Books Monthly
July 2024

In A Place Of Darkness... So good I read it twice!

Published 20th June 2024


Detective Constable Angus MacVicar has just landed his dream job – transferred out of uniform and assigned to Oldcastle’s biggest ongoing murder investigation: Operation Telegram, hunting the 'Fortnight Killer'.

Every two weeks another couple is targeted. One victim is left at the scene, their corpse used as a twisted message board. The second body is never seen again.

This should be the perfect chance for Angus to prove himself, but instead of working on the investigation’s front line, he’s lumbered with the forensic psychologist from hell. A sarcastic know-it-all American, on loan from the FBI, who seems determined to alienate everyone while dragging Angus into a shadowy world of conspiracies, lies, and violence.

It’s been twelve days since the Fortnight Killer last struck, and the investigation’s running out of time. Angus's shiny new job might just be the death of him.

In a Place of Darkess is far darker than the recently published YOU LIKE IT DARKER by Stephen King - and it also happens to be Stuart MacBride's best book since the last of his Logan MacRae books. And I have just finished reading it for the second time. Angus MacVicar is a giant both in stature and in terms of his influence on what goes on in this superlative thriller. The murders are gruesome and not for the faint-hearted; there is a superb cast of characters, including DI Monroe, DSs Massie and Sharp, and the US criminal psychologist, Dr Fife, drafted in to help catch the deranfed killer who is murdering two people every fortnight. Some people turn out not to be who you think they are, and Stuart manages to mislead us to an extraodrinary extent as Angus and his bosses attempt to catch the killer before the next two weeks are up. This book will propel Stuart to the top of the bestseller list in no time at all - it's far and away the longest of his books (I think), and the tension ramps up on every page, to the extent that you're never quite certain the goodies are going to triumph over the baddies. This is an absolutely terrific roller-coaster of a ride, an object lesson in how to write detective fiction in the modern age, and it gets a full five stars from me!

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