Monday, May 28, 2007

Broken Skin by Stuart MacBride

Title: Broken Skin
Author: Stuart MacBride

ISBN # 9780007193172

Publisher: Harper Collins

First Published: 2007

439 pages

Format: Hardback

Rating: 9/10

A new Logan McRae thriller from the bestselling author of 'Cold Granite' and 'Dying Light', set in gritty
Aberdeen. In the pale grey light of a chilly February, Aberdeen is not at its best! There's a rapist prowling the city's cold granite streets, leaving a string of tortured women behind. But while DS Logan McRae's girlfriend is out acting as bait, he's dealing with the blood-drenched body of an unidentified male, dumped outside Accident and Emergency. When a stash of explicit films turn up, all featuring the victim, it looks as if someone in the local bondage community has developed a taste for violent death, and Logan gets dragged into the twilight world of pornographers, sex-shops and S&M. To make matters worse, when they finally arrest the Granite City Rapist, Grampian Police are forced by the courts to let him go: Aberdeen Football Club's star striker has an alibi for every attack. Could they really have got it so badly wrong? Logan thinks so, but the trick will be getting anyone to listen before the real rapist strikes again. Especially as his girlfriend, PC Jackie 'Ball Breaker' Watson, is convinced the footballer is guilty and she's hell-bent on a conviction at any cost...

Another splendid offering from Scotland's hottest new crime fiction writer. This is MacBride's third novel set in Aberdeen and is, in his own words, "packed with porn, bondage and filth," and he's right - it is!* But it's all completely necessary to a humdinger of a plot with strikingly real characterisation, excellently clever plot-working and stunningly taut writing. His research is as impeccable as ever and what is offered up is a stunningly visceral roller-coaster ride into the dark and nasty underbelly of crime and fetish sex.**

MacBride is certainly a force to be reckoned with and this has me gagging (no pun intended) for his next novel. He just keeps getting better and better. This is the closest I've come to awarding 10/10 for any book this year!

* He told me this while signing my copy and doodling a little naked man beside his name. Incidentally, Mr. MacBride was very friendly and lovely to talk too. I hope to meet him again in the future.

** Just for the record, I do not believe there’s anything wrong in consenting adults engaging in mutually pleasurable bondage or indeed any sexual activities – I merely mean that this novel features the extreme end of fetish activity and crimes pertaining to that.


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