Another great Scottish mystery writer—I don’t know how I could have overlooked MacBride for so long. He has an ongoing series featuring Detective Sergeant Logan McRae and a memorable cast of fellow officers working in the city of Aberdeen, also known as the Granite City. This is a dark series with frustrated police trying to solve horrific crimes while still pursuing their own lives and loves in occasional snatches of free time. McRae is an honorable but stubborn man whose experiences have left him sleeping badly, drinking excessively, and working obsessively. In Blind Eye, he is hunting for a man who is blinding a series of victims by gouging out their eyeballs. The crimes seem to be motivated by hatred of the growing population of Polish immigrants in Aberdeen, but each lead fails, while police and civilians are increasingly agitated by the horror of each new crime.
Once again, this is fairly violent, dark stuff. (It seems as though a good many American and European mysteries being written now are preoccupied with the underside of the human psyche–perhaps not a surprise to anyone reading the newspaper headlines day in day out.) However, the violence is the object of McRae’s concern, not something glorified, even covertly. And McRae is a character of considerable substance and interest. MacBride is a writer worth your time and attention.