Hi guys!
 
You are reading the book review session of the blog! I really hope you have been keeping up with the #ReadingChallenge? Six books to go! These reviews will be published weekly now because I’m eager to wrap up the challenge, but I do post other books that I’m reading on Instagram, so you should definitely check out @lipglossmaffia for more book recommendations and reviews. I have also started a virtual bookclub on Whatsapp, if you would like to join, just send me an email with your phone number at lipglossmaffia@gmail.com. Meanwhile, if you would like to keep up with the challenge, here is the 2017 reading challenge.
 
3. Place strawberries and cornstarch into a blender. Cover and puree until smooth. Pour strawberry sauce into a saucepan.
 
For my twentieth pick, I chose…

*A Book With My Favourite Colour On The Cover

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Title: Birthdays For The Dead
Pages: 472
Publisher: HarperCollins
Genre: Fiction, Mystery, Thriller
Released: 2011
My Ratings: 4.5 out of 5 stars
BLURB:  Detective Constable Ash Henderson has a dark secret…
Five years ago his daughter, Rebecca, went missing on the eve of her thirteenth birthday. A year later the first card arrived: home-made, with a Polaroid picture stuck to the front – Rebecca, strapped to a chair, gagged and terrified. Every year another card: each one worse than the last.
The tabloids call him ‘The Birthday Boy’. He’s been snatching girls for twelve years, always in the run-up to their thirteenth birthday, sending the families his home-made cards showing their daughters being slowly tortured to death.
But Ash hasn’t told anyone about Rebecca’s birthday cards – they all think she’s just run away from home – because if anyone finds out, he’ll be taken off the investigation. And he’s sacrificed too much to give up before his daughter’s killer gets what he deserves.
 

MY THOUGHTS

First off, this is my first novel by MacBride so I have nothing to compare it with. However, it is one of the best novels of its kind I have read though I hope the police in this story are not typical of the far-from-London law enforcement in Great Britain. DC Ash Henderson has to deal with murderous loan sharks out to break his legs (or worse), a police profiler so fearful she provides comic relief, and the dark secret that the serial killer he is pursuing made his older daughter one of his victims. Perhaps my genuine love for stories that shed light on different cultures made this a more interesting read, but by the final third, I could not put it down.
 
MacBride writes so vividly – covering not only the visuals, the sounds, authentic dialogue (with accents!), but even the smells (many of them quite foul). Every scene really springs to life off the page! It is so easy to become immersed in it, immune to your own surroundings as you become swept up into the characters and the horrific actions of the serial killer with the moniker “Birthday Boy.” The main character, Ash Henderson is something of an anti-hero. Despite his often poor decision making, he is a sympathetic character and even becomes quite likable at times. The plot unfolds here in mostly unpredictable ways. Still, the book’s flaws are easy to overlook. The book exudes authenticity. And the dialogue and relationship between Ash and Alice, the young psychologist add brief respites of humour in the midst of the dark plot. It’s a sad, horrific story, but such a gripping read! MacBride is a talented writer and I can’t wait to read his even more highly acclaimed Logan McRae series.
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You guys!!! I was going to start this post with a really nice quote(as always) but I have discovered a new genre that I have to scream about. Tartan Noir! What does this mean? Tartan Noir is a form of crime fiction particular to Scotland and Scottish writers. It has its roots in Scottish literature but borrows elements from elsewhere, including from the work of American crime writers of the second half of the twentieth century, especially of the hard-boiled genre, and of European authors. And it's BLOODY fantastic!🙌👌🙌(this is my thing now)I spent an entire year in Scotland and missed this, I'm so ashamed of my self. ~ ~ ~ This is my first Stuart MacBride book, but it won't be my last. Lucky I have two(for now) First, a disclaimer: this book is not for the faint of heart. It is grim. Hardcore grim. Some may even say bleak. And it's got the scariest serial killer ever. (Because who DOES that? Who sends parents pictures of their daughters being tortured to death? On their daughter's BIRTHDAY? For YEARS?! But it's also incredibly funny (it helps if you have a dark sense of humor)😋 ~ ~ ~ Ash Henderson is the very definition of anti-hero. He's not a very nice guy and you know the stereotype of the cop who doesn't follow the letter of the law (think Lethal Weapon)? That's Ash. But he's also incredibly driven. His entire reason for being alive is to find the person who kidnapped Rebecca(his daughter) and make him pay. And when I say "make him pay," I actually mean "torture him to death in a way that makes even said serial killer look tame. This is one of the best books ever and is absolutely meant for anyone who's a fan of horror movies or police procedurals. I can't wait to read Shatter The Bones💃 Highly, highly recommended🙌 #StuartMacbride #TartanNoir #Crime #ReadMoreBooks

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