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Birthdays for the Dead    by Stuart MacBride order for
Birthdays for the Dead
by Stuart MacBride
Order:  USA  Can
Harper, 2013 (2013)
Hardcover, Softcover, CD, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

He's been dubbed The Birthday Boy because this piece of nasty work has been snatching young girls just before their thirteenth birthdays. Then the girls' parents begin receiving horrible pictures showing the teens being slowly tortured.

Detective Constable Ash Henderson is one of many policemen assigned to tracking down this psychopath. For Henderson, this is more than just a case of finding a killer and bringing him to justice.

Five years ago his oldest daughter went missing and Henderson knows that she was one of The Birthday Boy's victims. He has kept this fact secret fearing he would be taken off the investigation; thus his colleagues believe his missing daughter is just a runaway. As yearly reminders of his daughter's fate are sent by the killer, Henderson's wrath grows and he becomes even more centered on finding this seemingly unstoppable and warped psychopath.

This gritty novel with its strong emotional overtone marks a departure from his usual fare for Stuart MacBride. The author of the Logan McRae series, MacBride decided to give his battered hero a short rest for a year or two and create a new protagonist.

Set in the author's native Scotland (but not Aberdeen where the McRae series unfolds) Birthdays for the Dead was intended to be a standalone novel but MacBride has admitted that due to the public's response, there might be a sequel.

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