Dying Light (Logan McRae Series #2)

Dying Light (Logan McRae Series #2)

by Stuart MacBride

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780007419456
Publisher: HarperCollins UK
Publication date: 12/26/2012
Series: Logan McRae Series , #2
Pages: 528
Sales rank: 201,954
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 7.70(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Stuart MacBride is the author of several novels featuring DS Logan McRae, and the near-future thriller Halfhead. The McRae books have won him the CWA’s Dagger in the Library, the Barry Award for Best Debut Novel, Best Breakthrough Author at the ITV3 crime thriller awards, and made him a number one bestseller.Stuart lives in the north-east of Scotland with his wife Fiona, cat Grendel, about a million spiders (as yet unnamed), and a vegetable plot full of weeds (called Frank).

Read an Excerpt

Dying Light


By MacBride, Stuart

St. Martin's Paperbacks

Copyright © 2007 MacBride, Stuart
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780312949358

Chapter One The street was dark as they entered the boarded-up building: scruffy wee shites in their tatty jeans and hooded tops. Three men and two women, nearly identical with their long hair, pierced ears, pierced noses and pierced God knew what else. Everything about them screamed ‘Kill Me!’ He smiled. They would be screaming soon enough. The squat was halfway down a terrace of abandoned two-storey buildings—dirty granite walls barely lit by the dull streetlights, windows covered with thick plywood. Except for one on the upper floor, where a thin, sick-looking light oozed out through the dirty glass, accompanied by thumping dance music. The rest of the street was deserted, abandoned, condemned like its inhabitants, not a soul to be seen. No one about to watch him work. Half past eleven and the music got even louder; a pounding rhythm that would easily cover any noise he made. He worked his way around the doorframe, twisting the screwdriver in time with the beat, then stepped back to admire his handiwork—three-inch galvanized woodscrews all the way round the door, holding it solid against the frame, making sure it stayed irrevocably shut.
A grin split his face. This would be good. This would be the best one yet. He slipped thescrewdriver back into his pocket, pausing for a moment to stroke the cold, hard shaft. He was hard too, the front of his trousers bulging with barely concealed joy. He always loved this bit, just before the fire started, when everything was in place, when there was no way for them to escape. When death was on its way. Quietly he pulled three glass bottles and a green plastic petrol can from the holdall at his feet. He spent a happy minute unscrewing the bottles’ caps, filling them with petrol and popping the torn rag fuses in place. Then it was back to the screwed-shut front door. Lever open the letter box. Empty the petrol can through the slot, listening to the liquid splash on the bare, wooden floorboards, just audible through the pounding music. A trickle seeped out under the door, dribbling down the front step to form a little pool of hydrocarbons. Perfection. He closed his eyes, said a little prayer, and dropped a lit match into the puddle at his feet. Whooooomp. Blue flame fringed with yellow raced under the door, into the house. Pause, two, three, four: just long enough for the blaze to get going. Throw a half brick in through the upstairs window, shattering the glass, letting the throbbing music out. Startled swearing from inside. And then the first petrol bomb went in. It hit the floor and exploded, showering the room with burning fuel. The swearing became screaming. He grinned and hurled the remaining bottles into the blaze. Then it was back to the other side of the road, to lurk in the shadows and watch them burn. Biting his lip, he pulled his erection free.
If he was quick he could come and go before anyone arrived. He needn’t have hurried. It was fifteen minutes before anyone raised the alarm and another twelve before the fire brigade turned up. By then everyone was dead. 2 rosie williams died the way she’d lived: ugly. Lying on her back in the cobbled alley, staring up at the orange-grey night sky, the drizzle making her skin sparkle, gently washing the dark red blood from her face. Naked as the day she was born. PC Jacobs and WPC Buchan were first on the scene. Jacobs nervously shifting from foot to foot on the slick cobbled road, Buchan just swearing. ‘Bastard.’ She stared down at the pale, broken body. ‘So much for a quiet shift!’ Dead bodies meant paperwork. A small smile crept onto her face. Dead bodies also meant overtime and Christ knew she could do with some of that. ‘I’ll call for backup?’ PC Steve Jacobs fumbled for his radio and called Control, letting them know the anonymous tip-off was for real. ‘Hud oan a mintie,’ said Control in broad Aberdonian. There was a pause filled with static and then, ‘You’re goin’ ta have ta hold the fort oan yer own for a bit. Everyone’s off at this bloody fire. I’ll get ye a DI soon as one ‘comes available.’ ‘What?’ Buchan grabbed the radio off Jacobs, even though it was still attached to his shoulder, dragging him off balance. ‘What do you mean, “as soon as one becomes a-bloody-vailable”? This is murder! Not some sodding fire! How the hell does a fire take precedence over—’ The voice of Control cut her off. ‘Listen up,’ it said, ‘I dinna care what problems you’ve got at home: you bloody well leave them there. You’ll do as you’re damn well told and secure the crime scene till I can get a DI to you. And if it takes all bloody night that’s how long you wait: understood?’ Buchan went furious scarlet, before spitting out the words, ‘Yes, Sergeant.’ ‘Right.’ And the radio went dead. Buchan started swearing again. How the hell were they supposed to protect a crime scene with no IB team? It was raining for God’s sake; all the forensic evidence would be getting washed away! And where the hell were CID? This was supposed to be a murder enquiry—they didn’t even have an SIO! She grabbed PC Jacobs. ‘You want a job?’ He frowned, suspicious. ‘What kind of job?’ ‘We need a Senior Investigating Officer.
Your “mate” lives around here doesn’t he? Mr Police Bloody Hero?’ Jacobs admitted that yes, he did. ‘Right, go wake the bastard up. Let him deal with it.’     wpc watson had the nastiest collection of bras and pants that Logan had ever seen. All of her underwear looked like it had been designed by World War One zeppelin manufacturers on an off day—uniform baggy-grey. Not that he got to see a lot of Jackie’s underwear these days, but for a brief spell their shifts were in synch. Logan smiled sleepily and rolled over, the light from the hallway spilling through the open door, illuminating the rumpled bed. He squinted at the alarm clock: almost two. Still another five hours before he had to report for work and yet another bollocking. Five whole hours. Click, the light in the hall died. A soft silhouette filled the doorway, having a bit of a scratch as it scuffed its way back into bed. WPC Jackie Watson wrapped her unbroken arm around Logan’s chest and settled her head against his shoulder, unfortunately sticking the curly ends of her hair up his nose and into his mouth. Discreetly spitting them out, he kissed the top of her head, feeling the cool length of her body pressed against him. She ran a finger over the inch-long trails of scar tissue that crisscrossed his torso and Logan thought: maybe five hours wasn’t so long after all . . .  Things were just getting interesting when the doorbell went. ‘Damn it,’ mumbled Logan. ‘Ignore it, probably just drunks.’ The doorbell rang again, more insistent this time. As if the sod on the other end was trying to drill his way into the building with his thumb. ‘Bugger off!’ Logan shouted into the darkness, causing Jackie to dissolve into a fit of the giggles, but it didn’t deter the phantom ringer. Then Logan’s mobile phone joined in the noisy pre-dawn chorus. ‘Oh for God’s sake!’ He rolled off, provoking a groan of displeasure, and grabbed the phone from his bedside cabinet. ‘WHAT?’ ‘Hello, sir? DS McRae?’ PC Steve Jacobs: the Fabled Naked Swordsman of Old Aberdeen. Logan let his head slump, face first, into the pillow, still holding the phone to his ear. ‘What can I do for you, Constable?’ he asked, thinking that this had better be damned important if it was going to distract him from a naked WPC Watson. ‘Er . . . sir . . . We’ve kinda got a body . . . an—’ ‘I’m not on duty.’ WPC Watson made a noise that said, yes he bloody well was, but not one that concerned Grampian Police. ‘Aye, but everyone else is off at some fire and we’ve no SIO, or IB or anything!’ Logan swore into the pillow. ‘OK,’ he said at last. ‘Where are you?’ The doorbell went again. ‘Er . . . that was me . . .’ Sodding hell. Logan grunted his way out of bed and into some clothes, before lurching out of his flat, down the stairs and out the main door, looking rumpled and unshaven. PC Steve, infamous for his striptease rendition of Queen’s A Kind of Magic, was standing on the top step. ‘Sorry, sir,’ he said, looking sheepish. ‘Across the road: naked woman.
Looks like she’s been battered to death . . .’ And any thoughts Logan had of having fun in the wee small hours disappeared.     at quarter past two on a Tuesday morning the harbour was pretty much deserted. The grey granite buildings looked unnatural and jaundiced in the streetlights, their edges blurred by the drizzle. A huge supply vessel, painted luminous orange, was tied up at the bottom of Marischal Street, its lights bright haloes as Logan and PC Jacobs made their way round the corner to Shore Lane. It was a narrow one-way street at the heart of Aberdeen’s red light district: one side a five-storey wall of dirty granite and darkened windows, the other a collection of random-sized buildings. Even at this time of night, the smell was something special. Three days of torrential rain followed by a week of blazing sunshine had left the sewers full of drowned rats, rotting fragrantly. There were sodium lights bolted to the buildings, but most of them were buggered, leaving small islands of yellowed light in a sea of darkness. The cobbles were slick beneath their feet as PC Steve led Logan to a dark pool halfway down, where a WPC crouched over something white sprawled across the lane. The body. The WPC stood at the sound of their approach, shining her torch full in their faces. ‘Oh,’ she said, without enthusiasm. ‘It’s you.’ Stepping back, she played her spotlight over the naked corpse. It was a woman, her face battered and broken, one eye swollen nearly closed, the nose mashed flat, broken cheekbone, broken jaw, missing teeth. She wore a necklace of dark red bruises and nothing else. She was no spring chicken: the thick white flesh of her thighs rippled with cottage-cheese cellulite; stretch marks making sand dune ripples across her stomach; and in between, short rough stubble: long overdue for another homemade Brazilian wax. A rose and a bleeding dagger were emblazoned on the milk-bottle skin just above her left breast, the tattooed blood refusing to wash away in the rain. ‘Jesus, Rosie,’ said Logan, dropping to one knee on the cold, wet cobbled street so he could get a better look at her. ‘Who the hell did this to you?’ ‘You know her?’ This from the unfriendly-looking WPC. ‘You one of her regulars?’ Logan ignored her. ‘Rosie Williams. Been working the streets down here for as long as I can remember. God knows how many times she’s been done for soliciting.’ He reached forward and felt for a pulse on her neck. ‘Believe it or not, we already did that,’ said the WPC. ‘Dead as a doornail.’ The drizzling rain muffled the sound of drunken voices singing and shouting somewhere back along the docks. Logan stood, looking up and down the alley. ‘IB? PF? Duty doctor?’ The WPC snorted. ‘You must be bloody joking. They’re all sodding about at that fire. Much more important than some poor cow who got battered to death.’ She folded her arms. ‘Wouldn’t even send us a proper SIO, so we had to make do with you.’ Logan gritted his teeth. ‘You got something to say, Constable?’ He stepped close enough to smell the stale cigarette smoke on her breath. She stared back at him, her face a thin line of displeasure. ‘How’s PC Maitland?’ she asked, her voice as cold as the corpse at their feet. ‘Still alive?’ Logan bit back the reply. He was her senior officer; he had a responsibility to behave like a grown-up.
But what he really wanted to do was find one of those greasy, rotting, bloated rats and shove it right up her— Shouts sounded from the other end of the alley, where it connected with Regent Quay. Three men staggered round the corner, lurching into one another, fumbling with their trousers, laughing as streams of steaming urine splashed against the alley walls. Logan turned back to the smug, defiant WPC. ‘Constable,’ he said with a thin smile, ‘you’re supposed to be securing the crime scene. So why can I see three men pissing all over it?’ For a moment it looked as if she was going to answer back, then she stormed off up the alley, shouting ‘Hoy! You! What the bloody hell do you think you’re playing at?’ That left Logan and PC Steve with the battered remains of Rosie Williams. Logan dragged out his mobile phone and called Control, asking for an update on the duty doctor, Identification Bureau, pathologist, Procurator Fiscal and the rest of the circus that was meant to roll up whenever a suspicious death was discovered. No joy: everyone was still tied up at the big fire in Northfield, but DI McPherson would be with them as soon as possible. In the meantime Logan was to stay where he was and try not to get anyone else killed. Copyright © 2006 by Stuart MacBride. All rights reserved. 
 

Continues...

Excerpted from Dying Light by MacBride, Stuart Copyright © 2007 by MacBride, Stuart. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Dying Light 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 83 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
MacBride has created a dark and violent fictionsl version of Aberdeen Scotland. His relentless police detective is deluged by murder after murder and McBride spares no detail of the brutality if these crimes...McBride's books are the most violent I have read. NOT light entertainment, but a "no holds barred" world of cold blooded criminals hunted by a tireless investigator, backed up by a girlfriend who may be the toughest person in this ultra-violent city. I get through MacBride's books by skimming over the most violent portions....pages of torture and detailed descriptions of human remains....which means skipping 10% of the book. MacBride's gift is making this imaginary Aberdeen seem very real, and the reader is an eyewitness to its horrors. His weakness is his unwillingness to ever spare the reader some of the gory details or provide breaks in the nightmares. There is never a sunny day in Aberdeen, just one dark night after another.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thank you, B&N for providing a free nook book, Cold Granite, by Stuart McBride, it made it possible for me to discover a new amazing author! Mr McBride is a great find for me, his Logan McRae series has been a joy to read! Fast paced, hard to put down, genuine, I fell in love at first page! Each book (so far, I am begining #4) has been excellent! The story in this book "Dying Light" is quick, interesting and unique to itself while keeping the characters of all the books intact! I was thrilled with the feeling that I was in Scotland, freezing and wet, watching cops solve crimes, working with budget cuts and politics like we all do today! Try this book, in the series or alone, you will not be disappointed!!
Gran10x More than 1 year ago
I have read 3 of Stuart's books so far and they are good!! Hope you will check him out too. All books are set in Scotland, which is a local with a lot of history. You can't wait to read the whole book and then you wish you hadn't read so fast because you miss all the characters. Enjoy!!
MexicoDan More than 1 year ago
All the Logan McRae novels are excellent, this one included.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you love violent blood-curdling mystery this is the book for you. Enjoyed both books so far in the Logan McRae series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've read nearly all of the books about DS McRae and thoroughly enjoyed all of them and plan to read the rest.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Detective Sergeant Logan MacRae has been bumped to D.I. Roberta Steel⿿s ⿿Screw-up Squad⿠after a raid he led on a warehouse rumored to be full of stolen property ended with no arrests and one officer critically injured. The backstabbing, limelight-stealing, laziest D.I. on Aberdeen⿿s police force, Steel⿿s team is made up of the ⿿no-hopers,⿠the most worthless or inexperienced members of the homicide department, and Logan will do anything to prove he doesn⿿t belong there. Including working overtime on two baffling cases: the murder by arson of six people, and the beating to death of a prostitute down by the docks, not a high priority compared to the fire. At least not until another prostitute ends up dead.   Although both cases seem simple on the surface---turns out the fire⿿s victims are part of a drug dealer⿿s inner circle, and what fate is to be expected for working girls in Aberdeen⿿s red-light district? --- in Stuart MacBride⿿s hands, what⿿s going on in this rainy Scottish city is bound to be much more complicated than it appears.   A detailed authenticity combines with a dark Scottish sense of humor and a lively cast of characters in MacBride⿿s unputdownable second novel, confirming his status as a rising star of crime fiction.
Anonymous 3 days ago
Joybee on LibraryThing 3 days ago
DS Logan McRae has been put in 'the screw up squad' for messing up a raid and getting a constable shot. To get out he must help solve multiple murders, one a string of beaten to death prostitutes and the other house fires where families are trapped inside. All throughout Logan tries to keep his new girlfriend happy while also trying to please his bosses. A good exciting read, I will continue with the series.
-Eva- on LibraryThing 3 days ago
After an operation gone awry, DS McRae is sent to the "Screw-Up Squad" to work a series of arsons and the murder of a prostitute. The storyline is a little messier than its predecessor, mainly because McRae has to navigate office politics as well as investigating the crimes. McRae is his usual "normal" self, though; it's quite rare to have a fictional detective character who doesn't drink too much, who is in a healthy relationship, and who is clever without having extrasensory insights when it comes to crime solving. McRae is quite entertaining as well, even if he's not straight-out funny, and I'm enjoying the series tremendously. I also appreciate that MacBride (like in Cold Granite) apologizes to the Aberdeen Tourist Board for showing the city in such a poor light. :)
jimrbrown on LibraryThing 3 days ago
The second MacBride thriller is even better than the first in my opinion. The characters are developed nicely and Logan Macrae is vying with John Rebus as the top Scottish detective. I particularly like the lesbian Detective Inspector Steel, who barks like a Rottweiler but is Macrae's biggest supporter.
RachelfromSarasota on LibraryThing 3 days ago
This is the second in the series about Scottish Detective Sergeant Logan MacRae, and though I struggled a bit with the first book, I sailed through this one with no problems at all.Logan MacRae is a genuinely good, law-abiding cop who at times feels overwhelmed by his job -- as do so many of us out in the real world. He's not tortured in the way American writers portray their "noir" detectives, but simply a man struggling to get done all he feels he should. He screws up plenty, and has the grace to feel guilty when he does. A trait, I might add, that's sorely missing in the characters of many American fictional detectives. They agonize over the state of the world, but MacRae, though deploring the ills human beings inflict on each other, grapples more with the things he can fix -- his relationships with his girlfriend, his bosses, and his friends. It is MacBride's ability to portray his antagonists as human that I most enjoy about this series. MacBride shows a spark of humanity in even the most unregenerate of his villains -- which is a refreshing change of pace from most thrillers. And MacBride also shines in drawing his fairly large cast of characters as real individuals, with both distinctive character quirks and that all important glimmer of goodness. Too many authors allow their secondary characters to stay as cardboard cutouts -- stock caricatures from Hollywood Central, as it were. ("Wanted: one nasty-tempered, roaring boss-type".) MacBride deftly avoids this pitfall.I enjoyed this book a great deal -- so much so that I'm now on the prowl for the third book in the series.Highly recommended.
richardgarside on LibraryThing 8 days ago
Good Plotting - excellent holiday read. Glad I do not live in Aberdeen
reading_fox on LibraryThing 8 days ago
Not quite as good as the first one. Pretty much more of the same though. It's always grim in Aberdeen even during what the locals laughably call summer. This time there's a mix of beaten dead prostitutes, house fires and a few otehr bits and pieces. DC McRae our hero, isn't feeling particularly heroic because an undescribed raid went wrong, ntohign was found, but one of the officers was shot, and hasn't yet recovered. McRae recieved the tip-off from his old mate Colin the jurno (who's still with McRae's ex), and so isn't feeling that well disposed towards the press either. Fortunately it looks like his current girlfriend still likes him, even though she's got a broken arm.Lots of to-nig and fro-ing plus the internal politics made it a bit hard to follow at times. The grimness was unrelieved by the police banter and grim humour that had enlightened the previous book. Even the appearance of a new deputy didn't make matters much better. The over exagerated DIs continued in their previous vein unfortunetly which didn't add to the believability. However I did like that even set a few months later on there was still continuity with ideas from the previous book, and Mcrae does now have an arch-villain to persue through the series. Whether or not his personal life will keep up, is something that I'm not that bothered by - MacBride doesn't quite manage to make me care.Readable, but not brilliant. If this had been the first I'd not have botherered looking for the sequel, but as it is I'll give the third a try.
adpaton on LibraryThing 8 days ago
The seond in the Logan McRae series and another excellent read: some might argue that the combination of circumstances is unrealistic but it makes for a very satisfying read when all the loose ends come together. MacBride's villains are always really nasty pieces of work, psycho sickies, my favourite kind, and Dying Light is no exception as someone goes around abducting and raping prostitutes, then battering them to death.After a bad tip from his journalist friend Colin Miller [boyfriend of McRae's ex the lovely Dr Isobel McAlister] Logan is no longer the Grampians golden boy and has been relegated to Inspector Steel's 'Stuff Up Squad' . Steel is a vulgar and predatory chain-smoking lesbian who grabs every ounce of glory for herself in an attempt to better her status but is actually slightly less black than she's painted. Only slightly. Steel is working on the prostitute case but Logan is also helping out the sweet-munching Inspector Insch with a particularly nasty arson case. He has moved in with Constable Jackie 'Ballbreaker' Watson and is trying to make their relationship work - a tall order in view of the hours Steel is demanding of him. In addition he is curious about gangsters about whom Miller is, uncharacteristically, writing puff pieces but when he persuades the journalist to tell him more, the consequences are disasterous as the thugs torture Colin and cut off several of his fingers. Despite all the cruelty there are many laugh-out loud moments, especially those regarding the two inspectors, Insch and Steel, both of whom are ruthless in their pursuit of justice despite their often ridiculous behaviour. All in all another grand and gripping book from MacBride but be warned, he is not for the lily-livered or sensitive reader...
Bestine on LibraryThing 3 months ago
Another winner from Mr. MacBride. No second novel slump here. Just more of the same intricate plotting, wicked dark humor and motley cast of great characters. Please, please keep 'em coming.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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JMS1057 More than 1 year ago
The story is slow and hard to follow.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
DFY More than 1 year ago
Page turner. Doesn't require a lot of brain power to follow. Great book to read on the bus to work.
pur More than 1 year ago
very good plot
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love this series.