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  • Barbara Copperthwaite

Review: IN THE COLD, DARK GROUND, Stuart MacBride

In the Cold Dark Ground, by Stuart MacBride. Review by Barbara Copperthwaite

“MacBride makes other police procedural novels look po-faced”



The new Logan McRae novel from the No. 1 bestselling author of THE MISSING AND THE DEAD and A SONG FOR THE DYING.

Sergeant 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 eyeing his territory.

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


Possibly the unluckiest police sergeant in the world, Logan McRae, is back in his tenth book. A gang war is threatening to break out, but looks almost civilised compared to Logan personal life. Will he have the guts to kill in cold blood? Will he be arrested before that can happen? Will he ever discover what makes Detective Chief Inspector Steele’s bras so itchy?

I’ve read this series from the start, and devoured every single book hungrily, always looking forward to the next. Stuart MacBride is an author I greatly admire. What sets his crime novels head and shoulders above other series is not just his twisted takes on crimes, it’s the brilliant characters he creates. He makes other police procedural novels look po-faced, by capturing not just the technical stuff but the humanity behind the police.

There’s dark humour that makes me chuckle when I know I shouldn’t, banter that’s bluer than the blues and twos atop the squad cars, and scenes that make me gasp in horror one minute, and laugh out loud the next. He also made me cry this time.

All in all, this is exactly what fans of MacBride expect - a brilliant rollercoaster of a crime read that entertains every step of the way. If you haven't read of the Logan McRae series, what are you waiting for?!

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