No Less The Devil - Reviewed by Fiona Robinson | Regional News Connecting Wellington

No Less The Devil

Written by: Stuart MacBride

Penguin Books

Reviewed by: Fiona Robinson

If you want a page-turner, then look no further than No Less The Devil. But be warned: once you get into this book, you’ll be seriously hooked. I read it on the bus home and nearly missed my stop. Then I sat in my car parked by the bus stop and read for another 10 minutes before driving home because I got to such a tense part in the plot that I couldn’t put the book down.

This murder-mystery about catching a deranged serial killer is very different to my usual favourite cosy mysteries. When I first picked it up, I read a chapter and put it down, because this tartan noir novel was a bit too dark and gritty for me. I picked it up again a week later and once I got that it was dark Scottish humour and rolled with it, I loved it.

The characters are intriguing and well developed. Detective Sergeant Lucy McVeigh Lucy is fantastic and likeable even though you find yourself shocked to be rooting for her at times. I hope we see this detective heroine again. The scenes with and descriptions of her unfit lumbering partner DC Duncan Fraser, also known as the Dunk, made me smile. The most memorable scenes though are when DS Lucy meets her match with the calculating students and teachers at a posh but unnerving private school.

The plot is fast paced and not always predictable. At first, I thought I was reading a pretty standard police procedural novel or classic serial killer mystery but then the plot started to take some unexpected turns. The writing is excellent and builds tension effectively. The detailed character descriptions draw you in, even when you know you shouldn’t be liking some of them!

This mystery is different. It’s dark and a bit discombobulating but it’s strangely fun. I recommend it.

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