‘Banning the Bullshit’ Sunday: ‘Cold Granite’ by Stuart Macbride

Ah, it’s Sunday. But today isn’t just any old Sunday. Today we are remembering:

Brrrrr! It’s a bit chilly here, up North (well, I’m kinda in the middle really. More in between East Anglia and the North East and right on the coast, but anyone from London downwards refers to us as Northerners!).

Winter is certainly on its way. There’s even been some snow in certain parts of our fair isle (that’d be down South, or darn Sarf as my Southern friends like to call it) so it’s time to dig out the woolies and wellies.

“Why are you spouting on about the weather, Saffi? We thought this was BtB!”

Ah! That is true my doo-doo dodging friends! You haven’t come to the wrong place, bear with me and all with be revealed! (Honest, there is a connection with this weeks book, I promise!)

But first, an announcement.

‘Banning the Bullshit’ is coming to an end.

Yes, you heard right. December 23rd 2012 will see the last ever BtB.


I’ve decided that after a year, BtB has run its course. Like all great things, it must come to an end. Quit whilst I’m ahead. Bow out gracefully…

But fear not! Something else will take its place!

Would I let you lot loose on your own? Pffft! Never!

2013 will see a brand new feature here on SMoD&L!!!!!

Ahhhhh, I can hear you all breathing a collective sigh of relief right now. Got you worried for a second there didn’t I? 😉

“So, what is it, Saffi? Please tell us!”

Are you sure you’re ready for this?

Drum roll please…

Scroll down.

Go on, keep going!

*takes deep breath*



What? Why have you all gone quiet? 😉

Of course, I’m joking!

No, I decided that it’s time to step it up a notch. You lot are big enough and ugly enough and have had nearly twelve months training on handling the truth now, so you’re gonna get it both barrels come January.

The new feature on SMoD&L will be:

‘Tell it Like it Is Tuesday’ – Hot, not and down-right shite!

(TiLiiT for short. Hang on, isn’t that budgie feed? If it isn’t – it should be! 😉 )

Whaddya think?

Cool huh?

Every TuesdayI will be sharing the best and worst of the week. It might be a book, a film, a gadget or a game. It could be a celebrity faux pas or even a blog balls-up. Who knows? You’ll just have to wait and see. There’s one thing for sure though, something you can absolutely guarantee (and in-keeping with true SMoD&L style) : It won’t be full of crap.

There’ll be no ‘big-upping’ myself or our products or trying to flog you anything. No earth-shattering revelations about publishing or world peace and certainly no endless diatribes of self-congratulation. You know where to go if you want that. There’s no place for you here if you do.

If however, you want honest, down-to-earth good old-fashioned fun and a bit of friendly advice on what to buy, what to bin and where the bullshit is, then you’re in the right place and you’ll be among friends. I hope to see you here. 🙂

Right, enough of that! Any more about me and I’ll be raising a cup of hot cocoa to ya’ll or something…

Let’s talk about Stuart Macbride – again!

Yes, for the first time ever (barring the odd mention of Steven King) I am featuring a SECOND book from an author here on BtB.

A few weeks ago I took a look at ‘Birthdays for the dead’. You can pop back over and see what I thought here.

I loved it so much, that I downloaded a few of his earlier books. The Logan McRae series to be precise.

Cold Granite is the first book in that series.

Here’s the blurb:

Stuart MacBride‘s Number One bestselling crime series opens with this award-winning debut. DS Logan McRae and the police in Aberdeen hunt a child killer who stalks the frozen streets.

Winter in Aberdeen: murder, mayhem and terrible weather…

It’s DS Logan McRae’s first day back on the job after a year off on the sick, and it couldn’t get much worse. Three-year-old David Reid’s body is discovered in a ditch, strangled, mutilated and a long time dead. And he’s only the first. There’s a serial killer stalking the Granite City and the local media are baying for blood.

Soon the dead are piling up in the morgue almost as fast as the snow on the streets, and Logan knows time is running out. More children are going missing. More are going to die. And if Logan isn’t careful, he could end up joining them…

So what did I think?

Well, I wasn’t sure what to expect, given that I had read his most recent book first and was now going BACK to his debut novel. It’s obvious to me as a reader and a writer, that writers get better the more they write (well, some do!) and this is certainly true in Macbride’s case. I didn’t love this book as much as I did Birthday’s, but not because it isn’t brilliant. It is.

What I mean is, I didn’t love it in the same way.

Sure, it’s dark and gritty and still had me grimacing in parts, but the MC is a lot less damaged (at this point) than Ash Henderson and I felt that I didn’t get to know him as well. Now I am sure that as this is a series, that was intentional. What I am not sure of, is whether Ash Henderson (Birthdays) will be appearing in any further books, or whether it was a stand-alone. I hope not. I like them both and I have no doubt that I will grow to love Logan just as much as I felt for Ash, but with Cold Granite, I felt a bit like the MC (Logan) was Ash’s weedy younger brother. The poor relative. Again, this is my own fault for reading the books out of order. I think Cold Granite was first released in 2006 ish, so Macbride has come a long way since then and his characters are much more disturbing, which is probably a good indication of my reading preferences!

All that aside, Cold Granite is fabulous! If, like me, you haven’t been to Aberdeen before, then fear not. Macbride takes you there,  pulls you along its dingy, frost-covered streets and shows you the under-belly of a place you wouldn’t want to take your Granny. Especially on a cold, ear-numbing night just before Christmas, whilst there’s a child-killing nut job on the loose. (get the tedious link to the weather now?)

The plot crashes along at an alarming pace and the characters are so real that you find yourself speaking Aberdonian with ease by the end of the book and craving deep-fried Mars bars, sqaure sausage and red cola for breakfast!

It has everything you want from a crime thriller. I am on book two as we speak and wonder, with trepidation, what Logan will come up against next.

Get it. I mean it. Get it now.

Right, that’s all folks. Can’t stay here all day entertaining you lot. I’ve got books of my own to write.

Stay safe and seeing as this blog has been winter-themed and all that, watch out for steaming snow. Especially if it has a brown tinge. You might want to avoid it. 🙂


Writer, dreamer, pantser.

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Posted in books, writing
2 comments on “‘Banning the Bullshit’ Sunday: ‘Cold Granite’ by Stuart Macbride
  1. annerallen says:

    Sorry to hear B the B will be coming to an end, but Telling…Tuesdays sounds fabulous. All things must pass….

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