cover image Dark Blood

Dark Blood

Stuart MacBride. Harper U.K. (IPG, dist.), $12.95 trade paper (496p) ISBN 978-0-

A marvelously imperfect lead drives MacBride's intricate sixth crime novel featuring Aberdeen Det. Sgt. Logan McRae (after Blind Eye). McRae, once his department's "golden boy," has fallen from grace over the preceding year-and-a-half and is now a violent alcoholic and in bed with his city's biggest crime lord. He lands a distasteful assignment after the release into his jurisdiction of sex offender Richard Knox, convicted of raping an old man and suspected of assaulting six others, who has completed part of his sentence and a term of being under round-the-clock supervision. The court's decision naturally arouses dissent in the community, and McRae finds Knox's declarations of penitence unpersuasive. He also has his hands full with identifying a man buried alive in concrete as well as finding those responsible for the sadistic murder. Early on, MacBride raises the suspense by letting the reader share Knox's thoughts, but he falters at the end with an inappropriate thank you from one character to another. (Sept.)