My rating: 4 of 5 stars
At first I wasn’t that convinced by this one, a stand-alone novel set in MacBride’s fictional Oldcastle (as in the same town as his two Ash Henderson books, a few characters from which make an appearance in this). MacBride’s characters can be, umm, not that realistic and sometimes a bit over the top, he also writes the little grunts, sighs, screams of frustration that everyone makes, far too often in the text, I know that humans all do it but can’t we be relied on our imagination for that? In the text and especially the audiobook, it sounded clumsy. And although I still don’t like all the aghs, pffts etc, I can, thinking about it, forgive the OTT characters, after all, MacBride has also created Steel (from the McRae books), who is the most OTT, unrealistic DI ever but is a completely brilliant character. Also, although some of MacBride’s characters aren’t that believable, other, often more minor characters are painfully believable, as they live absolutely awful lives.
Anyway, plot, it was the plot that completely won me over, it features Callum, a cop with a massive run of bad luck and one of the newest members of the Misfit Squad. This is the team of police officers no one wants and they never normally get anything juicy to investigate. But when Oldcastle police do a search of the local tip and find an overwhelming number of bodies, they are called in to investigate what looks like the simplest case, that someone has stolen a mummy from a museum and dumped it at the tip. But it soon becomes apparent that the mummy isn’t particularly old…. There are lots of twists and turns and it’s only close to the end do you realise who the bad guy is just before Callum finds out. I would thoroughly recommend, I think this is one of the best books that MacBride has written.