Book Review: A Dark So Deadly by Stuart MacBride

A Dark So DeadlyTitle: A Dark So Deadly
Author: Stuart MacBride
Genre: Thriller / Crime Fiction
Date: 2017
Publisher: HarperCollins
Pages: 608
Started: 23rd November 2018
Completed: 30th November 2018
Rating: 4/5
Summary: Welcome to the Misfit Mob. It’s where Police Scotland dumps the officers it can’t get rid of, but wants to: the outcasts, the troublemakers, the compromised. Officers like DC Callum MacGregor, lumbered with all the boring go-nowhere cases. So when an ancient mummy turns up at the Oldcastle tip, it’s his job to find out which museum it’s been stolen from. But then Callum uncovers links between his ancient corpse and three missing young men, and life starts to get a lot more interesting. O Division’s Major Investigation Teams already have more cases than they can cope with, so, against everyone’s better judgement, the Misfit Mob are just going to have to manage this one on their own. No one expects them to succeed, but right now they’re the only thing standing between the killer’s victims and a slow, lingering death. The question is, can they prove everyone wrong before he strikes again?

I received a digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. Thank you to the author, Stuart MacBride, and the publisher, HarperCollins UK, for this opportunity.

Stuart MacBride is a Scottish author, most famous for his crime thrillers set in the “Granite City” of Aberdeen. He often writes novels that fit into his ongoing series which focuses on the character of Detective Sergeant Logan McRae. There are currently 15 in the Logan McRae series.

A Dark so Deadly is technically a standalone novel but it is set in the fictional town of Oldcastle, alongside Birthdays for the Dead (2012) and A Song for the Dying (2014).

I’ve never read anything by MacBride before, even though I have heard great things about his books, so I read this book with zero expectations.

Firstly, this book was far too long for me. I’m glad that it was a stand-alone novel but 608 pages is a lot and I just felt like it could have been shorter. I felt my attention wavering in certain parts of the book, usually if I’d tried to read a lot of it at once, but the plot always pulled me back in.

I did really enjoy the plot. Some aspects of it were completely unexpected and I think I laughed in places that I shouldn’t have but some of the plot twists were a little bit absurd. It was also a really good crime novel but it I expected nothing less from an author like Stuart MacBride who is an established crime and mystery writer. The backstory of the characters isn’t revealed right away, it’s unveiled slowly so that you’re always left wondering about certain details that have been revealed. It’s a book that keeps you on your toes. I also really love the idea of the Misfit Mob, a place where police officers who are considered outcasts come together to form an odd little team.

I also really liked the main characters, especially Detective Constable Callum MacGregor who can’t seem to catch a break. He’s not really welcomed into the Misfit Mob and he doesn’t have the best of luck in this book. All of this makes him an oddly likeable main character. The rest of the characters weren’t necessarily likeable but they were relatable and they felt like real people. Each character had a strong personality and unique characteristics.

Overall, I really liked the book. I just felt like it was too long for me. I’d recommend it to fans of crime fiction and thrillers and I’ll definitely be checking out more of Stuart MacBride’s novels in the future.

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