If Edinburgh has Rebus, then Aberdeen has Logan McRae, the equally fascinating cop created by McBride and whose career and troubles we’ve followed over nine novels now.
MacBride is a rarity among crime writers – he can make you laugh out loud as well as chill your soul with some grim murder scenes.
He’s put McRae through the mill over the years, personally and professionally, but this one also suggests he’s toying with a new direction fas well.
MacBride places McRae in a rural cop shop and back in uniform – a far cry from the heat and buzz of the detectives’ room - and then, just as he starts to settle into leading his team, he brings the spectre of his old boss, the manipulative and often careless DCI Steele, who wants him on her team to to crack a major investigation following the discovery of a little girl’s body.
But McRae has his hands full dealing with a terminally ill gang boss who is far too close to home for comfort, and trying to deal with the final days of the round-the-clock care his girlfriend requires.
If anything, this novel is as much about Mcrae, the person, as it is the cop.
And it hints at an intruguing option being thrown into the mix.
There is huge life left in Logan McRae yet.
It’ll be interesting to see where MacBride takes him next ...