Simon's Bookcase

Reviews from Lord Taylor of Glencoe

Flesh House

Flesh House: Stuart MacBride, October 11—October 21, 2016
My rating: ♦♦♦♦◊

It’s Stuart MacBride, and that means two things for Aberdeen: lots of rain and lots of blood.

This time, it’s the Flesher. A serial killer released from prison on a technicality has, it seems, returned to his passtime of butchering people and then serving them as supper. Rotting flesh and enforced cannibalism is the firing gun for Logan McRae’s least pleasant case so far.

The whole thing is being followed by the BBC. Poor old Alec was set to film Insch and co in a 24 Hours in Police Custody style fly-on-the-wall documentary but got the scoop of his life when a nationwide case unfolded in front of his lens. As such, some parts are scripted and set up as talking heads which is hilarious, as our old favourites McRae, Insch, Steele and Rennie act true to form. Alec provides even more comic relief alongside the Detective Inspectors, who never miss a chance to be outrageous.

Things take a shocking turn, and MacBride seems a little unsure how to handle the more solemn material. Lashings of blood and sarcasm won’t cut it so he sort of jumps awkwardly from one character and setting to the next until it’s over with. The characters don’t really know how to act either and it’s all a bit of an awkward aftermath until normal service can be resumed.

Overall it’s symptomatic of Flesh House. It’s just a touch too knowing and too cynical. The scenes feel shorter and less,purposeful. Before, they’d be doing something while Steel swears, scratches and makes a few appalling comments. Now, it’s just a quick set up for the comment and then moving on. The flow isn’t what it was in the previous books, but the overall plot is well thought out.

The characters and patter is on form (except a sadly absent Hissing Sid), with potentially game-changing consequences afoot. It’s not the strongest entry in the series but it’s still bloody good.


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This entry was posted on October 24, 2016 by in 4 star, Logan McRae and tagged .

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@Queen_UK Adolf Hitler agatha christie Alan Clements Alastair Campbell Aldous Huxley Aleksandr Orlov Alex Shaffer Andrew Neiderman Anthony Burgess Arthur Miller Bateman Ben Brooks Ben Elton Bram Stoker Bret Easton Ellis C.J. Cherryh Carolyn Jess-Cooke Charles Dickens Chuck Palahniuk Dan Brown Dante Alighieri dashiell hammett david baldacci David Brin David Glattauer David Kirkpatrick David Line David Tennant David Wolstencroft Dylan Jones E.L. James Edgar Allen Poe Emilia Fox Eoin Colfer Erica Spindler Frank Peretti Gabrielle Lord Gareth Roberts Geoff Ryman George Orwell George R. R. Martin George W. Bush Gillian Flynn Gillian Slovo Graham Greene Guy Piran Harper Lee Harriet Lane Herman Koch Ian Rankin J.K. Rowling Jack Thorne Jacqueline Rayner James Herbert James Patterson Jasper Fforde Jeff Green Jeff Kinney Jeffrey Archer Jem Lester Jenny Robson Jeremy Clarkson Jerry B. Jenkins Jim Thompson John Crowther John Green John Grisham John Tiffany John Verdon Jonas Jonasson Judith Kerr Juliana Foster Justin Richards Kaci Hill Karen Levine Keeley Bolger Louis Walsh malorie blackman Marissa Meyer Mark Haddon Mark Z. Danielewski Martin Sixsmith Mary Higgins Clark Mary McNamara Matt Haig Matthew Ravden Michael Berry Michael Connelly Michael Morpurgo Michael Quirke Miguel de Cervantes Mike Lancaster Morris Gleitzman Morton Rhue Neil Sinclair Nick Hornby Nick Page Patricia Cornwell Patricia Stotley Patrick Ness Paula Hawkins Paul Johnston Peter James Phil Allcock R.J. Palacio Rachelle Dekker Raymond Chandler Richard Bachman Robert Louis Stevenson Robert Ludlum Robin Cook Robin Kirkpatrick sandra brown Sebastian Beaumont Sharon Osbourne Stella Rimmington Stephen Cole Stephen King Steve Lookner Steve Lyons Stuart MacBride Sue Townsend Suzanne Collins ted dekker Terry Pratchett Tim LaHaye Tim Randall Todd Strasser Tom Avery Tom Bower Tom Cain Tom Hoyle tony blair William Golding William P. Young William Shakespeare