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Random: A terrifying and highly inventive debut thriller (Tony Winter #1)

3.72  ·  Rating Details  ·  537 Ratings  ·  74 Reviews
Glasgow is being terrorised by a serial killer the media have nicknamed The Cutter. The murders have left the police baffled. There seems to be neither rhyme nor reason behind the killings; no kind of pattern or motive; an entirely different method of murder each time, and nothing that connects the victims except for the fact that the little fingers of their right hands ha ...more
Paperback, 356 pages
Published April 5th 2016 by Simon & Schuster UK (first published January 1st 2010)
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Jun 01, 2010 Karen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the things that I really like about reading review books is that I constantly find absolutes in my reading tastes aren't. Ask me about serial killer books before reading RANDOM and I would have categorically stated been there, over it. Add being inside the serial killer's head for the entire of the book and I'd have put my hand on my heart and said it's all too tedious. Then I read RANDOM and found myself really hooked on the internal monologue of a serial killer.

Based in Glasgow, RANDOM,
Booktrail of the Glasgow locations - Random Booktrail

This side of Glasgow won’t be on any tourist trail or website but it shows the underbelly of a city terrorised by a serial killer who narrates the whole story….

The Cutter

The name leaves little doubt as to the MO of the serial killer stalking the streets of Glasgow. The police have no suspects or motives as the pattern and methods with each murder changes each time. Nothing and no one seems to link each case. Well, there is one thing – each vic
Nick Clarke
Jul 02, 2013 Nick Clarke rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fabulously written,straight into the action from page 1,you almost think to yourself that you cant wait for the next murder,its that compelling a story.Utter genious.
Gerard Oconnell
May 07, 2015 Gerard Oconnell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyed this book,my first from this writer but it will not be my last.
Rebecca Bradley
Nov 01, 2015 Rebecca Bradley rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This novel is told from the point of view of “The Cutter”. It’s the second novel this year that I’ve read where the novel is narrated from the point of view of the serial killer and it’s the second novel this year that I’ve loved that about it.

You’re thrown straight into his mind as the novel starts and it’s a dark and focused place.

The title of the novel comes from the fact that the way he murders his victims is always random, never the same way twice and Robertson is quite inventive when choos
Linda Strong
Mar 12, 2015 Linda Strong rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2015
I can honestly say this was the first time I felt such sadness for a serial killer. The entire book is written from his point of view ... what's he doing, why he's doing it. There are no forensics to speak of and the police take a long step back, away from all the action.

He chooses victims at random .. the 3rd person who passes him on the street..... pulls a business card out of the bowl at the bar .... picks up the phone directory and chooses a name, any name will do. Then he stalks them, somet
Apr 05, 2014 Sandy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you've read the blurb above you know the main plot of this book. A serial killer is loose in Glasgow & the frustration felt by the police is matched only by the public's fear as seemingly random victims are chosen for a gruesome demise.
But this is a book of surprises. First, the story is narrated by the killer. The reader is plunked down into his head so we are privy to his thoughts. Slowly we learn how personal tragedy transformed him from a happy family man to one who no longer feels jo
Apr 04, 2010 Fitzykd rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
From the moment I started reading this book I could not put it down, My husband managed to persuade me to put it down long enought to have dinner (I continued to read as dinner was cooking). This is a very cleverly written book. You are pulled in to the mind of the killer very quickly and your are hard put not to feel some sympathy and understanding for him. There is a pretty clever twist towards the end. I liked the fact that you found out 'why' quite early on (if you didn't, I don't think it w ...more
Miss Page Turner

This novel is a whole thrilling insight into the obscure mind of a serial killer with no obvious acting pattern. The Cutter appears to be a dangerous psychopath, on the inside he is a smart and hurt man longing for revenge and destruction. Random involves a murderer plot which is interwoven with a kind of underworld plot. In my opinion the involved underworld plot slows the overall story down and blurs it unnecessarily.

The story is told from the murderer’s point of view that puts the reader into
Mar 21, 2016 Sharon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A serial killer is terrorising the streets of Glasgow leaving the police baffled, there seems to be no rhyme nor reason to the killings.
This book is told from the killers perspective so from the outset you know who he is but not why. A dark and brutal tale of a man driven to the depths of despair.
Fantastic debut from Craig Robertson and I'm looking forward to reading more from him
Sep 10, 2011 Esoldra rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 01, 2016 Pam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016-books-read
AUTHOR Robertson, Craig
TITLE: Random
DATE READ: 02/27/2016
GENRE/PUB DATE/PUBLISHER/# OF PGS Crime Fiction/ 2010/ Simon & Shuster / 329 pgs
CHARACTERS The Cutter/serial killer
TIME/PLACE: 2009 / Glasgow Scotland
FIRST LINES She was talking but I couldn't take anything in. Her words bounced off me.
COMMENTS: Not really sure why this is considered a series … because the main character was very much the focus of each page and DS Narey was rarely
Colin Murtagh
I seem to be on a bit of a tartan noir kick at the moment, so when I heard about Craig Robertson, a new writer to me, I really had to try him out.
There does seem to be a new movement starting, where rather than a straightforward police procedural, the books focus on the criminal in the story. See Malcolm McKay excellent hit man trilogy for example. This novel follows the same idea, but is a whole lot darker.
Glasgow is a worried city. A serial killer is wandering the streets, and no one knows w
Rachael Hewison
Dec 31, 2014 Rachael Hewison rated it liked it
Shelves: crime
This was unlike any serial killer novel I'd read before. I'd never read a book from the killer's perspective and I'd certainly never read one where the victims were so... well... random. I think both of those points were why this novel was so effective. There was no method to the killings, the victims just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. That thought alone is terrifying. To top that off Robertson wrote from the killer's perspective and it's hard to read just how cold he is a ...more
Rowena Hoseason
Oct 31, 2014 Rowena Hoseason rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a tightly-woven thriller which escapes the usual humdrum feeling of Brit crime lit. At first it appears to be a fairly standard 'serial killer does bad stuff' with some ingenious methods for his murders. But then the plot opens out and the killer becomes a rather more sympathetic character, as he gets unwillingly involved in the Glaswegian underworld.

Initially I was a little concerned about the 'hoots mon' aspects of the text; I have found some books which contain big chunks of local dia
Crime novel with a difference - it's basically the internal monologue of the killer and almost everything is seen from his POV (apart from one killing which he does not commit or witness, but does cause). The motive becomes clear, but there is a lot of collateral damage (the "random" element in the killing spree) and he makes a mistake in choosing one victim who is under the protection of a "Glasgow businessman". As the who and the why is known to us, the main tension is how he is going to get a ...more
Peter Carroll
Mar 30, 2015 Peter Carroll rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read The Last Refuge by Craig Robertson and was hugely impressed so when this, his debut novel, appeared at a bargain price on Kindle, I snapped it up.

It's set in Glasgow and is the story of an unorthodox serial killer. Told in first person by the killer, we slowly get to find out what he's up to and why.

This is a quirky and original tale with a nice level of tension and pace to it. It's not for the squeamish and some of the methods employed by the killer to dispatch his victims are inventiv
Hugh Mullan
A serial killer is striking at random and as the body count rises, the people of Glasgow are terrified, why is the killer doing this and are the killings as random as they appear?
This was a interesting book that's very well written. It's written in the first person (the killer) and the author uses this tactic to slowly reveal why the killer is carrying out these crimes. Fictional newspaper articles and headlines are used to give external and differing viewpoints and the whole thing works well.
Sue Mcleod
Jul 26, 2013 Sue Mcleod rated it it was ok
Decent read but I started to progressively gloss over the serial killer angst as I worked through the novel. Not a whodunit ... and the whydunnit was shared fairly early (apparent from one crucial element). Felt like a first novel - interesting idea but executed in a self-conscious manner.
Bev Taylor
Apr 30, 2016 Bev Taylor rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
6 victims. one brutal killer. no rhyme, no reason, no reason

a serial killer apears to be roaming the streets of glasgow, cutting off their pinkies as his signature but who and why?

all is revealed in slow motion for his reasoning and his final goal - rather unexpected. plus at one point his own life was in danger

well told and good characters though i found it rather distracting that there was so little dialogue by the culprit

just 2 faults i found. he picked his 2nd victim as the 56th person t
Oct 04, 2014 Elusive rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: review
'Random' by Craig Robertson deviates from most crime novels as it is penned using first-person narrative which tells the story from the perspective of the perpetrator. As the title itself implies, the plot revolves around murders which appear to be committed randomly by a serial killer. Some of the savage deaths are described in detail.

The motivation behind the killer's actions is revealed early on and although it is understandable, I found his rage to be somewhat misplaced especially towards (v
Simon Fenwick
Feb 07, 2015 Simon Fenwick rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Random is the first novel from Scottish journalist Craif Robertson. It is also the first in a series to feature Detective Sergeant Rachel Narey.

In the past few years there have been several authors centring their crime novels in Scotland. Alex Gray, Ian Rankin and Peter May immediately spring to mind. It will be interesting to see how this series develops.

Random, which is set in Glasgow, is very different compared to most crime novels in that, not only does the detail of the police investigation
Janet O'Kane
Jan 18, 2015 Janet O'Kane rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Two criticisms are often aimed at novels about serial killers. They supposedly focus on characters who are motivated by a twisted logic which isn’t credible or convincing, and their victims are always young, attractive women. Craig Robertson’s debut novel commits neither of these literary sins. He also writes from the point-of-view of the killer, which is unusual and very effective. As the body count increases, so does the reader’s sympathy for a man who turns out not to be as cold-blooded as hi ...more
Tom Mills
Jul 26, 2011 Tom Mills rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Random is the debut novel of Craig Robertson, the latest in a long and distinguished line of 'Tartan Noir' writers. He once said that the Scottish "seem to be better at... reach[ing] the darker side of the human psyche... Many Scots also have a fondness for black humour that lends itself well to crime writing," and these crucial ingredients are certainly present in this excellent book.
Glasgow is being terrorised by a serial killer the media have nicknamed 'the Cutter'. His random attacks appear
Nov 14, 2013 Barbara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
by Craig Robertson

In the city of Glasgow, a cold-blooded killer is picking off his victims. There appears to be no connection between the victims. The killer wants the police and the public to know that it is one man doing these seemingly random killings. He chops off the first victim's pinkie finger and sends it to the police department. That does not give him the attention he desires, so he sends the next pinkie to a newspaper reporter. Now he makes headlines.

Random is told entirely with
Feb 04, 2011 Miles rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviews
“Random” by Craig Robertson, a debut novelist from Scotland, isn’t your average crime thriller – a violence riddled journey told from the eyes of a serial killer; some will find it disturbing, some will find it thrilling but I for one found it just right - I couldn’t put the book down finishing this beguiling thriller in one day.

A fast paced story that really leaves nothing to the imagination – the violence is breath-taking and inspired at the same time. However Robertson never oversteps the mar
Jan 02, 2012 Jazz rated it really liked it
Generally speaking I do tend to avoid books written from the viewpoint of the criminal, especially when it relates to cold-blooded murder. This is because I generally have no real desire to put myself in the shoes of the murderer or sympathise with them. It is the kind of moral dilemma I aim to avoid.

However, I am glad that I read Random by Craig Robertson. It was so well-written, so believable and ultimately, so tragic that I could not help but fall in love with it. And every so often forcing y
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Craig Robertson has had a twenty year career with the Glasgow Post. He has not only interviewed three different Prime Ministers, he has also attended some major news stories such as 9/11, Dunblane and the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. This is his first novel and is entitled Random.

The cover of his book is pretty eye catching with its red cover and a picture of a figure in the shadows. The jacket information was even more interesting with a description of a Serial Killer operating in Glasgow
Mar 07, 2015 John rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-thriller
Promising debut thriller from Craig Robertson, written from the viewpoint of a sort of serial killer. It is quite a relief to find that this debut was a stand alone, rather than the first in a "thrilling new series". Whilst it is very readable and contains a couple of interesting plot twists, I felt that the writing style was a bit too simple, given the viewpoint. I probably would have tried his second book anyway, but I purchased books 1-3 as a set, so I definitely will.
May 14, 2016 Jeff rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-thrillers
He dips his hand into a bowl of business cards in a restaurant and pulls out a card at random. That's how The Cutter selects his first victim. Another is chosen by picking a number and then counting the people who pass him by until he reaches that number.

And the murder methods are rather ingenious as well. Taping over someone's mouth and then supergluing their nostrils together.

But this killer is driven by revenge - one of his victims is the drink-driver who killed his daughter.

Plenty of good t
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704 gossip/ who is the ..... in the class/ random questions or topics 3 12 Nov 16, 2011 06:14PM  
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During his 20-year career with a Scottish Sunday newspaper, Craig Robertson has interviewed three recent Prime Ministers; attended major stories including 9/11, Dunblane, the Omagh bombing and the disappearance of Madeleine McCann; been pilloried on breakfast television, beaten Oprah Winfrey to a major scoop, been among the first to interview Susan Boyle, spent time on Death Row in the USA and dis ...more
More about Craig Robertson...

Other Books in the Series

Tony Winter (5 books)
  • Snapshot
  • Cold Grave
  • Witness The Dead
  • In Place of Death

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