The gritty new standalone crime novel from the No. 1 best-selling author of Shatter the Bones and Dark Blood
Detective Constable Ash Henderson has a dark secret...
Five years ago his daughter, Rebecca, went missing on the eve of her 13th birthday. A year later the first card arrived: homemade, with a Polaroid picture stuck to the front - Rebecca, strapped to a chair, gagged and terrified. Every year another card: each one worse than the last. The tabloids call him The Birthday Boy. He's been snatching girls for 12 years, always in the run-up to their 13th birthday, sending the families his homemade cards showing their daughters being slowly tortured to death. But Ash hasn't told anyone about Rebecca's birthday cards - they all think she's just run away from home - because if anyone finds out, he'll be taken off the investigation. And he's sacrificed too much to give up before his daughter's killer gets what he deserves...
©2012 Stuart MacBride (P)2011 HarperCollins
Set in a fictional 'Oldcastle' with completely new characters this book is grisly, violent, and shocking; 'gritty' is an understatement - it is more like being carried along on an avalanche of boulder scree.... and I absolutely loved it. MacBride has created some great new characters, and I especially enjoyed Alice aka 'Dr McFruitloop', who is more than a little off-the-wall. Generously larded with MacBride's typical black Scottish humour to help alleviate some of the more revolting bits, I found this compulsive listening. What's more the plot is well-constructed, and though I wouldn't quite say believable (I would prefer perverts like the Birthday Boy to remain firmly in the domain of fiction!), I found myself guessing till the end.
In my opinion MacBride set the bar high when he narrated some of his earlier books himself, so Ian Hanmore had a hard act to follow. He does a very good job - tackling quite a few different accents with aplomb, and was an excellent choice for the job. I really enoyed his narration.
If you are familiar with MacBride's books then you know what to expect so no warnings needed. If you are new to this author then be warned that his books are like Marmite, you either love them or hate them. Not for those offended by strong language or violence, or have too many delicacies and a sense of humour failure - for others, highly recommended!
Having listened to a number of Logan McRae books, I decided to take a risk with this standalone novel. The protagonist (Ash Henderson) is markedly different from McRae - a far more visceral and gritty character. At one point he is described as a "Man of Violence", and this is particularly apt. Nevertheless, MacBride provides the reader with a brutal, yet gripping narrative in which we follow Henderson and his quirky psychologist sidekick as they search ever more frantically for the twisted "Birthday Boy". If you're a fan of MacBride and can endure the stark and unflinching descriptions of violence, you'll find this book a compelling and enjoyable read.
Read and enjoyed all the Logan McRae books and looked forward to listening to this. But to my mind it revelled in its violence to a distasteful degree. Sorry that Macbride has decided to join the ranks of the increasingly tired serial killer aficionados.
That being said, well written, well read.
If I was reading this book I wouldn't have put it down until I finished it. Totally gripping the whole way through, excellent. Narration was superb
This is the worst audio book I have ever purchased from this site. I took the other reviews on board when deciding to buy it. It is absolutely awful. Characters are not developed at all and story line is terrible. I kept listening because I was waiting for it to get better. It didn't. Very disappointing. I am curious how it received so many high ratings from other listeners
I am a fan of MacBride and was expecting a dark, gritty, violent and blackly humorous tale. Birthdays For The Dead lived up to all my expectations. It was pacey and the characters interesting. The plot was full of twists and turns, though credibility was stretched at times. The narration was excellent. Overall, not a story for the faint hearted!
I really liked the story and yet felt it was very slow in telling, an excellent concept shame that it side tracked a little too much. Narration excellent. The gripping underlying theme was brilliant, have to say I fast forwarded through the to get to the good bits. Screen blocked now by advert for coupons !
I have enjoyed the other books by Stuart MacBride and was expecting more of the same in this one. Unfortunately, it didn't quite do it for me. I found the storyline a bit manic and over the top and I couldn't really accept the credibility of the main character.
i am a huge fan of stuart macbride and was excited to find a new book, im sure fans of the Logan Mcree books will be dissapointed to find a new subject as i was but its still good. its missing the humour of the previous books and is quiet dark but i think fans will still like it.
I hope we will see the return of the Logan and steel in stuarts next offering though --- please
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