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Tuesday, 12 January 2016

22 Dead Little Bodies and Other Stories by Stuart MacBride - Book Review

5/5 Stars

Here you'll find Logan's week from hell;

Steel's own personal nightmare before Christmas;

an explosive shootout on a remote Scottish island;

and the ultimate test of their relationship...

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Edition: Paperback
Pages: 324
Chapters: -- (Each story in this collection has its own number of chapters.)
Publisher: Harper

Book Links: Goodreads
                      Amazon
                      Author's Website

A list of the four stories inside this collection:

Story 1: 22 Dead Little Bodies (Logan McRae, #8.5)
Story 2: DI Steel's Bad Heir Day (Logan McRae, #6.5)
Story 3: Stramash (Logan McRae, #7.5)
Story 4: The 45% Hangover (Logan McRae, #8.25)

Review

Are you a fan of the Logan McRae series? Do you love the grit and humour like I do? Did you know there are four fantastic stories hiding in the background of the core novels? Well, I didn't. I had no idea (some fan I bloody am), so imagine my surprise, and glee, when I spotted 22 Dead Little Bodies and Other Stories, a compilation of all the shorts MacBride has done for this series so far, sitting on a shelf in my local supermarket, screaming at my ignorance.

Gosh I'm glad I needed milk...

The author magically manages to stamp his wit and devilishly dark storytelling talent into four small packages, all bundled together like shots of caffeine. They're fun, funny and fierce.

As it is a collection, I'll list each story, along with a star rating and a mini-review.


Story 1: 22 Dead Little Bodies (Logan McRae, #8.5) - 178 pages - 20 chapters - 5/5 Stars

Following a change within the policing body of Scotland, now known collectively as Police Scotland, Logan struggles to manage the plethora of cases that just refuse to close: A man commits suicide, only for family issues in his life to reveal horrific murders; a war between neighbours escalates to deadly proportions; and the tragic, but overlooked, death of a homeless man turns into a horrific revenge scenario.

If any first chapters within any part of this series fully conveys what you're getting, 22 Dead Little Bodies' does. It perfectly encapsulates everything that I love about these books: Dark brutality coupled with a strong undercurrent of gallows humour. There are a few parts to this story that would benefit from reading previous instalments, but overall, it has a fantastic bunch of cases with a fantastic bunch of characters at the helm.

Story 2: DI Steel's Bad Heir Day (Logan McRae, #6.5) - 26 pages - no chapters - 4.5/5 Stars

DI Steel faces a moral conundrum when a murderer/rapist leaves her a considerable amount of money. At the same time a man vanishes, and his wife oozes nothing but secrets.

A fun, extremely short short that goes for comedy over cases, and it's hilarious. DI Steel is a wonderful protagonist, as is standard, but the use of Guthrie (a minor character) over Logan irks me. I missed him...

We do get a little bit of extra info on a personal matter of Steel's, the inheritance, that's a part of a couple of entries, but isn't completely elaborated on.

Story 3: Stramash (Logan McRae, #7.5) - 26 pages - no chapters - 5/5 Stars

(The definition of Stramash as a word is given in the book: Noun, an uproar; a disturbance; a row; a brawl.)

On an island retreat, DI Steel clocks two wanted criminals up to no good, and calls in friend Logan McRae to assist. Crossing land and sea, Logan reaches Steel only for them to uncover a drug-fuelled treasure hunt between more than just two criminals. 

Stramash is an intense, fast-paced, action-packed, straight-up adrenaline short. It's the fastest story in this collection, and the amount the author crams into 26 pages is tremendous. There are no police politics, just a good old fashioned thriller.

Story 4: The 45% Hangover (Logan McRae, #8.25) - 89 pages - 11 chapters - 5/5 Stars

Logan hunts for a missing political campaigner as Steel revels in the possibility of an independent Scotland. So how in the hell do the two wake up naked, handcuffed and trapped together?

My personal favourite of the stories. This entry is just beyond awesome. Logan and Steel are probably at the best they've ever been. The laughs are full; the plot is suspenseful and mysterious; and the 89 pages make for a succinct experience.

Overall - 5/5 Stars

You can't go wrong with this collection, not at all.


For more of the Logan McRae series: Index


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