A heart-stopping crime thriller from the author of three consecutive No. 1 bestsellers, including Birthdays for the Dead and the DI Logan McRae series.
He's back... Eight years ago, 'The Inside Man' murdered four women and left three more in critical condition - all of them with their stomachs slit open and a plastic doll stitched inside. And then the killer just...disappeared.
Ash Henderson was a Detective Inspector on the initial investigation, but a lot can change in eight years. His family has been destroyed, his career is in tatters, and one of Oldcastle's most vicious criminals is making sure he spends the rest of his life in prison. Now a nurse has turned up dead on a patch of waste ground, a plastic doll buried beneath her skin, and it looks as if Ash might finally get a shot at redemption. At earning his freedom. At revenge.
©2014 Stuart MacBride (P)2014 HarperCollins Publishers Limited
"MacBride is the natural heir to the late and much lamented Reginald Hill." (Andrew Taylor, Spectator)
"MacBride is a damned fine writer - no one does dark and gritty like him." (Peter James)
"Fierce, unflinching and shot through with the blackest of humour; this is crime fiction of the highest order." (Mark Billingham)
"Some of the grittiest crime-writing in the field." (Independent)
"Admirers of tough, modern crime novels will be in seventh heaven - or should that be hell?" (Express)
"Ferocious and funny." (Val McDermid)
"Hard-hitting prose with a bone-dry humour and characters you can genuinely believe in, Stuart MacBride's novels are a real treat." (Simon Kernick)
Ah I love MacBride! If you've read anything of his before then you'll know what to expect - absolutely monstrous crimes set in Scotland, generally atrocious weather (although he does seem to be perking this up recently) and a lot of dark cop-humour and swearing! I find that MacBride is top of his genre and I never tire of his stories. This is an 'Ash Henderson' novel and whilst I do prefer his 'Logan McRae' series due to a couple of extra amazing characters (DI Steele is pure gold!!) and the fact that there is unrestrained foul language and black comedy in them, something that seems slightly toned down in the Henderson series, I do thoroughly enjoy Ash Henderson and it's nice that MacBride is starting a whole new 'family' of characters to get to know. I can't fault this book or the author, absolutely love it!
I discovered the Stuart MacBride novels after finishing listening to others narrated by Ian Hanmore. This is a great listen, made even more enjoyable by Mr Hanmores fantastic voices and intonation. The story is gritty, a bit gory but totally enthralling. I want more from these characters, and I want them brought to life by Ian Hamore!
I tend to use audible like you would use a book shop. I browse most days and delight in finding a new author or series of books.
This was an excellent story and was well read. There is not as much of the light relief that you get from the characters in the Logan McCrae books. I wonder if our Stuart has been on an NLP course recently?
I hoped we'd see Ash and Alice again after Birthdays for the Dead, but wasn't sure how.... although this tale stretches credulity sometimes, who cares. Its a really good read, even through all the darkest gut-wrenching bits. As has been said elsewhere, Ash is a real anti-hero, you shouldn't like him but he is so well-written that you understand the demons driving him, and can see past his awful behaviours into his humanity. I thought Alice was better developed too, although still not sure I understand their relationship! Ian Hanmore's performance was excellent, I loved all the characterisations. Excellent book - love both the Logan and Ash series from MacBride.
Ash is a very grey 'hero' - short tempered, aggressive & unremorseful, he doesn't seem that far away from the criminals he chases. The most unbelievable bit for me is that he doesn't strangle Dr Alice, a doctor who talks about 'tummies' & is so little girly that she could never survive either the medical or the police world. Other than that, entertaining but gory.
Yes, because I struggled to follow the events.
Every interaction between Henderson and Sabir (?).
Good, but confusing
For just about the first time since using Audible I thought the audiobook was let down by the performance. The first problem is that Mr Hanmore does not sufficiently distinguish different characters, of which there are many. In a book with long series of conversation without an indication who the speaker is, I found this a substantial source of confusion. The second issue is the actor's way of dealing with grunts and mumbles from gagged characters. I thought this was over the top -- several times I wanted to shout, "stop now!" Related to these issues is what was surely supposed to be background noise (singing) in the home of the child molester, which was performed more loudly than any conversation taking place at the time. Given the darkness of the story, I thought these irritations detracted from the overall experience.
The story is full of unloveable characters with violence and disturbing accounts of child abuse and yet manages to be intriguing and sometimes funny. Great plot and perfectly performed too. This author has a great style. Highly recommend
Another Ash Henderson triumph. Enjoyable in a ghastly way and read brilliantly by the wonderful Ian Hanmore. Lovely stuff!
A Song for the Dying - Good listen
Enjoyable listen, some violence, great characters
lots of twists & turns
"MacBride knocks it out of the park."
Hooked me from the first chapter and never let up. Amazingly, I almost read this in one sitting.
Excellent reader, moves seamlessly through various dialogues, male/female voices without overacting. Wonderful with the author's sprinkling of dark humor.
Dunno, but I'd cast Sean Bean as our hero.
This author has almost ruined me for other mystery writers (with a few exceptions). MacBride never settles for stock characters,TV movie dialogue or tiresome plot conventions. On the contrary: his characters are eccentric, the dialogue gritty and true to each character and the plot twists each and every familiar mystery formula into a neat pretzel. Every time I thought I had something figured out, the plot took a turn that gave me whiplash. Ash is King of the Anti-Heroes, very damaged, full of dark impulses but still somehow moral, someone you like and root for. His continuing bond with the fragile, empathy-driven profiler Alice is unique in mystery novels. Again, MacBride's books are not for the squeamish, but so rich and well-written that they leave me wanting more.
"MacBride at his brutal best."
Beautifully read, very clever. Read Birthdays for the Dead first. Not for the faint hearted. Ash Henderson is one of a kind
"Fast paced and thrilling"
A terrific thriller, there was even humour hidden among the blood, gore and twisted minds. Far fetched, certainly and very gritty but highly entertaining and beautifully narrated by Ian Hanmore. I am really looking forward to the next book by Stuart MacBride, hoping to meet up with the same characters again.
I was engrossed in this book from the start although I found some of the characters very harsh and some of the scenes were brutal. I loved the problem solving skills used to untangle the crimes and the way the team each pitched their unique skills to arrive at the truth. The plot reminded me of Ian Rankin with the gloves off, clever, intuitive, gritty and at times funny.
I haven't heard Ian Hanmore before but love his Scottish accent and would like to hear more of him narrating .
At times the book made me laugh but the humour was secondary and almost covert.
I loved this book, it captured my imagination and managed to be both far fetched and totally believable at the same time. The considerable talents of the writer and the narrator
combined to make this a wonderful audio experience.
I'm thoroughly enjoying this series and can't seem to get enough.
This is one of the best series I've read.
I haven't read the printed version. Why bother? The audio version is so great!!
So many memorable moments, it's hard to choose. Probably during the torture scene. Very gritty and difficult to read because it was so realistic.
I really liked Ash Henderson. A great cross between funny and gritty!
Absolutely. It is one of the best murder mystery thrillers that I've read.
Ian Hanmore did a fantastic job. He managed to pull off so many Scottish accents, both male and female. I really liked the understated narrative interspersed with the character voices. I'm a professional narrator myself, so I admire great work! :) I also liked the short sentence style used by Stuart MacBride. It made for easy listening in audible format. Well done on both the story and the narration. I would highly recommend this book!
"Too much gore and violence"
No, I got tired of the excessive gore, violence and constant conflict between everybody and gave up listening.
First and probably last
No, but though the reading was quite clear and easy to listen to.
Storyline line was interesting, created suspense could be followed but in the end I decided I didn't need to know the outcome.
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