Sunday, 13 April 2014

Book Review - Birthdays for the Dead - Stuart MacBride

"Detective Constable Ash Henderson has a dark secret…
Five years ago his daughter, Rebecca, went missing on the eve of her thirteenth birthday. A year later the first card arrived: homemade, with a Polaroid picture stuck to the front – Rebecca, strapped to a chair, gagged and terrified. Every year another card: each one worse than the last.
The tabloids call him ‘The Birthday Boy’. He’s been snatching girls for twelve years, always in the run-up to their thirteenth birthday, sending the families his homemade cards showing their daughters being slowly tortured to death.
But Ash hasn’t told anyone about Rebecca’s birthday cards – they all think she’s just run away from home – because if anyone finds out, he’ll be taken off the investigation. And he’s sacrificed too much to give up before his daughter’s killer gets what he deserves…"

If you don't like murder/crime books then this book probably sounds absolutely awful! But it's my type of book, it's my chic flick or rom com or whatever that type of book is called rather than the film format. I can just read a murder book, you don't have to think too much, it doesn't take too long to read and most of them are pretty good.

This book idea is pretty gruesome, books involving children generally are the more difficult ones to read, but it doesn't really go into the deaths that much and is more based on the investigation and the affect this has on Ash. I didn't really like Ash all the time but I think that's the point. He is a bit of a bent cop and has a really strong Scottish accent which at the beginning as a Southerner I found very hard to understand and nearly made me give up on the book. Even though I didn't like Ash all the time, he was a real person with flaws but also a strong need to protect those around him.

MacBride builds suspense really well throughout the book and til the very end I had no idea who the killer was going to be. However I do think that the conclusion was all a bit too quick and didn't really explain as to why everything had happened. It felt a little like he had run out of time at the end and just finished it compared to the long time he had spent building up characters and their relationships. Considering Ash spent five years trying to find the killer and goes to pretty extreme lengths in the pursuit of the truth when he finds out the identity of the killer he's a bit meh.

All in all a good book but not necessarily my favourite

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