It’s official!  I’m jealous!  Who am I talking about?  Bearded Scottish crime ‘write-ist’ Stuart MacBride, that’s who. 

The past week has been agony … having to focus on that dreaded four-letter word (WORK – OK!) and having Stuart MacBride’s book: ‘Broken Skin’ burning a hole in my bedside table.  Now I’m not a covetous person … but my burning ambition is to write a great crime novel and if I ever find the ability, come up with an action-packed plot, or ever get-a-round-tuit, this copywriter dreams of turning author and writing like that.  Mind you, I’ve always wanted to paint like Rolf Harris and he’s at no risk either!

I got ‘Broken Skin’ from the library and picked it up simply because it was set in my hame toon: Aberdeen.  As usual I was at a disadvantage in the library … I seem to be incapable of remembering both my membership ticket and my specs.  Selecting this book would be bad news for any Aberdonian because having devoured this one, I’m going to have to go out and spend money on all Stuart MacBride’s books! 

Broken Skin was hard-hitting, fast and hilariously funny.  Stuart’s ‘gallows humour’ came through on every page and really hit the spot.  Of course there was a touch of nostalgia too … what exiled Aberdonian could resist mention of ‘rowies’, ‘quines’, and ‘teuchters’? 

I laughed at the Grampian Police healthy living campaign, ‘Fit Like’.  To translate: ‘Fit Like’ is a colloquial phrase which means ‘How are you’.  ‘Foo ye dein’ means much the same, but perhaps you’d need to have been there to really appreciate that one!  But for all the black humour, Broken Skin was a scary, tense insight into the world of serious crime. 

Stuart MacBride’s characters are real, tough, and very believable.  I’m now a big fan of DS Logan McCrae, secretly admire DI Steel, and was in mortal fear of DI Insch having an apoplexy before I got to the final page. 

So … there’s nothing else for it!  I’m off to stock up on Stuart MacBride books … oh and one on self-discipline and motivation too!  Just in case Mr MacBride becomes too great a temptation to resist.

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