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Flesh House by Stuart MacBride
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Aug 28, 09

Read in January, 2009

Aberdeen is being terrorized by a cannibalistic serial killer who dismembers corpses and also has the unfortunate habit of somehow getting human body parts into the food chain. Not surprisingly, considerable pressure is brought upon the police, including DS Logan McCrae, to solve the grisly crimes committed by "The Flesher." Little is know about him except that he wears a Margaret Thatcher mask, is exceptionally cunning and frightening deadly, and may not be the person who was convicted of the crimes years ago. Can McCrae and CID catch The Flesher before he forces everyone in Scotland to become vegetarian?

MacBride's mysteries are winning notice and acclaim as hard-boiled and dark procedurals. With a rampaging and seemingly invincible serial killer, Flesh House is nearly as much thriller as mystery. The pages turn rapidly, the characters are engaging (though often human enough to be unlikable), the writing is sometimes witty and sometimes gritty, the police are often unheroic, and the good guys don't always win. The Scottish setting is enjoyable. A powerful read for lovers of noir and violent thrillers, but its trips to the abattoir and its horrific crimes make it distinctly unsuited to lovers of the cozies. Read it if you want an adrenaline charge but be ready for blood.
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