It was supposed to be an easy job.
All Detective Constable Edward Reekie had to do was pick up a dying prisoner from HMP Grampian and deliver him somewhere to live out his last few months in peace.
From the outside, Glenfarach looks like a quaint, sleepy, snow-dusted village, nestled deep in the heart of Cairngorms National Park, but things aren’t what they seem. The place is thick with security cameras and there’s a strict nine o’clock curfew because Glenfarach is the final sanctuary for people who’ve served their sentences but can’t be safely released into the general population.
Edward’s new boss, DI Victoria Montgomery-Porter, insists they head back to Aberdeen before the approaching blizzards shut everything down, but when an ex-cop-turned-gangster is discovered tortured to death in his bungalow, someone needs to take charge.
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…
Judefire33 rating for The Dead Of Winter
Firstly thank you so so much to Transworld books for sending me a proof copy of The Dead Of Winter.
Now I am a huge fan of Stuart MacBride, and absolutely adore his Logan MacRae novels, however in recent years Stuart has been writing more standalone novels, and The Dead Of Winter is one.
This is a bloody fabulous novel, this is Stuart MacBride back to the absolute top of his game and what he does best. From chapter one we are sent on a rollercoaster thrill ride, with Stuart’s normal dark humor and gritty realism, and this is by far one of his best novels since the Logan MacRae series. I read it at breakneck speed and laughed so much!
Our two main stars are Detective Constable Edward Reekie and his boss, Detective Inspector Victoria Mongomery-Porter, the opening chapter is a scene on a freezing day somewhere in the snowy woods in Scotland. It would appear that DC Edward Reekie is being buried in a shallow grave in the cold ground and that grave is being dug by none other than DI Victoria aka Bigtoria Montgomery-Porter….and that my dear followers, is the absurd setting that starts The Dead Of Winter.
From then on you will be taken thru an exceptional cast of characters who all live in the small sleepy quaint hamlet of Glenfarach….and no it’s not really an ordinary place as it’s full of rapists, gangsters, and murderers. There are security cameras everywhere here like big bugs in the sky stalking everyone as there is nowhere to hide. All the residents have their own little homes and all are electronically tagged and subject to a 9 pm curfew… sounds like a safe place right? Wrong, the fast-paced writing of Stuart Macbride takes you through an almost comedic set of murders and events that draw to a brilliant ending.
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.
This is a real gem of a novel, and in my opinion, Stuart Macbride’s best for many years, if you like gritty, dark, Scottish crime fiction with a dose of really dark humor thrown in then you need to rush down to the bookshop, and buy The Dead Of Winter, you won’t be disappointed.
A superb 5-star rating from me.
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