Aberdeen serial killer takes eyes, leaves notes, frustrates police.
Detective Sergeant Logan McRae is called to the scene of another “Oedipus murder,” the work of an elusive serial killer mostly targeting Polish immigrants. Eyes of the victims are gouged out and notes excoriating immigrants left behind. The grisly murder scenes unsettle Logan almost as much as the constant condescension of DCI Finnie, his boss. Logan catches a break when he escapes Finnie’s abuse and is teamed with Detective Inspector Steel, a foul-mouthed, hard-drinking, chain-smoking, skirt-chasing lesbian. But it’s out of the frying pan and into the fire, as Steel tends to create violent messes Logan is left to clean up. When Steel fingers Simon Mcleod, member of a large and shady clan of thugs who owns the grimy pub Turf ’n Track, as a likely suspect or informant, a melee and police bust ensue. A few days later, the duo is taking a cloying child molester named Rory to jail when a disturbance at a building site grabs their attention. They arrive in time to grapple with the Oedipus killer and discover his latest victim: Simon Mcleod. The accompanying note this time lambastes incompetent coppers. Though Logan and Steel don’t get a look at the killer, Rory does. The twisted trail to a solution leads through a Polish porn star and an eyewitness more afraid of his mother than of the police.
Logan’s fifth procedural (Flesh House, 2008, etc.) crackles with energy, humor and a refreshingly specific sense of place.