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A Song for the Dying

A Song for the Dying

2.2 4
by Stuart MacBride

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A heart-stopping crime thriller and the fourth consecutive No. 1 Bestseller from the author of the Logan McRae series and Birthdays for the Dead.He’s back…Eight years ago, ‘The Inside Man’ murdered four women and left three more in critical condition – all of them with their stomachs slit open and a plastic doll stitched inside.And then


A heart-stopping crime thriller and the fourth consecutive No. 1 Bestseller from the author of the Logan McRae series and Birthdays for the Dead.He’s back…Eight years ago, ‘The Inside Man’ murdered four women and left three more in critical condition – all of them with their stomachs slit open and a plastic doll stitched inside.And then the killer just … disappeared.Ash Henderson was a Detective Inspector on the initial investigation, but a lot can change in eight years. His family has been destroyed, his career is in tatters, and one of Oldcastle’s most vicious criminals is making sure he spends the rest of his life in prison.Now a nurse has turned up dead, a plastic doll buried beneath her skin, and it looks as if Ash might finally get a shot at redemption. At earning his freedom.At revenge.

Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
A tough Scottish cop emerges from prison with a boulder-sized chip on his shoulder and a single focus: justice. Framed for murder, former DI Ash Henderson served eight years and has been released to society with exactly two items on his agenda. The first is to catch the serial killer he was pursuing at the time, the twisted and brutal "Inside Man," so named because he left dolls inside the stomachs of his victims. The second is to take revenge on Mrs. Kerrigan, the crazy Irish criminal who framed him. Strangely, the Inside Man abruptly stopped his crime spree when Ash went to prison. But now he's started again, leaving a nurse murdered in a remote dumping ground, trademark doll embedded in the corpse. Is he sending Ash a message? Ash feels a strange elation, helping him muscle through his knee-jerk resistance to authority (he's forced to wear an ankle bracelet), the needling of resentful colleagues and the renewed understanding that he can never regain the life he had before. His former sidekick, optimistic psychologist Dr. Alice McDonald, helps engineer his release and does her best to run interference for him as they try to pick up where they left off on the case. As the pair savor their deliciously discordant chemistry, Laura Strachan, a survivor of the Inside Man, delivers a baby, an event elaborately covered by the press. She seems to be a sitting duck, unless Ash can save her. MacBride does a spotty job of explaining carryover characters from Ash's first thriller (Birthdays for the Dead, 2012). But his gritty, immediate prose and righteous hero grab the reader from the get-go.
From the Publisher
‘A powerful, swift-moving narrative … required reading for those who enjoy crime fiction with a bitter taste.’ Andrew Taylor, Spectator‘A pungent sense of place … a vertiginous climax … Ash Henderson is mesmerisingly ruthless on the page’ Independent‘Frightening stuff … a cast of characters to die for’ Sun‘Darkly gripping … as smart a piece of crime fiction as you’re likely to read this year … or next.’ Sunday Sport‘Fans of tartan noir will devour this fast-paced and in places shocking criminal thriller…a great story with some well thought-out plot lines and really well-developed characters’ Scottish FieldPraise for Stuart MacBride:‘MacBride is a damned fine writer – no one does dark and gritty like him’ Peter James‘Fierce, unflinching and shot through with the blackest of humour; this is crime fiction of the highest order’ Mark Billingham

Product Details

HarperCollins UK
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
9.30(w) x 6.00(h) x 1.70(d)

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Meet the Author

Stuart MacBride is the No 1 bestselling author of the Logan McRae series and Birthdays for the Dead.The McRae novels have won him the CWA’s Dagger in the Library, the Barry Award for Best Debut Novel, and Best Breakthrough Author at the ITV3 Crime Thriller Awards. In 2012 Stuart was inducted into the ITV3 Crime Thriller Hall of Fame.Stuart’s other works include Halfhead, a near-future thriller, Sawbones, a novella aimed at adult emergent readers, and several short stories.He lives in the north-east of Scotland with his wife, Fiona and cat, Grendel.

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A Song for the Dying 2.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
tedfeit0 More than 1 year ago
Ash Henderson, a former DI, is in jail after having been framed by his archenemy, Mrs. Kerrigan. He comes up for parole every six months, only to be turned down because she instigates a fight between him and two thugs. Then he is rescued by a Detective Superintendent heading a special squad investigating a perpetrator, now resurfaced after several years’ hiatus, whose MO is that he cuts nurses open and inserts a plastic doll simulating a pregnancy. The reason for his release: Ash came closest to capturing the man years before, but lost him in a crowded railroad station. So much for the plot, which teams Ash once again with forensic psychologist Dr. Alice McDonald. The rest is basic fine writing and character description as the police fumble in an effort to find The Inside Man, and Ash and Alice go their own way following one idea or another while trying to avoid any damage to themselves or the victims now held by the perpetrator. This is the second in the Ash Henderson series and, like the initial entry, is craftily written. Henderson is quite a character, not averse to seeking justice by his own means or constructing a scenario which results in the same end. Such outcomes include revenge, so the subplot involving Mrs. Kerrigan provides some unusual goings-on. The whole mystery is tied together in a manner that leaves the reader’s mind spinning as Ash brings each clue into focus. Recommended.
jem_review More than 1 year ago
Worst book I've ever read. I stopped at chapter 23 due to the mind-numbing violence from the very first page. No character development; they're stick figures being used to show how many ways a person can be beat up and still be alive. Not up to MacBride's usual writing where violence is used discretely and to drive the plot forward. Did I mention that I couldn't find a plot despite the editorial review saying there was one? Don't waste your money!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The author only seems interested in describing his main character's physical suffering, beatings, broken bones, punches, and his macho way of overcoming the pain. Female characters are jokes, vague hair twisting sidekicks, always off in adream...even those with ostensibly advanced degrees. I stuck thru half then archived this; don't waste your money.
LoveToReadJFE More than 1 year ago
In A Song for the Dying, Ash Henderson once again takes center stage as he and forensic psychologist Alice McDonald join Operation Tigerbalm, a special team brought together to hunt down the serial killer known as The Inside Man. Ash proves his investigative touch hasn’t been dulled, even by eight years in prison, but he’s come to the team with a hidden agenda. Maeve Kerrigan is the opprobrious woman responsible for the frame that convicted him and Ash, while following up leads and working the Inside Man case, is busy plotting the revenge he is determined to visit upon her. Ash Henderson is a complex and deeply flawed protagonist, not at all a sympathetic character. Disagreeable and offensive, obsessed with his revenge, he’s often as reprehensible as the thugs he’s hunting. Alice doesn’t fare much better; the intractable doctor acts more like a cranky toddler in desperate need of a nap than a trained psychologist. Her detrimental actions quickly become obviously predictable . . . and annoying. A Song for the Dying is replete with the signature twists, turns, and unforeseen plot resolutions readers have come to expect from a MacBride novel. And although the writing is definitely up to MacBride’s usual first-rate standard, it’s a dark, grim tale he’s telling, one filled with endless, escalating, mind-numbing violence. Readers might well choose to sit back and wait for his next Logan McRae outing.