With my new found interest in crime I decided it was about time I tried one of the many crime authors Scotland had to offer. I chose Stuart MacBride for a few reasons. First of all a number of friends recommended him. Second I had heard he was funny and at the moment I like a touch of humour in the books I am reading. He did a signing at the store I worked in and I was so sorry I missed it. He had everyone singing along to a dirty rhyme from his latest book. I have to confess that was when my interest in reading him truly started. So I finally got round to it and the OCD in me decided to start with his first book "Cold Granite".
This is the first in a series of books that follows the criminal investigations of DS Logan MacRae. Logan is just back after a year recovering from a stab wound. Believing he would return to light duties he is thrown into the deep end helping to capture a child serial killer. If that wasn't bad enough he has to work with an estranged girlfriend, a new book and a baby sitter. Oh, and he is being stalked by tabloid journalist Colin Miller.
My friends weren't lying when he said this was funny. Despite the dark content I found myself chuckling away quite regularly. I would say that 70% of the humour is locally based. Unless you understand Scottish humour or Scottish slang you might not get some of it. I don't think that would spoil much for the non-Scottish reader. Especially if you are an avid crime reader.
One of the things I loved about it though is Logan himself. Basically he isn't portrayed as a brilliant detective. Instead he is human. He makes mistakes and sometimes he behaves more like an adolescent than a grown man. Some of his discoveries are even accidental. There is something refreshing about his character. It makes a nice change from brilliant but moody.
Over all I was impressed. In terms of Scottish authors I don't have much to compare it to but I very much enjoyed it. I will definitely be reading more by Stuart MacBride.