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robtwinem

runner

I live in Bristol UK literary fiction and crime are my books of choice and when not reading I like to run

Currently reading

Operation Chastise: The RAF's Most Brilliant Attack of World War II
Max Hastings
Progress: 50/400 pages
When I come Home Again
Caroline Scott
Progress: 20 %
Professional Reader 50 Book Reviews 80% Reviews Published

Good writing as always

Now We Are Dead - Stuart MacBride

Being a great fan of DCI Logan McRea I was curious to see how the author would handle (handle is probably the appropriate word as DS Steel is a bit of a rogue to curtail) setting one of the main characters and indeed one of the much loved characters into her very own book! The now newly demoted Detective Sergeant Roberta Steel is still determined to bring to justice pedophile Jack Wallace even though she has been warned to stay away from him and if she disobeys runs the risk of being thrown of the force for good. It is not so much the plot that I love in Stuart MacBrides books but his larger than life characters and none are more electric than Roberta Steel. In Now we are Dead two things struck me as worthy of mention. Roberta's long suffering partner Susan, taking away all the joking and bravado these two ladies love eachother and this love brings a great stability to Roberta's life. The second thing worthy of note is that once all the cursing and bad language has faded Steel has a heart of gold and will fight with her life where she sees injustice...."Roberta gave Beatrice's hand another gentle squeeze. It gets better. I know it doesn't seem like it but it does. There comes a time when you won't flinch if someone touches you. When your heart doesn't feel like you're going to die if you feel footsteps coming up behind you. When the darkness doesn't make you want to scream. She stood leaned forward and kissed her on the forehead."....( Could this really be the Roberta Steel we all love to laugh at the lady who is always scratching shifting and re positioning her knickers and bra!)

 

Setting Steel in her own adventure has it seems allowed MacBride to add some very human observations and gentle touches...."Oh to be five again. When the only things you had to worry about was how many marbles you could fit up your nose and how dinosaurs brushed their teeth with those stubby wee arms of theirs. When the scariest thing in the world was running out of chocolate biscuits and the monster that lived under the bed".....Having said that the trademark dur Celtic humour is still very much present..."Ten to four on a Wednesday and the regulars were well into their fourth or fifth pint- the empties littering their tables. Some hadn't even bothered changing out of their overalls before coming in to quench the demon thirst"....."She killed the engine. You got a girlfriend, Tufty? Or boyfriend? Or favourite sheep?"......

 

Having paid the above compliments I need to be more convinced that Steel is worthy of a second outing? She simply flouts the rules (ok we all know this happens) to an extent that any police force would have discharged her a long time ago. I think she is more suited to a secondary role acting as a buffer or comical aside for Logan McRae. So not a bad book, enjoyable with limitations....