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The Dead of Winter: The chilling new thriller from the No. 1 Sunday Times bestselling author of the Logan McRae series

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But there was always the writing (well, that's not true, the writing only started two chapters above this one). I fell victim to that most dreadful of things: peer pressure. Two friends were writing novels and I thought, 'why not? I could do that'. Then came a spell of working for myself as a graphic designer, which went the way of all flesh and into the heady world of studio management for a nation-wide marketing company. Then some more freelance design work, a handful of voiceovers for local radio and video production companies and a bash at being an actor (with a small 'a'), giving it up when it became clear there was no way I was ever going to be good enough to earn a decent living. The storyline is unique and intriguing and I was instantly drawn in. To be honest, I've never before read anything quite like this. I absolutely raced through The Dead Of Winter and i love love loved it! The writing style that Stuart MacBride has is unique in the crime fiction genre, others try to do something similar but no one can write like Stuart MacBride does. The aplomb, that he writes murder and gruesomeness in one sentence and then sarcastic humor in another is exceptional. Having myself, worked for the Police for 12 years in the 1990s, I’m well aware of the dark humor used in extreme situations to lift the pressure, Stuart writes that in such a realistic way it’s superb.

THE AUTHOR: Stuart MacBride lives in the northeast of Scotland with his wife Fiona, cats Gherkin, Onion and Beetroot, some hens, some horses and an impressive collection of assorted weeds. About three years ago I discovered Stuart MacBride’s Logan McRae novels, and devoured the entire 12-novel series within a year. Since then, I’ve read his Ash Henderson series and several standalone books. MacBride has become one of my favourite authors. The weather's closing in, tensions are mounting, and time's running out - something nasty has come to Glenfarach, and Edward is standing right in its way...I always find MacBride's prose to be almost poetic in parts and his weather descriptions imbued the weather with its own unique character. I’m a big fan of the Logan McRae series by Stuart MacBride and was looking forward to reading a copy of his latest standalone novel, The Dead of Winter. The book is released on 16th February.

There are some really good, creative and colourful scenes with multiple twists and turns all written in a smart ironic, sardonic tone with excellent dialogue to match. There’s multiple double , treble, quadruple crossings so you have no idea which colourful character to trust, not that I would dare to say that Bigtoria’s face! We learn right off the bat in the “0” chapter what happens to Edward, but you’re not even halfway through the second chapter before you start to suspect you might not much care what happened or be very sad to see him go. He is an annoying little know-it-all who has no doubt he’s smart, funny, and has to get in the last word. Even death doesn’t seem to have shut him up. It’s a constant stream of comments, complaints, whining, pronouncements about Bigtoria’s attitude, behavior and incompetence, the food, the weather, the cold, the snow, and if only they would just have listened to him. The more time we spend with him the more we agree 100% when he says, “I never really wanted to be a police officer.” What should have been a straight forward assignment for Detective Constable Edward Reekie turned out to be far more. His task was to collect a dying prisoner from HMP Grampian and deliver him to Glenfarach to live out his last remaining days in peace. I liked the idea for the community of ex-prisoners nestled in the Cairngorms but the plot became a bit far fetched for me and didn’t hold my interest. A claw-foot bath dominated one wall, topped by a mildewed shower-curtain. Crusts of dark-orange and brown limescale around the drain. Lid and seat up on the toilet, showing off a whole Formula-One- season of skid marks.” There you have it, the writing style of Stuart MacBride enriched with toilet humour, rude rather than crude remarks, a list of very colourful and dur Scottish characters hidden loosely under crime/noir. Now let me say from the start I have been reading this authors books from the early days of Cold Granite, the first Logan McCrea novel and have always found his style refreshing and indeed at times highly amusing (who could forget DCI Roberta Steel and her testing sense of humour most of it at the expense of Logan who she rather fondly called Laz :)

Edward and his boss are snowed in but that's not the worst. They find a former prisoner murdered in their home and the murders are just starting. Each murder is gruesome and obviously the deaths were preceded by torture. What's the reason? Is there a serial killer just killing to satisfy his urges or is there a secret that is being extracted? Despite this, I’m not put off the author’s books and I’m hopeful he’ll return to his usual form soon.

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