It’s been seventeen months since the Bloodsmith butchered his first victim and Operation Maypole is still no nearer to catching him. The media is whipping up a storm, the top brass are demanding results, but the investigation is sinking fast.
Now isn’t the time to get distracted with other cases, but Detective Sergeant Lucy McVeigh doesn’t have much choice. When Benedict Strachan was just eleven, he hunted down and killed a homeless man. No one’s ever figured out why Benedict did it, but now, after sixteen years, he’s back on the streets again – battered, frightened, convinced a shadowy ‘They’ are out to get him, and begging Lucy for help.
It sounds like paranoia, but what if he’s right? What if he really is caught up in something bigger and darker than Lucy’s ever dealt with before? What if the Bloodsmith isn’t the only monster out there? And what’s going to happen when Lucy goes after them?
Buckle up for a crazy ride! I haven’t read any other novels by Stuart MacBride but have heard great things, and what a novel No Less The Devil is to start on!
This book has some great characters – I warmed to DS Lucy McVeigh as the novel went on. We follow Lucy throughout this novel as she tries to come to terms with her troubled past, at the same time as investigating a series of murders which seem no closer t being solved than they were when the first murder happened well over a year ago. Her work partner, nicknamed ‘The Dunk’, is likeable in his own way, and is treated quite badly at times by Lucy (something I didn’t really like about her character – she could be quite cruel to others, though she had her own reasons).
We slowly uncover more about Lucy’s past, and the characters she’s surrounded by as she tries to solve who The Bloodsmith actually is. Does Benedict Strachan, who was convicted as a child of murdering a homeless man, have anything to do with it?
The plot kept me gripped and it’s filled with intrigue and great police procedural details. I have to say, a lot of this novel felt like your usual (but nevertheless gripping and well written) crime novel but then, towards the end (about 80% of the way through), it suddenly steps up a gear, changing quite significantly – in fact, everything goes a bit bizarre! I have to say I preferred the book prior to that point – at times it felt a bit confusing as to what was happening (though that may well have been exactly the point). I don’t want to give too much away…
No Less The Devil is a real rollercoaster of a read with twists, turns and plenty of mystery embedded throughout. I really enjoyed it, particularly the first 3/4 of the book, and I’ll certainly be reading more from this author!
My rating: 4/5
Many thanks to the publisher, Bantam Press, for providing a copy of this book on which I chose to write an honest review.