Thursday, June 2, 2016

Review: Birthdays for the Dead (Ash Henderson #1) by Stuart MacBride

Title: Birthdays for the Dead (Ash Henderson #1)
Author: Stuart MacBride
Published by: Harper
Released: 2012
Summary: Detective Constable Ash Henderson has secrets, secrets that have taken over his life.

1. He used to be a gambler and a fighter.
2. He owes money to some very evil people.
3. He might be a policeman, but that doesn't mean he's going to follow all the rules.
4. His daughter, Rebeca, was taken and killed by the serial killer known as the Birthday Boy, and Ash plans to find him and make him pay!

Ash is determined to catch the Birthday Boy using any means necessary. The Birthday Boy is a killer, who kidnaps 12 year old girls before their 13th birthdays. The Birthday Boy tortures the girls, takes pictures, and kills them. Every year the Birthday Boy sends the murdered girl's parents a card and a picture. Ash Henderson hates those cards. 
When Ash teams up with Dr. Alice McDonald, a criminal psychologist, he's hoping her profile will help catch the Birthday Boy once and for all.
My Thoughts: Umm... wow. When I finished this book, I was shocked. I had to think, process, and sort out all the feels. This book really surprised me. It is unlike any crime thriller I've read so far. I will say that I did enjoy the book. It was disturbing, action packed, and kind of funny, all rolled into one. I wasn't expecting the story this book told.
What surprised me about this book was how it was more of a character driven story than a straight crime thriller. The reader learns a lot about Ash, what drives him, his demons. I kind of expected a father desperately searching for his daughter's killer, and I got that, but I also got a cop who really doesn't care about following the rules and can be all kinds of brutal when he feels like it. Ash was a tough guy to put my finger on. Sometimes he could be nice, and other times he could be scary! But I was captivated by Ash none-the-less.
I really enjoyed the humor in the book between Ash and Dr. McDonald. They were a good pair.
The ending shocked me. I wasn't expecting it to end the way it did. The killer's reveal was good, I really didn't expect him at all. But I didn't expect the ending to be so dark, that's what really shocked me.
All in all, I enjoyed this book. It was definitely something I never expected.
Get Ready To Be Shocked.

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