These ‘about me’ sections, or even sections that inform you about blogs, have never been my forte. Much to my chagrin, I was never taught the unwritten rules of what you are supposed to say. The links at the side of the blog – Twitter and Goodreads, for example – are liable to tell you more than I could ever say in words.

Mostly, this will be a book blog. I read a lot, and I love to share my views on my most recent reads. I try to read a little bit of everything, but if you look closely you’ll notice I will occasionally become obsessed with one specific genre for a short period of time. Old books, new books, yet to be released books – I read them all. If you’re an author looking for advance readers or just wish for more reviews of a book you’ve already released, please feel free to contact me. There is a contact form at the side of my blog – if you scroll down below the Twitter and Goodreads sidebar you will find it – so drop me a message and I’ll be sure to get back to you in double time. After all, finding new authors is what makes the book world go around.

Thanks for taking your time to read this. With a little bit of luck, you will find my blog much more interesting than this mundane introductory section.

Thursday, 8 September 2016

Review: Birthdays for the Dead

Birthdays for the Dead Birthdays for the Dead by Stuart MacBride
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I adore Stuart MacBride’s Logan McRae series, so it should come as no surprise to know I jumped at his Ash Henderson series with a lot of expectations. Fortunately, the male did not disappoint. Whilst I favour his Aberdonian detective, I certainly had fun with this new character.

In his Logan McRae books, Stuart MacBride demonstrates how he was more than capable of throwing in all the things you would expect to find in a gritty crime novel. Suspense. Intrigue. Mystery. Wonderful characters. Questionable motives. The darkness of humanity. For me, however, this introduction to the world of Ash Henderson was missing one vital aspect: the dark humour. The Logan McRae series have me laughing endlessly, earning me many questionable looks, whereas I merely smirked a couple of times with this one. Truthfully, I missed the humour. Of course, this is not a bad thing. The book was still a lot of fun. But I really did miss his brilliant humour, I missed the characters that left me chuckling at the book in public.

The lack of dark humour, though, is replaced by a different kind of darkness. Ash Henderson is far from the detective McRae is. I’d love to see how the two of them would interact, would love to see what would happen if they crossed paths, as they’re two very different people. McRae is the good cop to Henderson’s bad cop. Ash Henderson is a much darker person, we really get to see the extremes people will go to when their world is spinning out of control. I adored this. Honestly, it was great. There was such inner turmoil with our main character meaning he was a much darker read than McRae. McRae is a brilliant character for so many reasons, and none of these reasons apply as to why Henderson is a brilliant character. There are so many different reasons for why Henderson is a great character, mostly watching him toe the line between good and bad makes the book worth it. He really is a great character to read.

That aside, it did take much longer to get into this story than usual. The Logan McRae books pull you in from the get-go, whereas this book seemed to drag a bit at first. I wasn’t as pulled in. The criminal storyline was a lot of fun, but I felt as though there was far too much going on at once. Usually, MacBride is brilliant at having multiple aspects of a story occurring at once, but with this one it felt a little bit clumsy. It felt as though he was trying to do too many things at once, and didn’t refine it as much as he usually does.

Overall, it was a great read. It was more than enough to ensure I will be continuing on with his Ash Henderson series. That being said, as enjoyable as it was, it was not quite the mind-blowing read you are usually given in the Logan McRae series. More than worth it, without a doubt, but not his best.

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