and effective description, makes you feel as if you’re a fly on the wall in the lives of these characters, as well as driving the story forward at a cracking pace.

Banter is MacBride’s forte, to the point where it seems as if the characters are having simultaneous and overlapping conversations; quite a feat in the written word. That, and a dry third omnipresent narrator pointing out all the delights of the underbelly of Callum’s run down patch, lures you into the plot, so that before you know it you’re in too deep to break off for a tea break.

I am new to Stuart MacBride and this is a standalone book. But I would rather like to see a bit more of Callum, as well as delve into MacBrides’ back catalogue.

A Dark So Deadly was courtesy of HarperCollins via NetGalley

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