RogerBW's Blog

Sawbones, Stuart MacBride 18 August 2019

2008 crime novella, stand-alone. In the USA, a serial killer is cutting off young women's arms and legs; nobody's found the bodies. But his latest victim is a mobster's daughter.

It's a very different atmosphere from the Scottish policing that makes up most of MacBride's writing, but the core concepts are the same: nasty things happen, and nobody has a particularly good time. This one's more gruesome than many of the others, because nobody's restrained by police rules (though I was rather surprised that the impromptu torture actually produced useful information; most people would make something up just to make it stop).

The most interesting part to me was the dynamic between the three henchmen, one of whom is also the narrator. The people they are and the jobs they do mean that their ability to interact is quite restricted, and complicated ideas are being pushed through a narrow channel of acceptable behaviours. Definite shades of Florida Weird here, though it's not set in Florida.

Very black but, in its way, great fun.

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