Stuart MacBride - Dying Light (HarperCollins) Published 2nd May 2006
Reviewed By Nick Quantrill
Dying Light is the eagerly anticipated second novel from new crime-fiction hotshot,
and follows sharply on the heels of last year's critically acclaimed debut, Cold Granite.
Once again following the story of Detective Sergeant Logan 'Lazarus' McRae, Dying Light opens
with him set to cement his position as the rising star of Aberdeen's CID.
However, following an undercover operation that goes dramatically wrong, the blame is
firmly placed on his shoulders and he is swiftly transferred to work on DI Steel's 'screw-up' squad.
Although McRae is the star of the book, Steel is an effective foil that comes close to
stealing the show with her dirty tricks, as she herself attempts to break-out of
the squad on the back of MacRae's work.
Their job is to track down a killer operating in Aberdeen's red-light district, while the city
is also in the grip of a serial arsonist.
If this isn't enough for McRae, he also has to deal with his faltering relationship with
WPC Watson and deal with the aftermath of inadvertently landing journalist, Colin Millar,
in serious trouble that has gruesome repercussions.
Although the fate of Millar is described in a relatively short and tightly written
passage, it's undoubtedly a macabre comedy masterpiece that highlights what sets
MacBride apart from other new names.
Comparable to Mark Billingham, his novels combine Rankin's influential police procedural
template with a dark comedic angle, with the violent comedy that is played out
being reminiscent in places of Christopher Brookmyre's distinctive brand of Scottish noir.
Dying Light is further confirmation of the arrival of a new kid on the crime fiction block.
It's both a conventional police procedural that contains enough elements to appeal to fans
of the genre, and contains that certain distinctiveness that helps set it apart from the crowd.
With Dying Light, MacBride is going from strength to strength.
Clever psychological horror, perhaps too clever?
This clever psychological horror film perhaps lets itself down by being too clever? If you enjoy the blurred boundaries of the supernatural/subconscious, however, this is a well-paced, atmospheric film about a couple losing their daughter, only to believe they can bring her back from the dead.
There are criticisms, however, that
Reviews, Books - The Brooklyn Follies by Paul Auster Reviewed by Steve Rudd
One should never underestimate the power of books.
New York-obsessed Paul Auster is back, and he's clearly writing better than ever in light of this astounding novel of epic and forever-surprising proportions.
Paul was born back in 1947, and since 1974 he's rightfully become a widely acclaimed writer of novels, screenplays and poetry ... amongst other things.
Reviews, Films - The Road to Guantanamo, Channel 4, Thursday 9th March 06 By Patrick Henry
Michael Winterbottom and Mat Whitecross's work is hardly like anything else ever shown on television, which makes it remarkable and welcome, though not to The New Statesman's reviewer who complains of its deficiencies, TV-wise, and that it fails to inform about the political attitudes of the protagonists or the real nature of Camp X-Ray and as a road movie lacks amusement.
Reviews, Books - Mission Flats by William Landay Reviewed by Steve Rudd
Crime-thrillers come no better than this edge-of-the-seat masterwork from American
writer William Landay, who here delivers a truly superb debut novel that attacks the senses and ultimately leaves you reeling from the brilliantly-staged shock ending.
It's amazing how some Crime writers make their stories sound so authentic courtesy of the detailed lengths that they go to in order
Reviews, Theatre - Friday 17th February - The Hull Blokes Present Love - A Night Of Comedy, Drama And Passion at Northern Theatre By Jane Foster
The Hull Blokes are a talented bunch of 13 local, er, blokes! who I have
had the pleasure of seeing twice before in their relatively short life.
So I thought it was high time to do them justice and write a review.
The Blokes have been lucky enough to secure themselves a home in the new
Northern Theatre building, which in my opinion is more welcoming and
Reviews, Books - The Loop by Nicholas Evans Reviewed by Steve Rudd
This is the second breathtaking novel from Nicholas, the first having being
the international best-selling weepy, The Horse Whisperer which shot
the English-based writer to fame.
The Loop has nothing to do with horses whatsoever, and instead focuses
on the trials of a wild pack of wolves that is terrorising a farming community in Montana.
A 29-year old wolf expert called Helen is
Reviews, Books - Rising To Obscurity and How To Remain Anonymous by AAA Aarbon (Bitterne Books) Reviewed By Nick Quantrill
Published by Hull-based Bitterne Books, the first two titles in this humorous series
offer a different take on the modern world that we live in.
Part satire, part social comment, they follow the story of AAA Aarbon, a self-confessed
seeker of anonymity.
AAA Aarbon is described by his editor as being best forgotten for many reasons.Rising To Obscurity charts the absurd
Reviews, Books - Notes From a Small Island By Bill Bryson Reviewed by Steve Rudd
Good old Bill is a natural comedian and never holds back when it comes to being honest. He's one of the world's best-loved and most famous travel writers, and this volume of 'notes' is exclusively concerned with a number of weeks that Bill spent investing in the art of travelling around Britain back in the mid 90's.
His travel writing talents first came to prominence when he released
Reviews, Books - Flashback By Jenny Siler Reviewed by Steve Rudd
The past is a puzzle for everyone, a tattered collection of memory and desire. Even those people we most long to understand remain no more than a sum of those static moments we've chosen to hold them in.
This is a must-read novel for any discerning fan of high-octane,
Steve Hamilton-esque thrillers, as the drama-drenched action flits the
length and breadth of the
Reviews, Books - Book Recommendations by Steve Rudd
Here are some short and sweet book recommendations in place of the usual fully-fledged
reviews, quite simply because I haven't had time to write up these reviews in more detail.
The fact is that there are too many great books, and far too little time to read
them - let alone write about them in gushing retrospect.
Anyway, here's some mention of some of the books I've recently been
Reviews, Films - Films Kong By Michelle Dee
Visually stunning. Terrific pace. Jackson winds up the tension to breaking point
and never lets you go till the final frame.
This is what you would expect from a Christmas Blockbuster, but this reworking of the
original King Kong film, has so much more than the usual thrills and spills.
Naomi Watts is very striking to say the least and the ill-fated love
Reviews, Books - Complicity by Nick Quantrill Reviewed by Steve Rudd
The rain refused to ease as Coleman made his way through Queens Gardens
and on towards King Edward Street. He pulled his collar up and hurried his pace...
This is a staggeringly enthralling showcase for Hull-based writer Nick Quantrill's
unmistakable talent for writing fiction - and crime fiction, to be more precise.
He has written a fair few short stories that revolve around crime
Reviews, Books - Ian Newton - The Night Shift Reviewed By Kevin Maguire
The guy in a sharp business suit glowered as if I was mad for laughing out loud
while waiting for a flight in Washington Dulles International Airport.
No exhibitionist, I rarely laugh out loud. Indeed, I rarely read anything worth
laughing about, let alone out loud. But the story about two on-the-run robbers
holding a group of Hull factory workers hostage after a fish
Reviews, Books - East Of The Mountains By David Guterson Reviewed by Steve Rudd
Alright, so you might not have heard of the author before, but you might
actually be already familiar with some of his 'work,' as his debut novel
was called Snow Falling On Cedars... a staggering bestseller that came
to be made into a Hollywood movie starring Ethan Hawke.
Such a debut made it apparent that Guterson is one hell
of a story teller who goes to great
Reviews, Books - Scott Phillips - The Walkaway Reviewed by Steve Rudd
It is imperative that you keep your wits about when reading this novel more than with almost
any other mighty slab of fiction ever published. If you've never read Phillips' awesome debut
novel The Ice Harvest, then there's actually little point whatsoever you even making a
beeline for The Walkaway, for this mesmerisingly cool epic crime-drama is the incredible
Reviews, Books - Robert Adams - Antman (Bitterne Books) Reviewed By Nick Quantrill
Antman is the latest crime novel from prolific Hull-based author Robert Adams.
It is his interest in ant behaviour that forms the heart of this book, and one
that allows him to craft a dark narrative that absorbs and terrifies in equal measure.
The novel starts with the discovery of a dead pig at a remote location in the Hull area.
Forensic investigation reveals that the animal was reduced
Reviews, Books - The Two-Bear Mambo By Joe R. Lansdale Reviewed by Steve Rudd
Lansdale certainly is one hell of a prolific author, and this is something
like the tenth novel of his that I have had the pleasure of reading.
The vast majority of his novels follow two buddies, Hap Collins and Leonard Pine, as they manage - without fail - to get into all kinds of violent predicaments through being often overly stubborn and too-proud-by-half men.
Reviews, Books - Wobegon Boy by Garrison Keillor Reviewed by Steve Rudd
I have a responsible job and pay my taxes and keep my lawn mowed, but because I dare to be
an individual, people whisper about me behind my back. Why is life like this?
This epic novel is an absolute masterpiece that is drama-driven and hugely poignant, as it
follows a man called John Tollefson as he bumbles through his life over a pronounced period
of time, with the
Reviews, Books - Down By The River Where The Dead Men Go by George P. Pelecanos Reviewed by Steve Rudd
As the novel title must suggest, this is a crime thriller... and one of the highest order.
I first heard of the author in Pelecanos through him heaping praise on
the 'action-thriller' writing of Steve Hamilton.
Like with Hamilton's work, Pelecanos weaves an engrossing story around a
series of hugely believable and genuinely exciting set-pieces.
Interestingly, many authors