January 10

In The Cold Dark Ground – Stuart MacBride

In The Cold Dark GroundSergeant Logan McRae is in trouble…

His missing-persons investigation has just turned up a body in the woods – naked, hands tied behind its back, and a bin bag duct-taped over its head. The Major Investigation Team charges up from Aberdeen, under the beady eye of Logan’s ex-boss Detective Chief Inspector Steel. And, as usual, she wants him to do her job for her.

But it’s not going to be easy: a new Superintendent is on her way up from the Serious Organised Crime Task Force, hell-bent on making Logan’s life miserable; Professional Standards are gunning for Steel; and Wee Hamish Mowat, head of Aberdeen’s criminal underbelly, is dying – leaving rival gangs from all over the UK eying his territory.

There’s a war brewing and Logan’s trapped right in the middle, whether he likes it or not.


My thanks to Jaime at HarperCollins for my review copy.

Logan McRae is back in his 10th outing and although you did not know it – this is the book that you have been waiting for. Everything that Stuart MacBride has been building up in the first 9 McRae novels seems to be coming to a head within In the Cold Dark Ground and it is magnificent. Absolute jaw-dropping, edge of the seat brilliance.

Now comes the tricky part – I want to talk about things that happen in the book and I can’t. I cannot even hint at the stuff I REALLY want to talk about because spoiling the twists, shocks, surprises and the WTF moments would seriously impact on your enjoyment of the book.  Well I say ‘enjoyment’ but aside from the usual dark humour we can expect from MacBride’s books I can let share that Logan is in for a tough time. Again. Poor sod.

In The Cold Dark Ground opens with Logan and his team investigating a missing-persons case, However, a body soon turns up and the Major Investigations Team (and Roberta Steel) are not far behind. Before long Steel is stomping all-over Logan’s life again.  But Logan has more pressing issues to contend with, his girlfriend remains in her coma, the gangsters of Aberdeen (and beyond) are restless as an ailing Wee Hamish Mowat struggles to retain control of his territory. Logan is still Wee Hamish’s preferred successor to his criminal empire, however, Logan has other ideas…as does Hamish’s second in command – the psychotic Reuben who intends to step up to the top spot himself and needs to ensure he has Logan’s loyalty.

This is Stuart MacBride at his finest. He has written some harrowing storylines in the past but In The Cold Dark Ground blew me away. The tension I felt while reading some scenes was unlike anything I have experienced from a book for a long, long time. There are moments that could have you in tears…laughter or sorrow. We see some characters in a new light and there are welcome returns for old friends and some new faces we MAY see in future.

I could write a few more paragraphs telling you how much I enjoyed In The Cold Dark Ground but I will spare you that.  I loved it. A 5/5 review score was guaranteed before I was even half-way through the book – it could even be a 6/5 I enjoyed it so much.  My only concern is that I read it too soon, now I have a very long wait to find out what happens next!


In The Cold Dark Ground is published on 14th January in Hardcover and Digital format.   You can (pre)order your copy here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Cold-Dark-Ground-Logan-McRae/dp/0007494645/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1452463726&sr=1-1

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Posted January 10, 2016 by Gordon in category "5* Reviews", "From The Bookshelf