While on holiday I got bored with slogging my way through Jerusalem: A biography by that intellectual gadgee Simon Sebag Montefiore…It was making me lose the will to live. In Simon’s history of Jerusalem civilians don’t get much of a look in, apart from when they are slain en masse… he concerns himself with a succesion of Kings, Queens, Warlords and the like…not really my kind of history…. and I have to say a bit old-fashioned. He’s also mad on aqualine noses, everybody seems to have one…maybe they were all the rage in those days. He also uses the word “cynosure” a lot.

It turned out Elaine had a copy of Stuart Macbride’s “Halfhead” kicking about her flat. So I got stuck into that for a bit of a break. I’d been meaning to track down a copy for a while. I’ve read a few of Macbride’s grisly and gory Aberdonian crime romps. I’m a big fan of the fact that his Logan McRae saga’s are set in Aberdeen just because I know the place. I know bits of Edinburgh too, but still can’t get through any of the Rebus books, I’m not really an Ian Rankin fan to be honest he’s a bit like Ian Banks, kind of disnae connect with me….maybe it’s an “Ian” thing….fuck-knows.

Halfhead is a future shock. A near-present nightmare vision. It’s not sci-fi, because the phrase sci-fi puts readers off pretty quickly.
If I was bringing the story to film I’d like to see Clive Owen playing the detective guy, and the overall style and feel to be like children of men– naturalistic and almost like a documentary….with brutal violence of course…erm…Halfhead is the usual really, nothing overly surprising for Macbride, but its a great read- the dialogue flows just brilliantly, and – like his other books the plot cracks on at a fearsome pace. A real page-turner. I was blasting on through it because I only had a few days and limited time-slots to read it in but it wasnae a struggle by any means.

I love the idea of “Halfheading” as a punishment, and it’s central to the plot.
Fuck it, go on and read this book. It won’t take long- maybe a few hours. It’s a belter.
Going by the final pages there might be another one in the pipeline, or several- which would be neat…..because theres a lot of scope for further storylines….



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