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4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 26-02-20

J M Dalglish sets a scene like no other, he makes you feel you are there, that you are experiencing every moment, every sense. It is quite exquisite how he does this and makes engagement with the plot very deep and soulful.
His lead Character Caslan is a strange beast, and if I'm honest an irksome one.
I actually started reading this series of books because "Nathanial" (quite the worst Christian name for a downbeat cop) was sold as a flawed man who had descended into drug and alcohol abuse, and initially this made him feel a gritty real life rebel. Sadly over the series he's become a real bore, so upright and good that as I said he's become an irksome virtue signalling bland guy.
However the stories are always good and very engrossing despite I'm sad to say the awful narration of Greg Patmore.
I disliked him from the get go and felt in his voice he seemed ever so slightly 'camp'. He really seems to struggle with the voices of the other characters and in interpreting female characters he seems to make them all embody a sort of breathless 'drag' act type of delivery.
All this said I'm looking forward to the next book in the series! More engrossing stories with Caslan becoming even more Messianic!!

1 person found this helpful

Engrossing thriller.

4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-01-20

I found the book slow at first, but when it came into its own I began to feel totally immersed. Caslin the DCI who is a troubled soul is allowed to emerge slowly and engage fully and is just supreme. When I eventually reached the end of the book I found my first urge was to listen to it again so I could ensure I had fully appreciated the depth of Caslin, and this engrossing twisting story.
If I had one criticism it was the narration I didn't warm to. Greg Patmore has such a hesitant delivery I found myself initially disliking the book and Caslin the central character, hence my wish to reread/listen. When I became more attuned to the narrator it became easier, but honestly think he was wrong for this book.

5 people found this helpful

What a fantastic writer!

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 31-12-19

I have been fascinated, engaged and absorbed by JD Kirk as a writer, and enthralled by the narration of the superb Angus King - quite mesmerising in his brilliance.
Jack Logan, who we in truth no little about is scintilatingly brought to life by Mr Kirk. You feel you live and breath his character, he reminds me a little of Strike in the Galbraith novels. J.DKirk has been able to show the grittiness and reality of his troubled Logan just right. He is just mesmerising.
I had been a real fan of Stuart Macbrides stories but was just so disappointed at the way he lobotomised his character Logan Macrae, he ruined and destroyed a really gritty and believable character. J D Kirk has brought his nemesis to Audible but has made HIS character, Jack Logan live in all his superb brilliance language and all.
I have never enjoyed the two available stories by J D Kirk so very much. I hope there will be others - PLEASE!

Lost the will to live..

1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 21-12-19

This book was one of the most turgid I have waded through, and yes even worse than doing it through the proverbial treacle!
The ensemble of characters are a miserable soulless lot, with Callum, the lead being the worst. He is constantly miserable, his sidekick Faulkner the same. It was just dreadful.
I found myself so distracted and bored that I began to keep count of the number of times the author Stuart Macbride used his top favourite descriptor of his characters "curling their lip". I also noted that MacBride describes virtually ever character as having "dark bags" under their eyes! That was how boring this book was.
I've been a fan of MacBride since the start but note that his more recent batch are where he has gone off kilter, seeming not able to catch the exciting, worldly wise stories, and believable characters he used to do so extremely well.
Thanks for the ride, but someone should have pulled the communication cord way way back.

Gory thriller keeps you feeling the heat.

3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-12-19

I really love how Stuart Macbride develops the grittiest of characters. He makes them totally believable. However he then seems to sort of lobotomise these self same characters in follow up books.
I noted he did it with Logan McRae and in this second book of the Ash Henderson novels he has done it again.
In book one Ash was so very believable, he reflected common parlance of the type of gritty person he was. He swore and effed and jested as he would have been expected to in his role and geographical circumstances.
In this, book two there is hardly an epithet it's almost as if we are seeing a different person and it so disappoints.
I think that Stuart Macbride let's down his fans massively. People don't follow him for Midsomer or Miss Marple type situations, or the people that inhabit their world.
I had already purchased the third of the Ash Henderson novel when I bought this second book and am therefore not looking forward to listening to it as as much now.
On the plus side Stuart comes up with intriguing stories that grip you from start to finish. His books are gory and lots of blood is spent always. That's basically why when he changed the personality of Ash so drastically I really felt let down.

MacBride at his scintillating best.

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 25-11-19

This book brings to life a true MacBride character in all his earthy desolate desperation. Ash is a gritty bitter cop, he is desperate to do the right thing, but has to fight bitter inner demons that are too strong. You feel his turmoil through Macbride's evocative writing, he has the ability to bring poetic prose to the violent, "blood splattered out making a peacocks tail".
Ian Hanmore is a brilliant narrator who brings the inner turmoil of Ash to life, he inhabits the character of 'Ash' in all his gut wrenching desolation.

Time to die.

3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 16-11-19

If you want Midsomer Murders you'll love this book, if you love Logan MacCrae you'll hate it.
This series has lost its way, it verges on farce with silly characters becoming totally ridiculous, ie: "tufty" "rennie" and "farcical Steele". It has become so pantomime that I kept expecting somone to shout "he's behind you!" just to complete the image.
Logan as a true grit guy, worthy of his Lazarus nickname went a few books back, and has become a shallow shadow of himself.
What a waste of a character😢

1 person found this helpful

Where has Logan gone!

3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-11-19

I've read all the Logan Macrae books and really enjoyed them, but he's not what he was.
McBride seems to be slowly emasculating the rich, warts and all nature of him. He is no longer the gritty fly by his pants man. He, and all MacBrides characters don't even swear anymore, with the most daring expletive being Motherfunker!
I feel we are witnessing the death throws of a brilliant character, his believable qualities all but gone.
His involvement with the dodgy world is not even mentioned anywhere now, completing the sanitisastion of such a previously rogue hero.
I expect Logan to become a Vegan next, for him to have joined Extinction Rebellion, and doing good works, tree hugging maybe??
RIP Logan😢

3 people found this helpful

Slightly disappointed.

3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 26-08-19

I love MacBride's books but felt this novel was very clumsy, and didn't portray his usual skills.
I thought the 'misunderstandings' between Logan and his girlfriend were almost worthy of a stage farce (and not a good one).
I also feel he is beginning to overwork the Inch and Steel characters making them feel boring and very formulaic. They aren't developing and again seem to also be descending into farcical repetitive jokes which is sad.
I'll be giving book four a chance because he has created a lovable and intensely deep character in Logan Macrae.

Excellent thriller!

4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 23-05-19

I enjoyed this routine detective novel. I raised it's game though because of the lightness of touch James Oswald has. Pleasant characters are used to full extent and have relatively 'normal lives' which is a rarity in this genre.

The narration is excellent, Ian Hanmore giving depth to all characters.

One sadness is that I didn't feel I could visualise the characters as Oswald doesn't seem to fully round them. Maybe I missed it but is McLean tall short, fat or thin. Is he fresh faced, or world weary, hirsute or bald, muscular or weedy???