A Dark So Deadly by Stuart MacBride
A detective no one believes in. A killer with nothing to lose…
A gripping standalone thriller from the Sunday Times No.1 bestselling author of the Logan McRae series.
Beware of the dark…
Welcome to the Misfit Mob – where Police Scotland dumps the officers it can’t get rid of, but wants to. Officers like DC Callum MacGregor, lumbered with all the boring go-nowhere cases. So when an ancient mummy is found at the Oldcastle tip, it’s his job to track down its owner.
But then Callum uncovers links between his mummified corpse and three missing young men, and life starts to get a lot more interesting.
No one expects the Misfit Mob to solve anything, but right now they’re all that stands between a killer’s victims and a slow lingering death. Can they prove everyone wrong before someone else dies?
After seeing various blog posts by the #MacBrideMafia aka Jen, Kate and Eva. I decided to catch up on the most recent MacBride novel’s, I had missed out on due to Mount TBR. A Dark So Deadly, I purchased from Sainsburys for the absolute steal of £2.99. It was calling me from the bookshelves, so I decided to bump it up the TBR. I did not regret it!
I actually spent the entire weekend with the novel in front of my face. Any attempts my husband made to speak to me, were met with one word……. *SILENCE!
*he is not a fan of this response lol
‘They’ll worship you: You’ll be a god’
The novel centres around the misfit mob, a bunch of police officers with disciplinary actions on their police folders or ill health. They are made up of, our awesome protagonist DC Callum McGregor, DC Watt, DS Hodgkin and new to the team DC Franklin. The bosses are DS McAdams and mother aka DI Malcolmson. They are such a unique bunch of characters and truly make this novel. The epic read that it is. I think the author has done a remarkable job of writing the female police officers. They are feisty, no-nonsense and strong women. Callum on the other hand, is far more complex.
DC Callum McGregor is a deeply layered character, that is constantly evolving throughout the novel. There are moments I felt quite sorry for him. He just never gets a break, by that I mean he has the worst luck in the world ever!
Having found himself transferred to the team, just 3wks ago. He is finding it incredibly difficult to settle in. He feels disliked by his colleagues, there are ample rumours he is a dirty cop and shock-horror the criminals don’t like him either!
The novel opens with the dramatic arrest of local youth Ainsley Dugdale. Although the arrest is traumatic for Callum, with him becoming acquainted with ‘the claw’. There are moments where I was actually laughing. It is just so very well written. It is at this moment, on the opening pages, I knew I would love this book.
After apprehending Ainsley, Callum and McAdams are summoned to a crime scene at the tip. With multiple body parts and some mummified remains, police Scotland have seven different murder enquires on there hands. It is at this point the misfits are assigned the mummy. The team have no idea just yet, the depth of this case. The darkness they’ll come to experience and the broken psychology behind it all, make this novel one of my favourites so far this year!
As the team begin to investigate, Callum is given the job of locating museums with a lost mummy. None of the police team suspect that this is a current police investigation. Callum is disliked by his team, who mock him at every given chance. He has a professional standards meeting looming and he must train newest member to the team, the resentful and feisty DC Franklin. Then another mummy is discovered, with a mouth full of NHS fillings, and the case is blown wide open……..
As the novel progresses, we learn the backstories of each of the police officers. Each member of the team has their cross to bear. Whether it be career sexism, disability or terminal cancer, this team is unlike anything, I have ever read before.
There is a scene in the novel where Callum visits young mum Irene Brown. I felt this was a clear and vivid depiction of one woman’s experience of poverty and abuse in modern day Britain. Callum does what he can to attempt to help the young mum and her children; despite the fact that they are no fans of the police.
The mummified remains case has clues that eventually lead to the house of three young men, Benjamin Harrington, Brett Miller and Glen Carmichael. The scene at their house, leads the team to consult behavioural evidence analyst Alice MacDonald. The murders show signs of a ritualised event. The killer using human cadavers as his ‘artwork’.
This is one sick and twisted killer.
The novel also delves into Callum’s personal life and childhood. Callum grew up within the care system, he has experienced much emotional pain and loss. The clever way this element is written, is simply superb. There are several spin-off crimes and plots weaved into this novel. But for me, the firm favourite was Callum’s past.
At just under 600 pages, this is no quick simple read. I read 240+ books a year, this being my 56th of 2018 so far (as of 18/02/18). It is most definitely one of my firm favourites of 2018. I can’t recommend this novel highly enough, I sincerely hope it becomes a series of novels. I MUST also catch up with the Logan McRae series.