EXCERPT: Bigtoria sank into an office chair, pulled the phone towards her and dialled. Sat there with the handset to her ear, frowning. Then hung up and had another go. More frowning. This time, instead of returning the handset to the cradle, she clicked the button-thing up and down a few times.
Edward wandered over. ‘Problem, Guv?’
‘Nine for an outside line?’ She poked the button again. ‘Not even getting a dialling tone.’
Sergeant Farrow tried another phone. ‘Fudge.’
Edward joined in, but the receiver just hissed in his ear. ‘This one’s buggered too.’
‘Honestly!’ Sergeant Farrow picked up another handset, jaw working on something tough as she listened. ‘How are we supposed to work like this? “State-of-the-art operation, designed to handle one of the country’s most challenging offender-management environments” my . . . bottom.’ Slamming the handset down.
‘OK . . .’ Edward raised his eyebrows at Bigtoria. ‘So we’ve no mobile signal, the Airwaves are shagged, and the landlines are down. We’re completely cut off, aren’t we.’ In a village populated with sex-offenders, murderers, and the general dregs of the criminal justice system.
And then some.
ABOUT ‘THE DEAD OF WINTER’: It was supposed to be an easy job.
All Detective Constable Edward Reekie had to do was pick up a dying prisoner from HMP Grampian and deliver him somewhere to live out his last few months in peace.
From the outside, Glenfarach looks like a quaint, sleepy, snow-dusted village, nestled deep in the heart of Cairngorms National Park, but things aren’t what they seem. The place is thick with security cameras and there’s a strict nine o’clock curfew, because Glenfarach is the final sanctuary for people who’ve served their sentences but can’t be safely released into the general population.
Edward’s new boss, DI Montgomery-Porter, insists they head back to Aberdeen before the approaching blizzards shut everything down, but when an ex-cop-turned-gangster is discovered tortured to death in his bungalow, someone needs to take charge.
The weather’s closing in, tensions are mounting, and time’s running out – something nasty has come to Glenfarach, and Edward is standing right in its way…
MY THOUGHTS: Black humour is Stuart MacBride’s speciality, and he delivers it in spades – along with a rollicking good novel laced with crime and corruption.
The storyline is unique and intriguing and I was instantly drawn in. To be honest, I’ve never before read anything quite like this.
Edward Reekie – I bet he had a hard time at school – is treated appallingly by his boss DI Victoria Montgomery-Porter, aka Bigtoria. She’s a horrible woman. Yet he doggedly continues to do his job, albeit with a fair bit of moaning and whingeing when he’s in her company. But when your backs are against the wall, he’s the one to rely on.
Initially, I thought the idea of a ‘retirement’ village for criminals who can’t, for one reason or another, be released back into the community when they have served their sentences was a good idea. I have since changed my mind.
The Dead of Winter is fast-paced, entertaining and unpredictable. I loved it.
I: @stuart.macbride @randomhouse
T: @StuartMacBride @randomhouse
#contemporaryfiction #crime #detectivefiction #murdermystery #scottishnoir #thriller #suspense
THE AUTHOR: Stuart MacBride lives in the northeast of Scotland with his wife Fiona, cats Gherkin, Onion and Beetroot, some hens, some horses and an impressive collection of assorted weeds.
DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Random House UK, Transworld Publishers, Bantam Press via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of The Dead of Winter by Stuart MacBride for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.
For an explanation of my rating system please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com
This review is also published on Twitter, Amazon, Instagram and Goodreads.com