The Blood Road by Stuart McIntyre.

Yet another sensational instalment in a Scottish crime series that even though it started fabulously, just keep getting better and better. In this latest “episode” DI Logan McRae and his team of Tufty, Rennie and the best written female detective in any series (alternately infuriating, funny, clever and outrageous), DS Roberta Steele, confront a shocking truth: someone they thought they’d buried and farewelled with mixed feelings is resurrected albeit, briefly. Nevertheless, the short return sets off a chain of events that lead Logan and his colleagues to confront a dreadful truth: someone is selling children at auction. There is nothing else that can explain the disappearance of young boys and girls from the local area nor the fact that no evidence or trail is ever discovered, leaving behind misery and despair – and not just for the parents.

But when Logan understand the connections between an old case, a difficult colleague and the current ones, a series of tragic events is set in motion that puts not just the force at grave risk, but innocent children as well.

As usual, McIntyre doesn’t steer away from exposing the terrible underbelly of Aberdeen and the type of crimes committed as well as the lives of perpetrators and their victims. Brutal, McIntyre also manages to not only introduce a gallow’s humour through his main characters, but the warmth of their interpersonal relationships and the desperate lengths they go to try and help the community and the victims of crime. Nevertheless, the ingratitude of society, the culpability of the media in generating this and the way in which even good intentions can not only be foiled but misrepresented and the consequences of this are all there on the page.

Rich in so many ways, the Logan McRae series (and associated spin-offs) are a fantastic read that I find myself savouring because I don’t want the book to end. Alas, it does, and now I have to wait what will seem an eternity for the next one. *sigh*


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