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Logan McRae #9.5

22 Dead Little Bodies

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A short novel from the No. 1 bestselling author of CLOSE TO THE BONE and A SONG FOR THE DYING, featuring his most popular characters, Acting DI Logan McRae and DCI Robert Steel.

CID isn’t what it used to be…

It’s a been a bad week for acting Detective Inspector Logan McRae. Every time his unit turns up anything interesting, DCI Steel’s Major Investigation Team waltzes in and takes over, leaving CID with all the dull and horrible jobs.

Like dealing with Mrs Black – who hates her neighbour, the police, and everyone else. Or identifying the homeless man who drank himself to death behind some bins. Or tracking down the wife and kids of someone who’s just committed suicide.

But when the dead bodies start turning up, one thing’s certain – Logan’s week is about to get a whole lot worse…

192 pages, Hardcover

First published March 12, 2015

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About the author

Stuart MacBride

75 books2,285 followers
Aka Stuart B. MacBride

The life and times of a bearded write-ist.

Stuart MacBride (that's me) was born in Dumbarton -- which is Glasgow as far as I'm concerned -- moving up to Aberdeen at the tender age of two, when fashions were questionable. Nothing much happened for years and years and years: learned to play the recorder, then forgot how when they changed from little coloured dots to proper musical notes (why the hell couldn't they have taught us the notes in the first bloody place? I could have been performing my earth-shattering rendition of 'Three Blind Mice' at the Albert Hall by now!); appeared in some bizarre World War Two musical production; did my best to avoid eating haggis and generally ran about the place a lot.

Next up was an elongated spell in Westhill -- a small suburb seven miles west of Aberdeen -- where I embarked upon a mediocre academic career, hindered by a complete inability to spell and an attention span the length of a gnat's doodad.

And so to UNIVERSITY, far too young, naive and stupid to be away from the family home, sharing a subterranean flat in one of the seedier bits of Edinburgh with a mad Irishman, and four other bizarre individuals. The highlight of walking to the art school in the mornings (yes: we were students, but we still did mornings) was trying not to tread in the fresh bloodstains outside our front door, and dodging the undercover CID officers trying to buy drugs. Lovely place.

But university and I did not see eye to eye, so off I went to work offshore. Like many all-male environments, working offshore was the intellectual equivalent of Animal House, only without the clever bits. Swearing, smoking, eating, more swearing, pornography, swearing, drinking endless plastic cups of tea... and did I mention the swearing? But it was more money than I'd seen in my life! There's something about being handed a wadge of cash as you clamber off the minibus from the heliport, having spent the last two weeks offshore and the last two hours in an orange, rubber romper suit / body bag, then blowing most of it in the pubs and clubs of Aberdeen. And being young enough to get away without a hangover.

Then came a spell of working for myself as a graphic designer, which went the way of all flesh and into the heady world of studio management for a nation-wide marketing company. Then some more freelance design work, a handful of voiceovers for local radio and video production companies and a bash at being an actor (with a small 'a'), giving it up when it became clear there was no way I was ever going to be good enough to earn a decent living.

It was about this time I fell into bad company -- a blonde from Fife who conned me into marrying her -- and started producing websites for a friend's fledgling Internet company. From there it was a roller coaster ride (in that it made a lot of people feel decidedly unwell) from web designer to web manager, lead programmer, team lead and other assorted technical bollocks with three different companies, eventually ending up as a project manager for a global IT company.

But there was always the writing (well, that's not true, the writing only started two chapters above this one). I fell victim to that most dreadful of things: peer pressure. Two friends were writing novels and I thought, 'why not? I could do that'.

Took a few years though...

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5 stars
418 (35%)
4 stars
500 (42%)
3 stars
210 (17%)
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31 (2%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 117 reviews
Profile Image for Phrynne.
3,115 reviews1,975 followers
October 27, 2018
This novella takes place in between books 8 and 9 - which is exactly where I am up to in reading this series so I was happy! These little extra stories which so many series writers are producing these days never do much to advance the overall story arc, but they are a fun way to pass a few hours with characters you already know well.

22 Little Dead Bodies provides the usual mix of humorous banter, unpleasant but realistic crimes and stressed out police officers. Logan still gets no respect for being a smart, hard working cop and DCI Steele is as horrific as ever. Still great reading though!

March 15, 2018
EXCERPT: Why couldn't jumpers leap off bungalows? Why did the selfish sods always threaten to throw themselves off bloody huge buildings?

Logan edged closer to the man standing at the far edge of the roof. 'You. . .' he cleared his throat but it didn’t shift the taste. 'You don't have to do this.'

The man didn’t look around. One hand gripped the railing beside him, the skin stained dark red. Blood. It spread up his sleeve - turning the grey suit jacket almost black.

His other hand was just as bad. The sticky scarlet fingers were curled around a carving knife, the blade glinting against the pale grey sky. Black handle, eight inch blade, the handle streaked with more red.


Because what was the point of slitting your wrists in the privacy of your own home when you could do it on top of a dirty big building in the east end of Aberdeen instead? With a nice big audience to watch you jump.

And it was a long way down.

ABOUT THIS BOOK: A short novel from the number one best selling author of CLOSE TO THE BONE and A SONG FOR THE DYING, featuring his most popular characters, Acting DI Logan McRae and DCI Robert Steel.

CID isn't what it used to be.

It's been a bad week for Acting Detective Inspector Logan McRae. Every time his unit turns up anything interesting, DCI Steel's Major Investigation Team waltzes in and takes over, leaving CID with all the dull and horrible jobs.

Like dealing with Mrs Black - who hates her neighbour, the police, and everyone else. Or identifying the homeless man who drank himself to death behind some bins. Or tracking down the wife and kids of someone who has just committed suicide.

But when the dead bodies start turning up, one thing's certain - Logan's week is about to get a whole lot worse.

MY THOUGHTS: I love Stuart MacBride's books, but wasn't sure how a novella by this author featuring the mismatched duo of McRae and Steel would fare. Shouldn't have given it a second thought. 22 Dead Little Bodies is written with the same humour and attention to detail as his full length novels. It may only be short, but it still packs a punch!

MacBride's writing leaves nothing to the imagination. His characters are gritty and realistic. And yet he is always able to inject a little wry or dark humour into a bleak situation. There is a depth to his writing that draws the reader in, and keeps the pages turning late into the night.

This is a great little addition to the Logan and McRae series. If you haven’t yet read anything from this series, it pays to start from the beginning as this is not a series that will work well when read out of order. If you are already a reader of this series, you will find this a tasty little snack between meals.

All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

Please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the 'about' page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com for an explanation of my rating system.

This review and others are also published on my blog sandysbookaday.wordpress.com https://sandysbookaday.wordpress.com/...
Profile Image for Paromjit.
2,504 reviews24.5k followers
January 15, 2016
The edition I read had this story and two others. I absolutely adore Stuart MacBride’s Logan series and I have read every one of them.There a three stories in this collection featuring the winning team of the put upon Logan and the outrageous Steele. In the first story, 22 Dead Bodies, we have the search for the wife and children of a man that has committed suicide, the search for the murderer of a alcoholic tramp and the poisonous feud between neighbours that ends in murder. In Stramash, we have a story that is essentially an update of Whisky Galore, only instead of whisky, it is blocks of high grade heroin in the sea that attracts numerous gangsters and the IRA to a small scottish island. There are heavy storms and inevitably deaths follow whilst Logan and Steele attempt to capture the gangsters. The 45% Hangover is a gem of a story on the result of the Scottish Referendum that involves Steele and Logan being handcuffed together and naked. Hilarious and side spliting funny, this is a great addition to the Logan collection. I cannot recommend it enough.
Profile Image for Steve.
962 reviews96 followers
May 4, 2015
Short novel starring Logan McRae and Roberta Steel.

One thing that Stuart MacBride does very well is tying up loose ends with regards to the mysteries and leave you hanging with the characters (all of them!), wondering what will happen next. Looking forward to the next one!
Profile Image for Brenda.
3,975 reviews2,588 followers
June 25, 2018
From trying to stop a suicide on the edge of a tall building, to taking the drunk to hospital after he staggered into the road and was hit – Acting DI Logan McRae was having a bad week. Nothing was going right and when the notorious Mrs Black demanded to see him, McRae knew it was only going to get worse. But it was the body count that determined his days…

22 Dead Little Bodies is a novella featuring Logan McRae and DCI Steel by Stuart MacBride. Set in Scotland, the gritty and down to earth characters keep up a cracking pace as the cases fall over one another, keeping the police on their toes. The crude humour is evident, especially from Steel. A nice addition to the McRae series. Recommended.
Profile Image for Sarah.
650 reviews129 followers
May 31, 2022
22 Dead Little Bodies is very much in the same vein as the full-length McRae and Steel novels, with a couple of distinct investigations going on. DCI Roberta Steel is getting on Acting DI Logan McRae's nerves as usual, swooping in with her MIT team on any interesting cases, leaving his team to sort out anything else. A feud between neighbours escalates bizarrely, and McRae witnesses a jumping suicide, but the team are unable to locate the deceased's wife and two children. Meanwhile, McRae is trying to sell his flat in order to pay for his injured partner's medical care while simultaneously trying to deflect offers of assistance from an underworld figure.
Profile Image for Shannon M.
281 reviews52 followers
June 3, 2021
Last year I binge read MacBride’s Logan McRae series. I missed this novella, which I found at the library. Like all of the Logan McRae books, there is no explanation of what occurred before this one starts, so a newcomer to the series would find it difficult to begin with this one.

Luckily, I remembered the events preceding this book; even though I read it out of order, it fitted perfectly into my Logan McRae memory schema.

This one doesn’t have any serial killers, cannibals, or other odd characters. It’s just regular people killing other regular people who have infuriated them. And of course the usual MacBride gallows humour.

One of the story lines in this slim volume showed that MacBride’s themes are not as weird as they might initially appear to be. It concerns feuding neighbours whose feud escalates. Recently, a Vancouver news outlet published a story about two women who immigrated from China twenty years ago. They connected on an internet site and have been feuding for the past twenty years, mostly over the internet because they seldom met except in a Courtroom where they continued to sue each other. One just stabbed the other in the Courtroom. Luckily she didn’t kill her, but could have. As MacBride shows in this book, “ordinary” people are crazy.
Profile Image for Siobhan.
4,411 reviews463 followers
August 7, 2018
22 Dead Little Bodies is a nice little short story that fits in between book eight, Close to the Bone, and book nine, The Missing and the Dead, of the Stuart MacBride’s Logan McRae series. I’m not usually a fan of short stories but having enjoyed the other short stories Stuart MacBride had offered in this series, I was more than willing to give 22 Dead Little Bodies a read.

If I’m being completely honest, I wasn’t crazy about 22 Dead Little Bodies. It was an enjoyable quick read, but it did not pack the same punch as the other Logan McRae stories (both the shorts and the full-length novels). It was enjoyable, but it’s my least favourite of the Logan McRae stories (again, of both the shorts and the full-length novels).

As always, Stuart MacBride offers us a story with plenty of layers, mixing things together to give us a story that leaves us turning the pages. Rather than having the officers deal with just one big case, Stuart MacBride is more realistic in that the officers are dealing with multiple issues at once. It certainly makes for an enjoyable read, as you wait to see how everything comes together. With this one, things were fun but rather simplistic compared to the Stuart MacBride norm. Add in the fact the humour wasn’t to the usual standard, and I wasn’t as won over by 22 Dead Little Bodies as I’d hoped to be.

Overall, 22 Dead Little Bodies is a nice little extra for fans of the Logan McRae series, but it is far from being my favourite story in the series.
5 reviews
July 18, 2015
I chose to read '22 Dead little bodies' as a time filler while I was on holiday and appealed to me as a cliche mystery book about a police task force much like Sherlock Holmes but different. After sitting down for a whole day reading it, I managed to finish it in a day and was not disappointed. The book itself is based on a British private detective who has too many cases to complete while his supervisor, DCI steel takes all the credit for them when he finally figures them out.

My favourite character in the book was Logan McRae (main) because the books/series follows him and his cases however his life progresses aswell, the writer has made the story so that you can sympathize with him and his life problems while also getting engrossed into the cases he needs to solve along the way.
I came across a quote I really liked and found funny towards the middle of the book,
"Sunlight sparkled back from the white granity mass of Marischal College, caught the wheeling seagulls and set them glowing against the blue sky. A taxi grumbled by, followed by a fat man on a bicycle wearing nowhere near enough Lycra to keep everything under control." As it describes the book in a nutshell.
If I took something away from this as an experience was that there's a lot more to things than just the surface, same with people. You'll never really know someone until you spend a lot of time with them.
Profile Image for Sharon Mccall.
39 reviews9 followers
July 18, 2015
Another cracking tale from the Granite city and two of my favourite mismatched characters - Logan McCrae and DI Steel.

Macbride manages to not fall down the path of other short novels where the characters and storyline are rushed or leave you feeling unsatisfied with the way they are handled. He pretty much keeps to the same path he uses for the main books. The antics of DI Steel often leave you wondering how the heck she still has a job and between the pair of them they should by now have their own filing cabinet in the professional standards office.

There is also no lack of bodies or crimes committed the only thing in dispute is who should deal with them - CID have to pass them on to MIT (Major Incidents Team) which is run by Steel who invariably ropes Logan in to help close the cases.

Also in keeping with the main books is the situation with Samantha, his girlfriend who has been in a coma for four years. If you have read the other books in this series I would definitely recommend you read this as there are some points such as this that will no doubt be carried over.

A nice wee between the stories novel that whets the appetite for the next one.
Profile Image for David Highton.
2,756 reviews14 followers
February 20, 2018
A short novel comprising three main cases proceeding in parallel and also efforts by Logan to fund a neurological bed for his coma-bound girlfriend. The dialogue is as inventive and entertaining as usual
Profile Image for Jenn.
1,530 reviews29 followers
January 30, 2018
My favourite author. Ever. Never a bad book when Steel and McRae are around. These four tales fill in some gaps in the history. Or just fill in gaps. When you’re missing your favourite characters even a few short stories will tide you over until a new novel comes out. Who can ever resist Steel? She keeps you wondering how any woman could fall in love with her when she’s cruder than most men and consistently scratches herself in the rudest places lol
Profile Image for Bookread2day.
2,172 reviews64 followers
July 21, 2019
Police jobs are not always about arresting people. The police genuinely have all different task, like trying to save some ones life when they want to jump of a building or try to committ suicide in some way.

This is my first Stuart Macbride that I have read.

If you never read Stuart MacBride before? Here is time to start.

It seems DS Logan McRae always has a chaotic schedule. DS Logan McRae tries his hardest to stop a man on top of a building with a knife in his hand who wants to kill himself. Then there is Mrs Black who makes Ds Logan’s head spin she always appears at the station making a formal complaint about something. But some things she complains about are they a civil matter or a criminal matter?. This is a gripping crime novel with dead bodies that start turning up, and one thing’s for certain Logan’s week is about to get a whole lot worse.
Profile Image for Jennifer.
778 reviews42 followers
March 17, 2017
This collection includes a short novel and a few short stories from Stuart MacBride's Scottish police procedural series featuring Logan and Steel. It held my interest, and yet I find myself avoiding picking up other books in the series when I see them at the library. I think it was a matter of vivid characters with whom I don't care to spend more time. It might be a good choice for those who like Denise Mina's and Peter May's books, though.
Profile Image for Ann.
Author 3 books15 followers
August 19, 2015
What a hoot! Having only read one other Stuart MacBride novel with Logan and Steel, I had forgotten the witty dialogue that makes this police procedural sparkle with life. Steel's brash bellowings are beyond memorable as are the unlikely crimes contained in this short book.
Possession of The Nutter Spoon of Doom leads the detectives to an outlandish feud between neighbours that seems a waste of time when they should be investigating a couple of suicides and looking for missing children.
Great entertainment.
Profile Image for John Wiltshire.
Author 17 books711 followers
November 18, 2017
Longer than a short story, but not quite a full novel, this is nevertheless another first class visit with Mcrae and Steel and the other cast members of Police Scotland. There's always lots going on in MacBride's Mcrae stories. Murders often intercept. This one wasn't as funny as some of the longer ones in the series. I think MacBride's outlook on life has gotten gloomier. Start with the first in the series or you'll be totally lost, but if you haven't discovered this remarkable set of crime novels yet, then I highly recommend you do.
Profile Image for Laraine.
1,351 reviews3 followers
July 12, 2017
I love MacBride's excellent Logan McRae and DCI Steele novels and this is a book of McRae and Steele stories which are interesting and also flesh out the characters somewhat. Poor McRae seems to get lumbered with Roberta Steele a lot and despite having to do menial jobs and most of the paperwork, he still manages to figure out how to solve most of the crimes. A thought this was a good little read and rate it 4-4 1/2 stars.
1,125 reviews2 followers
October 18, 2017
The only complaint I have is that this was too short. I love the characters and this little teaser was wonderful. I read it out of order so it did fill in a gap that was in the "big" books. The author is fantastic and the narrator of the audiobooks is first-rate!
Profile Image for Deanne.
1,775 reviews108 followers
January 17, 2016
Great short story which just leaves you wanting more of Logan, just give the guy a break Mr Macbride and give him a personal life.
Profile Image for Sangeeta K.
105 reviews13 followers
January 18, 2018
This is obviously well-written, regardless of what anybody is to think. The way the plot unfolds is classic MacBride, and this is exactly why I love his writing, and keep coming back for more.
1,428 reviews51 followers
March 29, 2022
22 Bead Bodies is comprised of 4 short stories, each one better than the next. This was a very fun and quick book to read.
Profile Image for Margaret.
Author 12 books85 followers
August 22, 2018
Not a bad read, but way too much plot shoe-horned into a novella. It really needed to have been expanded to a full length novel, or had one of the side plots surgically removed.

Did enjoy it though, even if I did get the sense of being driven about by a an intense maniac on an out of control dodgem ride.

Strictly for Stuart MacBride fans only.
Profile Image for Sandie.
1,277 reviews17 followers
November 2, 2016
Readers who are a fan of Stuart MacBride (and I definitely am) will be thrilled to read this collection of stories about the travails of DS Logan McRae and the worst boss in the world, DCI Roberta Steele. The book starts with a novella about a murder case that happens during the election in which Scottish voters decide if they will break away from the United Kingdom. Steele is an adament supporter of separation and she follows the election avidly, interrupting McRae as he goes about his day and his investigation.

Other stories give us a glimpse into a vacation gone very wrong where Steele tries to hide the fact she is working from her wife with limited success and one in which the two police must work together to save their own lives. There are four stories in all, but one is a novella and one a short novel so the end result is more than three hundred pages of McRae and Steele to savor. Steele is her normal self, a self that is hard to believe can continue as a police investigator. She is profane, drinks on the job, bullies her staff and intimidates the criminals she encounters. McRae is the long-suffering policeman who does his work despite her and has an incredible mind for crime detection. Together the two can't live with each other or without each other. Their bond is unbreakable but the reader can't imagine how or why.

Stuart MacBride is one of the premier crime novelists working today. His DS Logan McRae is an unforgettable police hero, unassuming, brilliant, put upon by the world and always optimistic despite all the horrors the world throws at him. Fans who follow him only have one quibble; that he can't write faster as the novels are addictive. This book is recommended for readers of mystery novels.

445 reviews
May 21, 2017
A brilliant collection of short stories and novellas featuring Logan McRae and DCI Steel. Good plots, brilliant characters, great dialogue, humour. Really enjoyable.
Profile Image for Gordon Mcghie.
587 reviews88 followers
June 27, 2015
It is a new Logan McRae story and it is as good as I hoped it would be. McRae and Steel are back in fine form and 22 Dead Little Bodies brings their on their stories in this short novel.

There are two central investigations running through the book: a suicide ‘rescue’ in Aberdeen makes McRae a YouTube star, yet the man that he is trying to save has caused some problems for Police Scotland’s finest – they cannot locate his family.

McRae then has an unfortunate encounter with a serial complainer who wants the police to arrest her disruptive neighbour. Investigations reveal that the there is a deep rooted fiction between the warring neighbours – can DCI Steel really resolve months of fighting just by raising her voice to them?

Fans of Stuart MacBride can rest assured that this is a great fun read. There are the usual combination of laugh out loud moments and genuine moments of dark horror as Mr MacBride revisits the bleaker side of life too.

22 Dead Little Bodies is exactly what I enjoy reading and reminds me that I still have The Missing and the Dead waiting for me.
Profile Image for Yvann S.
309 reviews16 followers
May 20, 2015
"The Espace pulled forward up the ramp, apparently unaware that they had nearly had an extra three passengers in the back seat, complete with patrol car."

I read this in two sittings (over two days).

Great fiction it's not, but:

- I've never read any of the others in the series, and had no trouble with the characters or any pre-events (there's one bit that seems a little out of character so now I want to read the earlier books to make sense of it!)

- It was definitely gripping and I plowed through the pages

- It's got a very strong sense of setting in Aberdeen - a great mix of accents, local landmarks, the mix of suburbia and a seedier underbelly

- Both McRae and Steel are well-developed characters (Steel felt somewhat caricatured) and minor characters are left to be just that.

Good fun.
Profile Image for Louise.
44 reviews12 followers
July 11, 2016
Great read! Stuart MacBride has delivered again. A swift but engrossing read that leaves you wanting more.
Logan Mcrae and the gang are ready-ish...... to find more than one murderer. Not only do they have to solve a murder or two but they are on the hunt for some missing persons and time is running out.
I love how MacBride injects some humour into a dark and at times harrowing read. He can make a crime almost funny and then do a 180 and turn the story on its head. He knows how to grip a reader and keep you turning page after page. There is a particular part that hit me square on in the emotional feely bits but I won't spoil it, I'll let you get all teary too.
This I think is one of my favourite covers, I love the creepy blue
Displaying 1 - 30 of 117 reviews

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