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John Maytham's Book Reviews: Serial killers, slavery and sieges

A Dark So Deadly by Stuart McBride

Scottish thriller writer Stuart McBride's books are mostly set in Dundee and feature a character called Logan McRae, nicknamed Lazarus because he was once thought to have been killed, but survived.

In his latest offering. McBride introduces a new character called DC Callum MacGregor, another well meaning but misunderstood police officer.

He joins Lazarus in the 'misfits' unit - those cops who have all offended the hierarchy in some way - and who are lumped with all the uninteresting cases. Until an ancient mummified body turns up at the refuse tip in Old Castle which is where the story is set.

They set out to find out which museum it comes from only to discover it is a recently mummified body - and there is in fact, a serial killer on the loose.

John says at 600 pages it is a tad long but is still a very satisfying thriller with the dark humour so characteristic of Stuart McBride.

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

John says this is one of the best books he has read in a long time. it is an award winning book about slavery and its continuing impact on America.

It begins on a particularly vicious Georgia plantation where everybody wants to escape. You meet three generations of slaves in the book and hear all their stories in a rich and meaningful way.

The 'underground railway' was the system designed to help slaves escape and the book follows escaped slaves being pursued by one of the evilest characters.

Guide to Sieges of South Africa by Nicki von der Heyde

A fascinating non-fiction book following von der Heyde's Battlefields of South Africa which offers a mine of information if you are travelling across South Africa and are interested in the military history of the country.

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