Flesh House by Stuart MacBride
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is a definite DO NOT READ if you didn't like Silence of the Lambs (or books of that ilk). Very, very dark and twisted mystery here.
DS McRae is still struggling with the higher ups, as well as being torn between DI Steel and DI Insch. Then someone discovers human flesh in a container of food being shipped to a North Sea oil rig... and more in the supplier's freezers... and later even more in an abattoir and, well, things get really difficult. "The Flesher" was a criminal from Insch's past, and decisions he made then come back to haunt him. There may be a way out for McRae, via Chief Constable Foulds of the West Midland Police (good not just for his career, but also for his personal life now that he and Jackie have broken up), but first they need to find "The Flesher" and stop him from killing.
One of the things that I liked about this book is that it's not quite the same as the others: there's one real mystery covered, and while it does have backstory for us to deal with, it's not the multiple cases that the previous books have had. The other thing I really liked was that, as with Reginald Hill, MacBride seems to be playing a bit with format here. One of the new characters is Alec, a reality tv cameraman from the BBC (doing a documentary on the Grampian police), and occasionally we get a bit of 'script'. Additionally, parts of the book are broken up by faux newspaper clippings from the time before and current day. It'd be nice if this format change sticks.
As for the mystery itself, some of it was a little obvious but there were a couple of nice twists. My biggest complaint was that there had been a long gap between "Flesher" killings that was never explained.