Cold Granite by Stuart MacBride – 2005
I am an advocate and active petitioner for people to read more, because it seems that sitting down with a good book is something that may not be a thing in a couple of generations… but Cold Granite irked me, and the majority of its local readers irked me even more.
MacBride is a Scottish author and Cold Granite is set here, in Aberdeen. Now, I’ve got no problem with parochial content, nor have I got a problem with trying to write for a specific audience, but if I got a pound (£) from every person – most of whom haven’t read a book since The Hungry Caterpillar – who came up to me in 2005 and 2006 and asked if I had read this glorious novel, my pockets would be full.
Eventually I bowed to peer pressure and read it, and the book is entirely average in almost every respect. Friends and acquaintances who insisted I read it were – I can only assume – doing so because it delighted them that familiar streets and locations popped up in the text. Let’s forget the fact that the writing is basic, the plot has been done a thousand times before, and the central character is about as typical a police detective as fiction can throw up. It’s by no means terrible, but it’s just like a thousand other cop thrillers out there.
If you’ve got nothing to compare it to, then yes, Cold Granite is probably a pretty good story, but I’ve read too widely for this to stand out from the pack in any way, and I need more in a story than a checklist of places that I recognise.