Stuart MacBride is a relative newcomer to the crime fiction scene. His first novel, COLD GRANITE, featuring DI Logan Macrae, burst onto the scene to much acclaim in 2006. Since then there have been four other Logan Macrae novels, with a sixth in the pipeline.
SAWBONES is very violent and definitely NOT for readers of cosies. It could very easily be very grim indeed, but underlying all this blood and gore lurks MacBride’s humour. And that is the attraction for me. While one of the more psychotic members of the gang is wreaking havoc on the most innocent of bystanders, the narrator of the story (another member of the gang ) is standing back admonishing “never poke a bear”. More a novella than a novel ,SAWBONES is just 114 pages long. But those pages are action-packed with never a dull moment. If you think you can handle the violence, then give SAWBONES a try. I loved it.
SAWBONES - Stuart MacBride
They call him Sawbones: a serial killer touring America, kidnapping young women.
The FBI are trying to catch him - but they're getting nowhere.
The latest victim is Laura Jones, 16, blonde, pretty ... and the daughter of one of New York's biggest gangsters. Laura's dad wants revenge - and he knows just the guys to get it.
This time, Sawbones has picked on the wrong family.
Sawbones is a novella, set in the US, not part of MacBride's series books set in Aberdeen. There are some similarities though - I harbour a fond belief that this author couldn't write out his shopping list without some sly, black humour involved.
There is plenty of humour in SAWBONES. There's also a lot of gruesome moments, which again is pretty typical MacBride. He does love to gross you out, make you laugh, then make you stop and think what the hell am I laughing at for goodness sake! It's quite a tribute to the skill of the author that he can make that work in 114 pages, whilst he also tells a soberingly believable story. You see Laura's dad is not somebody to be messed with - he knows people - who know what to do with people, and there's a car full of those people chasing our serial killer across America, tracking the killer that the FBI have nicknamed Sawbones. Dealing with Laura's boyfriend, handling the interest of local State Troopers, calling in some big favours.
The reason they call this killer Sawbones - well he's a serial killer, I think you can probably work that one out. What the pursuers have in mind - well you can guess that without the need for much synapse snapping. What ends up happening - well maybe you aren't going to quite pick all the elements of that coming.
The story moves at a very rapid clip (one ancient and clapped out Ford Crown Victoria nothwithstanding). It's violent, it's brusque, it's unflinchingly gross is some places. It's funny, it's black, it's in your face in some places. It's highly entertaining and - I'm probably going to hell in a handbasket - because I just couldn't help but laugh a lot.