Long-suffering Detective Sergeant Logan MacRae (Dying Light, 2006, etc.) must maneuver around a high-profile crime wave, a tricky romance and a pair of bosses who could easily qualify as the Scylla and Charybdis of Scottish law enforcement.
Large and potty-mouthed, Detective Inspector Steel smells “of stale cigarette smoke and Chanel Number Five.” Even larger, equally profane Detective Inspector Insch has “all the warmth of a butcher’s bandsaw.” Their low boiling points constantly make Logan’s life miserable. And when they’re both suddenly compelled to deal with a rash of crimes that attract reporters like maggots, they react with predictable ire, as if Logan were somehow to blame for the outbreak. Everyone at Grampian Police Force Headquarters knows who the brutal rapist of Aberdeen women is, but arrest and conviction are stymied because Rob Macintyre, lightning-fast professional footballer, is a local hero, and his alibi is ironclad. The case competes for headlines with the murder of an elderly Good Samaritan in broad daylight by someone who, though surrounded, stabs a policewoman and eludes capture—an eight-year-old desperado. As for the romance, Logan keeps learning the hard way that PC Jackie Watson is a burdensome woman to love.
A procedural that manages to be authoritative, funny and at times surprisingly moving despite its ponderous length.