The Missing and the Dead is Stuart MacBride’s latest book in the Logan McCrae series. This is the first of the series that takes place outside of Aberdeen, with Logan working in a small town as a “development opportunity”. I didn’t know if I was going to like this one, I had been feeling like the series had done its dash. Briefly, I was so wrong…
One major character is missing, and this changes the tone in a big way. Logan is there, and DI Steel, but Aberdeen is missing. That grim, granite city looms throughout all the other books. Large, imposing, dirty, wet, sunny, or beautiful, it provided the background to the stories. This time Logan is moved to a small village, and is put in charge of a group of PCs. The scenery is quite different, and this lends a surreal quality as he chases down drug dealers down hedgerows. Basically this book is less miserable than the previous novels.
Logan is also thriving in the new setting. The ever present politics and bureaucracy that hindered him in other books is still there, but off to the side. It’s not all roses. He manages to royally screw up a few things and gets the obligatory dressing down. But over all the book ends on a good, well goodish, note.
I’ll keep an eye out for the next book in the series, it needed something a bit different to revive things, and that’s what The Missing and the Dead provided.