Recap: Something wicked is happening on the streets of Glasgow. More and more bodies are turning up dead, tortured and poisoned with antifreeze. All the victims are drunks, and the suspects aren’t leaving any traces behind. But when a veterinarian named Eddie starts to realize that the ways in which they’re dying is similar to several recent cat deaths, he begins to investigate. Mentioning to police that there may be a link between these cat and human deaths leave him with nothing but laughs and rolled eyes. But one of the detectives, Catherine, has a soft spot for felines.
Soon Catherine and Eddie set out on their own private investigation into all the deaths. What they learn is that something blue and wicked is killing them all — a blue drink of antifreeze that tastes like alcohol — tricking alcoholics to drink it, while they are tortured in a slow, painful death. After proving the link to be probable, the entire investigative unit of the Glasgow Police work to solve the serial crimes. But with little evidence left behind, it’s hard to track down the killer — one of the worst Glasgow’s seen in years.
Analysis: Every once in a while, there’s nothing I take more pleasure in than reading a good, fun crime novel. This is one of those times. This thriller hooked me from the beginning. The book sets the reader on an omniscient path, each chapter showing a different character’s perspective, including that of the killer. That’s where the novel begins, hooking muse in with a detailed description of Jacko’s sick, grotesque murders and the rise he gets from them. He disgusted me so much, that while I had to turn away from some pages, I couldn’t help but continue to read, so I would rest assured he was captured.
The pacing of the novel was almost perfect. It was slow and methodical at first — as it should be! — but the quick nature in which the detectives went about tracking down the killer was way too easy to be believable. However, the ease with which the detectives work to find their suspect is met abruptly with a twist that’s more surprising to the characters than it is to the reader (no spoilers here, folks!), and that was almost enough for the pacing and logic to redeem themselves.
MVP: Eddie. Of course, he’s the protagonist of the novel who gets all the glory, but he’s also a strong man who pushes for what he believes in. Unlike other detective novels, Eddie has to fight for his ability to investigate the case (after all, he’s not actually a detective — he’s a vet!). But that makes him all the more interesting and commendable.