FLESH HOUSE by Stuart MacBride


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Bloody déjà vu: A generation after a prolific torturer is put away, his modus operandi resurfaces in a new string of crimes.

Aberdeen Detective Sergeant Logan McRae is called to a warehouse at the docks in the middle of the night to investigate a gruesome discovery: a food freezer filled with body parts, wrapped like cuts of meat. Their counterparts may have been sold and consumed all over Scotland. Media types are already swarming the scene, and McRae’s boss, normally phlegmatic Inspector Insch, is raging predictably. All the evidence seems to point to a return of Ken Wiseman, recently released from prison after serving 20 years for embarking on a sadistic crime spree. Unfortunately he’s been keeping such a low profile that the police can’t find him. The story fans out to multiple perspectives, including the press hounds tracking the story, a handful of police officers and Heather, a frantic victim abducted along with her husband Duncan and systematically tortured by someone she calls The Butcher. After surprising everyone by volunteering to come in for questioning, Wiseman raises the stakes by secretly capturing Insch, whose absence is met with mixed feelings by the squad. The earnest but slapdash work and infighting of McRae’s colleagues, well-documented in previous outings (Bloodshot, 2007, etc.), again provides texture, humor and verisimilitude.

A big, shaggy, robust procedural. The story and MacBride’s writing are in vigorous, violent harmony.

Pub Date: Oct. 15th, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-312-38263-6
Page count: 480pp
Publisher: Minotaur
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 2008


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