The Coffinmaker’s Garden by Stuart MacBride #BookReview

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A house of secrets…
As a massive storm batters the Scottish coast, Gordon Smith’s home is falling into the sea. The trouble is: that’s where he’s been hiding the bodies.

A killer on the run…
It’s too dangerous to go near the place, so there’s no way of knowing how many people he’s murdered. Or how many more he’ll kill before he’s caught.

An investigator with nothing to lose…
As more horrors are discovered, ex-detective Ash Henderson is done playing nice. He’s got a killer to catch, and God help anyone who gets in his way.

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Stuart MacBride is a well-known author to me although I lost sight of his work over the last few years. I have now rediscovered how fond I am of his writing style peppered with metaphors, descriptions of people’s appearances to die for (what about: a face like a slab of concrete that’d been carved by a sadist; a greying beard trimmed to within an inch of its death; a head looking like something happened to one of the hairier muppets) and other punchy comments which make it all very humorous, so I definitely regret that I have let this happen. Apart from The Coffinmaker’s Garden I have 3 other MacBride novels in my library (photo on my Instagram if you care to see). I think I read two of them but I definitely seemed to have forgotten how witty and fun his writing is. It’s not just a well placed one liner in every 50 to 100 pages either but all throughout the novel. I loved the dry humour!

I blasted through this novel and despite this being the last novel of a trilogy, I had no problem engaging with Ash Henderson. I don’t know yet what happened to his foot or Rebecca, his wife so I need to go back to find out but that did not diminish my enjoyment of the story. I didn’t get a good grip on Alice though, the woman he apparently shares a house with. In a fleeting moment I wondered if they were lovers but aside from the age gap it also soon felt Ash’s protective stance was more fatherly than anything else. Alice, a psychotherapist (who seems to be in need of some therapy as well) is investigating the murders of some young boys and the disappearance of one, while Ash is assigned to this serial killer on the run. He not only has to find him but also identify his victims while he’s being chased, followed and blackmailed.

I read reviews saying there’s a lot of violence and while Ash Henderson does get battered (within an inch of his life even) quite a few times it does not get into any graphic details about the torture of the victims. If there’s one thing I would have changed about this novel it would be hearing more about the victims, why they were targeted, their backgrounds, how the killer’s wife fit into all of this, etc. but otherwise this novel is bloody perfect as it is.

There’s plenty to sink your teeth in and there’s really never a dull moment. Lots of action and investigating going on with main character Ash and his faithful sidekick Henry aka ‘the Scottie Dog Vehicle Defence System’. Who doesn’t want to read a novel with a dog in it (not that he’s very helpful but he’s so cute!)?

If you’re looking for a thriller that is action-packed, intriguing and has a good dose of humour, you need to put this one on your list! Believe me, you won’t regret it! I already was a fan but now I’m an even bigger fan!

I received a copy of this book in my Capital Crime book subscription box.

5 thoughts on “The Coffinmaker’s Garden by Stuart MacBride #BookReview

  1. I too enjoy Stuart MacBride’s books, but I’ve only tried the Logan McRae series so far. 100% agree that his writing is witty and I also like his Scottish setting. I really should get back to his books again (like you, I kinda got away from them), but perhaps it would be better to start with the first in the trilogy? Great review, Inge!

    Liked by 1 person

    • How wonderful to hear you read and enjoyed his novels too! I don’t know if the first two will be as great as this one, although I guess they will be. This one’s perfectly readable as a standalone and it piqued my interest about a few things (why does he need a walking stick, how did he end up living with his colleague and is he always looking out for her..). I think it’ll work both ways to want to keep on reading.

      Liked by 1 person

      • It’s good to know that it can be read as a standalone. Since it’s a trilogy, it’s realistic to read all of them and in that case I prefer to read them chronologically. I easily get confused! 😆

        Liked by 1 person

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