Now We Are Dead
From the No. 1 bestselling author of the Logan McRae series, comes a standalone spinoff featuring DS Roberta SteelSergeant Roberta Steel has recently been demoted after being caught fitting up a suspect. The trouble is, the man she got sent down has had his sentence quashed now he’s back on the streets. And women are being attacked again. But if DS Steel goes anywhere near him his lawyers will get her thrown off the force for good.The Powers That Be won’t listen to her not after what happened last time. Besides, she’s got more than enough ongoing cases to keep her busy perhaps she should focus on solving them instead of harassing an innocent man?But Steel knows he’s guilty and the longer he gets away with it, the more women will suffer. The question is: how much is she willing to sacrifice to stop him?

Now We Are Dead Details

TitleNow We Are Dead
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseNov 2nd, 2017
PublisherHarper Collins
Rating
GenreMystery, Crime, Fiction, Cultural, Scotland

Now We Are Dead Review

  • Paromjit
    January 1, 1970
    Stuart McBride takes us back into Aberdeen and the mayhem that marks its policing with what Tufty describes as 'The Wrinkled Filthy Horror of Doom' that is DS Steel. In a story structured in the manner of Winnie the Pooh, and oh, that seems so apt, the shambolic Steel gets to be the star of show, with the almost complete absence of Logan McRae. Roberta Steel has been caught fitting up a suspect for a crime he actually committed, and she has been demoted from DCI Steel to Detective Sergeant, she Stuart McBride takes us back into Aberdeen and the mayhem that marks its policing with what Tufty describes as 'The Wrinkled Filthy Horror of Doom' that is DS Steel. In a story structured in the manner of Winnie the Pooh, and oh, that seems so apt, the shambolic Steel gets to be the star of show, with the almost complete absence of Logan McRae. Roberta Steel has been caught fitting up a suspect for a crime he actually committed, and she has been demoted from DCI Steel to Detective Sergeant, she is not a happy woman. She is cursing and avoiding Logan McRae who grassed her up, holding him responsible for all her woes. Steel's life drifts from bad to even worse as she slams into the worst of Aberdeen's lowlifes as she tries to recall the expletive of the day. Steel gets landed with stolen mobile phones, a matter that she believes is far beneath her, goes off the scale when she discovers a beaten up elderly Agnes Galloway and the killing of her beloved dog, Pudding, who has been microwaved by a loan shark. Two children of prostitutes are found hidden in Kenny Milne's home, and there is the body of a heroin addict with her neglected infant left eating dog food for several days prior to being rescued. The scum that is the raping Jack Wallace is receiving an intense media focus as he vows to help clean up a corrupt police force. Wallace has it in for Steel as he stalks her, with Hissing Sid his legal representation. More women are getting raped, and Wallace is on video with his mates, providing him with cast iron alibis at the relevant times. Steel struggles to stay away from him, only to be threatened by her superiors that her crimes will become Tufty's crimes in their efforts to curb Steel. In a story full of comic wit, slapstick humour, and numerous obstacles, Steel and her team are unfazed in their determination to secure justice, despite being covered by slurry and the occurrence of other mishaps.To be honest, I was quite a way into the novel feeling short changed because whilst Steel is a scene stealing central character, McBride was failing to generate the alchemy of her partnership with Logan McRae. Then somehow it all came to together about two thirds of the way in, making me an extremely happy reader. I began to really appreciate the genius of McBride in his creation of the iconic lesbian that is Roberta Steel in this novel, who despite her unprepossessing manner, appearance and character traits, has a heart of solid gold. Nevertheless, I am hoping that in the future the Steel and McRae partnership is restored whilst keeping the fantastic Tufty. A great read with flashes of the brilliance that McBride is famous for, and long live Roberta Steel.
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  • Liz Barnsley
    January 1, 1970
    Is there a single detective anywhere created in fiction who could outdo Roberta Steel? No is what I say – she is (subjectively) the single most entertaining and cleverly written police protagonist on the block. All the blocks. In my humble opinion anyway – therefore a book from the uber talented Mr MacBride focusing on her was probably the biggest book treat I’ve had this year.I rocketed through this like a grasshopper on acid, immediately compelling, laugh out loud funny, the dialogue crackles, Is there a single detective anywhere created in fiction who could outdo Roberta Steel? No is what I say – she is (subjectively) the single most entertaining and cleverly written police protagonist on the block. All the blocks. In my humble opinion anyway – therefore a book from the uber talented Mr MacBride focusing on her was probably the biggest book treat I’ve had this year.I rocketed through this like a grasshopper on acid, immediately compelling, laugh out loud funny, the dialogue crackles, the plot is both exciting and incredibly immersive, there is actually not a single downside to reading this book. Unless you count eating too much chocolate and being incapable of coherent thought on any other subject until you have finished it. I don’t count that because for me that is what books are supposed to do. Even the lack (apart from a cameo) of one of my other favourite fictional detectives Logan McCrae didn’t put a dent in my enjoyment of this one.Poor Roberta, she’s been demoted for planting evidence – something that anyone who read the novel where that happened can sympathise with. Still now she’s sorting out stolen goods, dealing with violent loan sharks and still determined to bring down her nemesis – unfortunately she’s under the spotlight, in danger of losing her job entirely – yeah right, like that is going to stop her. Throw into the mix the incredibly lovable DC Stuart Quirrel, whose attempts to keep up with Roberta and keep her under control create some of the best moments in Now We Are Dead and boy you have a read and a half on your hands. I just loved it. Loved loved loved. And my gosh that last little bit had me quite literally on the edge of my seat – brilliant brilliant finale that I’ll never forget. Just the icing on the top of the most delicious bookish cake.I have to give a nod to the beautiful little hardback too – the author’s introduction is fantastic and the end papers provide some hilarious and beautiful drawings which I considered taking pictures of to show y’all but in the end decided that it was best unwrapped like the best looking Christmas gift ever – and I can’t believe I just said the C word considering my hatred of all things festive season – but honestly perfect present material.All the positive, none of the negative, a banging good read that will engulf you in madness but it is the best madness ever. Bring it on.Highly Recommended.
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  • Sandy
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 starsOh man…this is a tough one. First let me say I’m a huge fan of this author. HUGE. When I see a new book of his on the horizon, I break out the happy dance. And immediately begin plotting how to make it mine.I’ve read all the Logan McRae & Ash Henderson books & although this one is tagged as belonging to the former, it heads off in a new direction starring DS Roberta Steel, Logan’s sometime partner & author of his nightmares. She was his boss, then peer but after events of th 3.5 starsOh man…this is a tough one. First let me say I’m a huge fan of this author. HUGE. When I see a new book of his on the horizon, I break out the happy dance. And immediately begin plotting how to make it mine.I’ve read all the Logan McRae & Ash Henderson books & although this one is tagged as belonging to the former, it heads off in a new direction starring DS Roberta Steel, Logan’s sometime partner & author of his nightmares. She was his boss, then peer but after events of the last book, she’s been busted down to DS & tasked with chasing down pickpockets & wandering pensioners. So it comes as no surprise that Roberta is not happy. And if Roberta’s not happy, no one in Aberdeen is safe. Except Jack Wallace. He’s the reason she was demoted & ok, maybe she did “find” some evidence in an effort to put him away for the rape/assault of local women. But now he’s free & proclaiming to anyone who’ll listen that he plans to sue Police Scotland. So Roberta is duly warned: do not approach, speak to or even look at Jack Wallace. Apparently she’s supposed to let him live his scumbag, dickhead, perverted, weaselly life unhindered. Fine. There are other men to use for target practice such as Logan (who she’s not speaking to) & DC “Tufty” Quirrel, her shiny new partner. But then a woman is violently assaulted…..and another. Roberta knows Wallace is responsible but she’s on a short leash where he’s concerned & another screw-up won’t mean further demotion. She’ll lose her career.So here’s the deal. Like other books this one has the multiple cases & eccentric characters that make the stories so entertaining. Full points for providing a bad guy we desperately want to see get what he karmically deserves. And bonus points for turning a farmer’s demonstration into a literal shit-show. What I discovered was that, while I’ve enjoyed Roberta in a supporting role, she’s a bit much for me as the MC. She’s an original, you have to give her that. But shadowing her raunchy, potty mouthed, perpetually itchy character 24/7 soon lost its appeal. For me, she’s like cilantro…a little goes a long way. Also, while there are multiple story lines that unfold & wrap up, the emphasis is on putting Roberta & Tufty in situations that become slapstick routines. Bumping heads, tripping, falling, knocking things over, being sprayed with multiple substances…some of it is genuinely funny but the sheer number of incidents causes the book to quickly devolve into the Roberta & Tufty Show. Which is ok if you’re a fan of bathroom humour & the Three Stooges. It all depends on where you keep your funny bone. Having said all that, I give full props to her & wife Susan for the final scenes. High five, girl. (em…note to any male readers: you may want to down a few beverages before you hit this part. Just sayin’.)So there you have it. Just one person’s opinion & as always, it’s a matter of personal preference. I’ll continue to wait impatiently for the next book featuring Logan or Ash. As for Roberta, I think it’s best we maintain our relationship as casual acquaintances.
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  • Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
    January 1, 1970
    A novel starring DS Roberta Steel? Can that really work? I mean I like her, she is a great character in the Logan McRae series. But, can she really front her own own book? Oh yes, she can!If you have read any of Stuart MacBride's books, then you already know he's a terrific writer, a man that can write a crime book that feels like three books crammed into one (it works, don't know how, but it does) and mix action, humor and tragedy and hilarious banter (trust me, listening to any of the books he A novel starring DS Roberta Steel? Can that really work? I mean I like her, she is a great character in the Logan McRae series. But, can she really front her own own book? Oh yes, she can!If you have read any of Stuart MacBride's books, then you already know he's a terrific writer, a man that can write a crime book that feels like three books crammed into one (it works, don't know how, but it does) and mix action, humor and tragedy and hilarious banter (trust me, listening to any of the books he has written can be both entertaining and hard work keeping the smile from your face and scaring the people around you who don't understand why you are giggling).Where was I? Oh, yes the book, man I can't express enough how wonderful this book is. Although I should perhaps have written down notes. Although it had probably not have helped that much trying to explain this book story without giving away the plot.So, I will just say this, yes this book can be read as a stand-alone without having read ANY of Stuart MacBride books before (although it's a plus if you have done that, then you know more about her "relationship" with Logan). Also, this book is way thinner than the other books I have read, at least it felt like that, still the story is marvelous, the time just flies when I started to read this book so it could be that. And, finally I just want to say, I want more. Yes, I need more books starring Roberta Steel! So, there you have it, a very messy review, but it just reflects my messy brain as I try to summarize my feelings towards this book... I want to thank Harper Collins for providing me with a free copy through Edelweiss for an honest review!
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  • Linda Strong
    January 1, 1970
    The fans of Stuart McBride's Logan McRae series will certainly recognize DS Roberta Steel is this standalone spinoff.DS Roberta Steel ... .she's a rather unique character. She's rude to the point of being obnoxious to everyone. She's definitely no lady by any stretch of the imagination. But she fights hard for victims of crime... and she's willing to cross that line to get it.DS Steel was recently demoted from DCI. Actually, she's lucky she didn't lose her job altogether. Jack Wallace was suspec The fans of Stuart McBride's Logan McRae series will certainly recognize DS Roberta Steel is this standalone spinoff.DS Roberta Steel ... .she's a rather unique character. She's rude to the point of being obnoxious to everyone. She's definitely no lady by any stretch of the imagination. But she fights hard for victims of crime... and she's willing to cross that line to get it.DS Steel was recently demoted from DCI. Actually, she's lucky she didn't lose her job altogether. Jack Wallace was suspected of attacking multiple women. Steel knew he was guilty, but she couldn't prove it. Crossing that line, she framed the man .. but she got caught doing it. Hence the demotion.Wallace is back on the streets and more women are being targeted. Coincidence ... or is he really an innocent man? Is Steel obsessed with taking this man down? Steel wants to go after him, but her supervisor won't hear of it. Will she cross that line again? If she does, she may lose more than just her job.This is more of a character driven novel, rather than a crime thriller. Steel is such a crude person, what she sees as humor comes across as just offensive and coarse. The story line is okay ... just not up to par with this author's previous series. Many thanks to the author / Harper Collins / Edelweiss for the advance digital copy. Opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own.
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  • Andrea
    January 1, 1970
    Won this book on first reads,really good cop thriller.
  • Cphe
    January 1, 1970
    Roberta Steele has been demoted after attempting to stitch up a suspect in this spin off from the excellent Logan McRae series. Roberta's not happy and she makes sure that everyone knows it. Roberta knows who the guilty party is and she won't rest until she gets her man.If you enjoy slap stick dialogue then you'll enjoy this offering. This novel doesn't have the intensity or the real humour of the earlier McRae novels. It falls far short. In some ways I think that when you try too hard to be hum Roberta Steele has been demoted after attempting to stitch up a suspect in this spin off from the excellent Logan McRae series. Roberta's not happy and she makes sure that everyone knows it. Roberta knows who the guilty party is and she won't rest until she gets her man.If you enjoy slap stick dialogue then you'll enjoy this offering. This novel doesn't have the intensity or the real humour of the earlier McRae novels. It falls far short. In some ways I think that when you try too hard to be humorous then you can well become the opposite of what you're attempting, I felt that's what happened in this novel. Having said that I very much enjoyed the ending when the old, sassy Roberta was given the chance to really shine and commanded the page.The police procedural/ mystery component is again grim and gritty but the slap stick humour tends to overshadow the plot. Logan McRae only puts in a short appearance here. Not as good as the earlier books in the series.
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  • Karen
    January 1, 1970
    When I read this back in January I posted a review. Or at least I thought I did. Imagine my surprise when I found it here in the draft queue. Whoops.NOW WE ARE DEAD is a spinoff from the Logan McRae series featuring the glorious DS Roberta Steel. I say glorious in a "slightly ironic / well of course she's a bit gross but she's unapologetically over the top about everything / has a heart of gold / seriously / if you can't handle your women strong, forceful, and a bit sweary what are you doing rea When I read this back in January I posted a review. Or at least I thought I did. Imagine my surprise when I found it here in the draft queue. Whoops.NOW WE ARE DEAD is a spinoff from the Logan McRae series featuring the glorious DS Roberta Steel. I say glorious in a "slightly ironic / well of course she's a bit gross but she's unapologetically over the top about everything / has a heart of gold / seriously / if you can't handle your women strong, forceful, and a bit sweary what are you doing reading Stuart MacBride books - especially one about Roberta Steel" way. I love Roberta Steel. I love everything about the woman from her constant mining in her not insubstantial bosom, to her terrorising of the "deserves to be put upon half the time" Logan McRae, right down to her determination that no scroat will go unpunished on her watch.Honestly, if you've not read any of Stuart MacBride's books then you really do need to be getting on with them. This is a series that's unashamedly right versus wrong, with a twist. They are police procedurals with the procedures manual propping open the door, and a hefty dose of dry, dark, slightly grotty humour. DS (yep she's been demoted from DI) Roberta Steel deserved her own book yonks ago and I, for one am extremely pleased she's got it.I'm particularly pleased that NOW WE ARE DEAD is it as well. Of course Steel's not going to be happy when somebody she firmly believed did something, gets his sentence quashed. She's obviously going to take demotion personally as well, and there are times when everybody could be forgiven for thinking she's more than a bit obsessed about all of this for the wrong reasons. But Steel is, aside from everything else, a copper and she's got a copper's nose for a villain, and quite possibly, a big appetite for sacrifice in the line of duty. If you're a fan of any of Stuart MacBride's books - the Logan McRae series, the Ash Henderson series, his Christmas series (I kid you not), or his standalones then you will have hot footed it to the bookshop for this one already. If for some reason you missed it, then off you go.https://www.austcrimefiction.org/revi...
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  • Liz
    January 1, 1970
    I'm on a roll with these 5-star books. This one could be nothing less.
  • Kate
    January 1, 1970
    Absolutely flaming brilliant!!! Yet again Stuart MacBride is the best.
  • Rachel the Book Harlot
    January 1, 1970
    Pre-ordered
  • David Stimpson
    January 1, 1970
    I Would give this 6 0r 7 Stars if I Could .. Steele is the Greatest Cop Character I Have Ever Read ,,,This Book I think is My Favourite Stuart MacBride .. Wonderful ..Wonderful
  • Siobhan
    January 1, 1970
    A Steel spin-off?Give. It. To. Me. Now.
  • Roy
    January 1, 1970
    Gave up around the 60/70 page mark. I didnt like Roberta Steel as a main character. Felt weird. I think for me she will always be a sidekick who pops in with her humour once in a while.
  • Colin Mitchell
    January 1, 1970
    The presentation of this book is some sort of tribute to A A Milne and comic book add-ons did little to enhance the story. Roberta Steele has been demoted to Sergeant and is back chasing shop lifters and other petty criminals while still seeking to catch the rapist Jack Wallace and bring to book the crazed villain who is also a loan shark. Logan McRae, now an inspector, has only a cameo role. Lots of mindless foul language finally soured the fairly good plot.2 stars only for me.
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  • Val
    January 1, 1970
    I received this book from Good Reads."No 1 Times Bestseller". I thought I was in for a good read, as I love detective stories, but I did not enjoy this one. I did read quite a bit of it, hoping my opinion would change, but it did not, so in the end I gave up on it.Too much trying to be funny for me. It was not my kind of humour.
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  • MadProfessah
    January 1, 1970
    NOW WE ARE DEAD is the 11th book in Stuart MacBride’s DS Logan McRae series. But NOW WE ARE DEAD is very different from the other entries in the police procedurals series set in Aberdeen, Scotland because this time DI Roberta Steel is the protagonist, with a new character, DC Quirrel (who is known by his nickname of “Tufty” by everyone) as HER sidekick. We actually get a few scenes from Tufty’s perspective, which is fun.The best part of the Logan McRae books is that they combine humor with thoug NOW WE ARE DEAD is the 11th book in Stuart MacBride’s DS Logan McRae series. But NOW WE ARE DEAD is very different from the other entries in the police procedurals series set in Aberdeen, Scotland because this time DI Roberta Steel is the protagonist, with a new character, DC Quirrel (who is known by his nickname of “Tufty” by everyone) as HER sidekick. We actually get a few scenes from Tufty’s perspective, which is fun.The best part of the Logan McRae books is that they combine humor with thoughtful moral/ethical quandaries that honorable policeman have to face as they try to solve crime in an urban setting.For some reason in NOW WE ARE DEAD MacBride has decided to recalibrate his writing so that humor is the primary or central aspect of the book, with crime solving and ethical quandaries talking second or third priority. Steel has been demoted down to DS Steel because of her decision to plant evidence on a horrible man named Jack Wallace who everyone is pretty sure is guilty of attacking and raping multiple women. But the case is thrown out when Logan turns Steel in for “fitting up” Jack for a crime they can’t prove he did. It becomes clear by the end of the book that Jack is actually guilty of a number of crimes but that doesn’t mean that Steel was right to attempt to frame him. For most of the book Logan is persona non grata with Steel because she’s furious he “narced” her out to their superiors, which resulted in significant negative career consequences. (When the series started Steel outranked McRae but with her demotion their roles are now reversed.)The focus on including more funny scenes and situations in NOW WE ARE DEAD made the book less appealing, not more, for me. I’m not sure why, but I think it reduced the level of verisimilitude I’m used to compared to MacBride’s other police procedurals in the series, thus making me less engaged with the story. Of course, others may have a different reaction. Generally the Logan McRae books are some of my favorite genre reads. I only have 3 more to read and am being patient because I know a 12th McRae book will be our soon.OVERALL: 3 Stars.
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  • Stargazer
    January 1, 1970
    My favourite offering from Stuart McBride so far, from the winnie the pooh opening to the doodles of Tufty at the end, this was an entertaining read of one of my favourite characters of his. Sure it was farcical in parts but it helped lift the heaviness of the storyline and just suited the frame of mind i was in perfectly, though i daresay it won't be everyone's cup of tea. More please!
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  • Christopher Williams
    January 1, 1970
    I really liked this one-such good dialogue with lots of humour thrown in. Logan Macrae does not really appear but does not detract in my opinion. Roberta Steel and Tufty are brilliant!
  • Helen
    January 1, 1970
    This is described as "Logan McRae 10.5" and it picks up the story of Roberta post-demotion (you do need to have read the others for this, I think). It's full of farce and very funny (I get so much more out of this now that I know what "sharny" means ...) The title, and the opening scene, are inspired by, of all things, Winnie the Pooh, and Roberta's new sidekick, who has the improbable name of S. Quirrel (nickname, obviously, Tufty), is a Tigger figure. The grim and gritty stuff is here too, but This is described as "Logan McRae 10.5" and it picks up the story of Roberta post-demotion (you do need to have read the others for this, I think). It's full of farce and very funny (I get so much more out of this now that I know what "sharny" means ...) The title, and the opening scene, are inspired by, of all things, Winnie the Pooh, and Roberta's new sidekick, who has the improbable name of S. Quirrel (nickname, obviously, Tufty), is a Tigger figure. The grim and gritty stuff is here too, but perhaps farce has taken over. The come-uppance of the baddie is spectacular if nauseating. Logan appears a couple of times and a reconciliation is more or less reached. Perhaps the purpose of this book is to make it possible to resume the working partnership again - or at least to reassure us about Roberta's future.
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  • HELEN TOWILL
    January 1, 1970
    Super!I didn't think at first that this book would work so well without Logan but Tufty saved the day and became a worthy foil for Steele! I've read all Stuart's books at least twice and this one will be no exception!
  • Jen
    January 1, 1970
    Any book which can incorporate my most favourite not-a-swear-word, fudgemonkeys, is always going to make me chuckle. Any book which combines the aforementioned not-a-swear-word and the irrepressible Roberta Steel – well you are pretty much guaranteed a cover to cover chucklefest of the grandest nature, all wrapped around issues so serious they can make your heart sink and your blood boil. And that is exactly what you are served by Stuart MacBride in this darkly humorous spinoff from the Logan Mc Any book which can incorporate my most favourite not-a-swear-word, fudgemonkeys, is always going to make me chuckle. Any book which combines the aforementioned not-a-swear-word and the irrepressible Roberta Steel – well you are pretty much guaranteed a cover to cover chucklefest of the grandest nature, all wrapped around issues so serious they can make your heart sink and your blood boil. And that is exactly what you are served by Stuart MacBride in this darkly humorous spinoff from the Logan McRae series, Now We Are Dead.Now in some ways, it is hard to review this book without some minor spoilers to its sort of predecessor, In The Cold Dark Ground, but I will try. As the blurb suggests, Ms Steel has been a little bit naughty, and found guilty of not entirely following the Police Scotland guidelines for evidentiary support in the conviction of the vile piece of scum that is Jack Wallace. I.e. she set him up. With his sentence overturned he is back on the street and free to start attacking other women.This doesn’t sit well with Steel, but from her new lowly position as DS she doesn’t get to pick and choose her cases and is warned, in no uncertain terms, to stay away from Wallace. When violent assaults against women begin again, Wallace seems to have an unbreakable alibi. Steel doesn’t believe it for one moment, but there is little she can do other than wait for Wallace to show his hand. Of course, for Steel, and those she loves, that moment could come a touch too late …From the moment you open this book and start reading, it is like being welcomed back into the safe arms of your more than slightly dysfunctional family. The team of the North East Division are a hoot, a complete mismatch of characters and personalities which, somehow, just seem to compliment each other, whilst creating an overwhelmingly comedic effect. At the head of the team you have Steel, with her inimitable style – her sarcasm, her gruffness, even crudeness, which affects the team in a variety of ways. All of them, I might add, are great value for money for the reader. You are guaranteed entertainment from every single madcap situation that they find themselves in.Now if you have read any of the Logan McRae books then you will be well aware of Roberta Steel. There really should be no need for an introduction. For the uninitiated, then suffice to say this is a women for whom the term politically correct has little meaning, other than ticking the right box on an election or referendum ballot paper, assuming that is, that she takes time to vote. She drinks, she swears, she has been known to cut the occasional corner to further a case, and if there is a way to avoid physical exertion then she has probably found it. That said, she has a true desire for justice which can sometimes lead her into trouble. You get a sense of her softer (?) side, when it comes to a harrowing case involving a neglected child, and also her relationship with her partner Susan and their two daughters, even if she could well swing for their father right now. She definitely isn’t the warm and fuzzy kind at work, but while she doesn’t always show it, in her own way she has a real affection for her team, especially young DC Quirrel, a.k.a. Tufty.Ah Tufty. What a star. Newly transferred to Aberdeen as a Detective Constable having served under Sergeant McRae, you cannot help but fall for his bashful naivety, determination and youthful enthusiasm. He is an absolute scream. With much of the action told from his perspective you will find yourself both laughing with, and occasionally at, our hapless hero. From his awkward attempts to chat up fellow Police Officer, PC Kate Mackintosh, to an ill-advised attempt to call a halt to a demonstration by local farmers which results in a rather unsavoury shower, everything the poor chap is put through – well to be fair it just made me laugh. A lot. Despite his comic interludes though, Tufty is a fluffing good copper.Now if there is one thing that Stuart MacBride excels in, it’s bringing out the dark humour in a book without it overshadowing what is, in essence, a really dark and sometimes disturbing, story. There are moments which make the skin crawl; where the violent attacks occurring around Aberdeen make you wonder if Steel didn’t have the right approach towards Wallace in the first place, however ill-advised her actions were. The book moves seamlessly between the serious and the frivolous, Stuart MacBride being able to flick the switch between making you want to laugh and then cry. It would take a heartless cow not to be upset by what happens in poor Mrs Galloway’s flat. I mean, don’t you just hate it when your Pudding explodes all over the microwave … But I have to be honest, as much as that scene made me both grimace and go awwww, it led to quite a few smiles a bit later on in the book. If you read it, you’ll know why. You’re a brave man though, Mr MacBride. There’s not many folk would tackle that taboo a subject.The cast of characters are perfectly sculpted – everything you would expect from a Stuart MacBride novel. From a truly evil, cunning and manipulative bad guy in Jack Wallace, to the moaning, put upon and quite literally set upon DC ‘where are ma pants’ Harmsworth, you have the full gamut of MacBride classics all in one place. There is even a representation of Marvel heroes that I don’t think you’d find in any of their licensed comics. Holy hand-cramp Batman!!! Christ, so many things pretty much had me chuckling. Even the style of the book, the layout, each chapter preceded by a description of what is to follow, adds to the tone of what you are about to experience. The sub headings will make you smile/frown as you puzzle over what they mean. Their execution will have you chortling for days. The illustrations that accompany the hardback are just spot on, especially ‘Tufty’s Super Secret Map of Aberdeen.’ It’s worth getting the book for that alone, although you’re missing a real treat if you don’t read what comes before it.If you are a fan of the Logan McRae series, or of Mr MacBride in general, especially his wonderfully dry, very astute observations of the human character, or if you just think Roberta Steel is a real scream, then you will love this book. If you are easily offended and don’t like tales of ‘fudgemonkery’ or ‘Womble wallopers’ … ahhhh, stuff it. Read it anyway. If you haven’t read any of these books before? Okay, so there will be spoilers (sort of) but only in a very (very) minor way as to the ending of the last Logan McRae book, but nothing that will stop you enjoying this or any of the other books in that series. Don’t get me wrong. While the McRae books can be occasionally dark, this book too at times, this in particular is a lesson in Stuart MacBride’s pure comic genius, more akin to A Dark So Deadly, than Cold Granite and certainly lighter in tone than the Ash Henderson series. But by god this is good.Very, very (very) good. My only regret? Ferreting fudgemonkeys – it’s having finished so dang fast. There is a reason these books are on my absolutely must read list. It’s because they are absolutely bloody brilliant. This is no exception.Very highly recommended ‘snake-alicious’ read. Most definitely in my top reads of 2017. I loved it. Can you tell? I know I’ve been somewhat reticent about making my feelings clear on the subject, but just in case you were in any doubt, it really is rather good.
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  • Lesley
    January 1, 1970
    I've seen some fairly negative reviews, saying that Logan McRae is sorely missed - and of course, he is. That really goes without saying :)But I still enjoyed this nonetheless.Stuart MacBride's use of the Aberdonian dialectic alone, will keep me reading as I hear (in my head) my parents and other relatives voices saying these words and phrases with their perfect Aberdeen accents.Quite apart from the fact Stuart MacBride writes a damn good story, every single time!
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  • Cindy
    January 1, 1970
    My first Roberta Steel novel and I will definitely go back and read those that came before. What a crazy, out-of-control ride it was. Not sure I’ve run across a police officer quite as complex and interesting. Enjoyed it!
  • gem
    January 1, 1970
    I’m a huge fan of the Logan McRea books, and having this one focus on the recently demoted Roberta Steel was brilliant as she is one of my faves characters in Crime Fiction. Steel and Tufty are after a very nasty man who’s doing unspeakable things outside peoples houses whilst wearing costumes. Much hilarity ensues as the duo try & uncover the criminal, all the whole eating bacon sandwiches & Roberta fiddling with the evil underwire in her bra. (I’d have been terribly disappointed if she I’m a huge fan of the Logan McRea books, and having this one focus on the recently demoted Roberta Steel was brilliant as she is one of my faves characters in Crime Fiction. Steel and Tufty are after a very nasty man who’s doing unspeakable things outside peoples houses whilst wearing costumes. Much hilarity ensues as the duo try & uncover the criminal, all the whole eating bacon sandwiches & Roberta fiddling with the evil underwire in her bra. (I’d have been terribly disappointed if she hadn’t done this, it’s one of her trademark moves!)Whilst this is going on women start getting viscously attacked and raped, the M.O very similar to that of Jack Wallace, the baddie who Steel fitted up & got demoted for... he is an evil bastard and I loved Roberta for trying to pin something on him, even if it wasn’t the crimes he actually committed.Anyway, Steel is convinced Wallace is behind this latest series of attacks and becomes single minded in bringing him down, no matter the risk to her career or her safety.As with all of Stuart MacBride’s books, it’s a glorious mix of the dark and shady world of crime complete with many hilarious one liners. Tufty getting to play a bugger part than normal was brilliant, I loved his drawings at the end.Will Roberta survive to talk to Logan again? Read the book to find out!
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  • Doreen
    January 1, 1970
    1/8/18 Not at all what I expected, in the best possible way. Full review tk.
  • Moirad
    January 1, 1970
    Nominally an entry in the Logan McRae series, though he plays a very small part. The emphasis is on Roberta Steel, the cartoon character lesbian police officer who has been demoted to sergeant. The book follows similar lines to one in which McRae was demoted, with the protagonist having to deal with minor crimes for the most part, but with Steel obsessed with one criminal responsible for her demotion. Strange tone to the book, with gruesome crimes juxtaposed with broad supposedly comic scenes. D Nominally an entry in the Logan McRae series, though he plays a very small part. The emphasis is on Roberta Steel, the cartoon character lesbian police officer who has been demoted to sergeant. The book follows similar lines to one in which McRae was demoted, with the protagonist having to deal with minor crimes for the most part, but with Steel obsessed with one criminal responsible for her demotion. Strange tone to the book, with gruesome crimes juxtaposed with broad supposedly comic scenes. Disappointing.
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  • Simon
    January 1, 1970
    Fudge Flavoured Wombles in Tartan NoirThe odd thing is that I didn't give this book the best chance because I was in a foul mood when I started listening to it. Half an hour later my troubles were forgotten. This is a gloriously entertaining piece of Tartan Noir from Stuart McBride featuring a lead character who feels like a genuine force of nature.Readers of the Logan MCrae series will well remember the rather unfortunate Detective Inspector Roberta Steel who was thrown under the bus, discredit Fudge Flavoured Wombles in Tartan NoirThe odd thing is that I didn't give this book the best chance because I was in a foul mood when I started listening to it. Half an hour later my troubles were forgotten. This is a gloriously entertaining piece of Tartan Noir from Stuart McBride featuring a lead character who feels like a genuine force of nature.Readers of the Logan MCrae series will well remember the rather unfortunate Detective Inspector Roberta Steel who was thrown under the bus, discredited and demoted to Detective Sergeant. Steel is every bit of Scottish Detective curmudgeon, irreverence, anti-establishment sentiment and downright rudeness ever written all piled into one big bitter pile of spite. It's a brilliant and darkly humorous move that bundles all that and a strong desire for justice up into a horny married lesbian copper responsible for two young daughters.She crashes about with the best of intentions dragging poor Tufty her partner with her intio scrape after scrape. The humour is constant though possibly a little juvenile for some.The thing that I love most about McBride is the writing style. The narrative gives even rooms and inanimate objects character. I think it's probably the first time I've ever actually felt sympathy for an interrogation room. The dialogue is brisk and has that almost Pulp Fiction nuance of not being afraid to go off on a tangent, just like people do.All this chaos and depth needs a good performance. Steve Worsley is a great fit! Maybe his ladies don't sound the most feminine but he launches himself into the whole thing with gusto and certainly gives the impression he's enjoying this particular script.This really is a book I would thoroughly recommend. The story and characters made me both laugh and excited. I mean it when I use the term noir above though, this isn't for the super-sensitive or the politically correct. It really does describe some very tough situations but the humanity of the characters shines through and the scene where Roberta declares that she was *trying* to be nice made me laugh out loud but showed she has a heart in there.An extremely good use of a credit with the fudge-flavoured wombles a bonus!
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  • Katy
    January 1, 1970
    If the question is how do you write tartan noir inspired by classic children's books and come up with an absolute belter, the answer is Now We Are Dead. Good job and thank you Mr MacBride.
  • Abby Slater- Fairbrother
    January 1, 1970
    I have recently been trying to catch up with the MacBride novels, I have fallen behind with. Last month I reviewed, A Dark So Deadly and I wanted to get this novel read before the latest MacBride novel release (so excited!). I also had my arm slightly bent up my back, by Kate, Eva and Jen aka the #MacBrideMafia. Who have threatened to kick me out the mafia if I didn’t pull my socks up and we all know what that means! Lol So here are my thoughts on Now We Are Dead. . . This novel focuses on Detec I have recently been trying to catch up with the MacBride novels, I have fallen behind with. Last month I reviewed, A Dark So Deadly and I wanted to get this novel read before the latest MacBride novel release (so excited!). I also had my arm slightly bent up my back, by Kate, Eva and Jen aka the #MacBrideMafia. Who have threatened to kick me out the mafia if I didn’t pull my socks up and we all know what that means! Lol So here are my thoughts on Now We Are Dead. . . This novel focuses on Detective Chief Inspector Roberta Steel and her fall from grace. Logan McCrae is briefly mentioned, and it would appear Steel is no fan of the man!I actually found Steel quite difficult to like, but I think this was the point. I don’t think she was supposed to be the most likeable character. Your drawn into the plot and almost begin to sympathise with her work colleagues who have to put up with her. She is moody, difficult and set in her ways. All qualities, I could quite easily say about myself. But we shall glance over that. I don’t think Steel is intended as a protagonist you emotionally connect with. But yet, I did respect her as a copper and if I was a victim, I’d want her on my side. The novel opens with the arrest of an unknown child shoplifter aged 9/10yrs. The author has added his usual humour into the spin-off crime stories. I did find myself giggling, at scenes in the novel. The writing is just so brilliantly done. Later at the station Steel faces the sneers and dominance of her fellow officers. I am not sure if this is what makes her so moody or if this is the effect of her grumpy persona. It is like a chicken/egg situation. The look downs from other officers and Jack Wallace using the press to goad her, make her journey back up the career ladder much tougher. ‘Remember: the road to redemption is paved with little victories’ The young shoplifter leads the case to a raid on a flat. Where a young child is discovered. The child is not known to be missing and this develops into a much bigger case. There is also a spin-off story of a serial masturbator, dressed as various superheroes. Now, as serious as flashing or sexually motivated crimes are, I did find myself giggling as Steel and Tufty attempt to apprehend the local perv. ‘A sex offender in the hand is better than two in the bushes’There is also the case of Mrs Galloway, a local OAP facing serious and violent harassment at the hands of loan sharks. Steel deals with this in such a manner, that makes you really admire her. Whilst also making you think, being legally right and morally right, are two different things entirely.The main plot running throughout the novel is the case of Jack Wallace. Who I can’t fully describe because WordPress and Amazon have community standards. But he is vile! I can really see why he has gotten under Steel’s skin and why she refuses to back away from the case. I had faith, because I knew if I was a criminal (which I am not, just to be clear!) I wouldn’t fancy my chances if Steel was after me! There is an emotional scene where Steel attends the scene of a young murder victim Sally Gray. It really pulled at my heart and I did begin to slowly realise Steel is human after all. A complex crime fiction novel, packed with all the feels and some naughty giggles. 5*
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