Wednesday 3 August 2022

The Last Bloody Straw - J.D. Kirk - DCI Logan Book 5

The Last Bloody Straw
DCI Logan Book 5
ISBN 9781912767205

This is the eighth volume from J.D. Kirk that I have read in the last few months. I have enjoyed all that I have now read, the first 5 in the DCI Logan series and the first two in the Robert Hoon series. I picked the first for a few reasons, but mainly because authors Alex Smith and JE Mayhew have both recommended the author and series. I am a big fan of Smith’s DCI Kett novels and Mayhew’s DCI Will Blake series. And having ripped through both of their series and slowing working through all of Mayhew’s others works I decided to give Kirk’s a try. Like Mayhew and Smith, Kirk publishes under various names. Kirk publishes children books as Barry Hutchison, and other adult fiction as Barry J. Hutchison. He is coming up on 175 books across the three pen names. If I had known that or I might not have picked up this first one. Friends call me a ‘completionist’ in that when I find an author I like, I try to read everything they have published. For now I will try and read the remaining books published as Kirk.

The two series under the pen name J.D. Kirk are definitely are Scottish Mysteries, and I can see the comparisons with both Smith and Mayhew’s works. The Logan books are between Smith and Mayhew for violence and intensity. But the Hoon books are much closer to Smith’s more extreme end. This one was another good read. Each time I finish a book by Kirk it takes willpower not to just pick up the next one and keep going. The description of this novel is:

“Tormented by the recent loss of a colleague, DCI Jack Logan is on the warpath, determined to bring down all those he holds responsible for the officer's death.

His quest for revenge is cut short when a woman's body turns up on the remote island of Canna, and Jack is summoned to investigate. As a storm closes in, Jack finds himself cut-off from the rest of the world, with no car, no phone signal, and only DC Neish for company.

With time running out before the ferries resume, Jack must act fast to crack the case before the killer can escape. But with the victim widely hated on the island, everyone on it is a potential suspect.

Even the scarecrow...”

This story has less action than some of the others in the series so far. This time Logan faces a very different struggle. The victim was someone he knew in school. The murder and investigation takes place mainly on a very fictionalized island of Canna. Kirk informs us in the afterward that:

“Now, I’m afraid I’ve got something I have to admit. The Canna featured in this book does not exist. It is a completely fictionalised version of the real island, which currently has a population of around seven people.

It also has no pub.

I decided to make-up my own version of Canna for a number of reasons. There are other Scottish islands much more similar to the one in this book, but that is part of the problem.

Setting a crime novel in Inverness, of even Fort William, is one thing, as both have reasonably large communities. Setting one in a small island community, using actual locations, is more problematic, and I was worried I might inadvertently paint real islanders in a bad light.

I could have completely made up a new island, but the other locations in the books have all been real places, so I didn’t want to break that continuity.

And so, I compromised - a real island, with a false reality laid over the top.”

Logan comes face to face with his own stumbling youth. He uncovers several secrets. And has a number of people arrested for a variety of crimes by the end of the story. Along the way are some twists and turns. And Logan in becoming more introspective is dealing with some of the loss he has suffered, both in the past and not so distance pass. This one is far more of a true crime fiction and less action thriller. Having said that, in some ways this was a harder read because of the nature of the crimes, both the one he is called out for and the others he discovers along the way.

It is a good read in a great series, I can easily state that after having read the first five DCI Logan books and the first two in the Robert Hoon Series I know I will be reading all the books published buy this author under this pen name of J.D. Kirk. This is an great offering if you love crime procedural books.  Previously I have compared these book to the TV series The Commander or Wired in the Blood, that I used to watch on BritBox Saturdays, I can even more so state that after this 5th DCI Logan Story. I love that they are set in Scotland! It would be great read for fans of Jack Reacher, DCI Kett or DCI Will Blake. It is a good read in an excellent series. I can easily recommend it.

Books by J.D. Kirk:

DCI Logan Series:

Robert Hoon Thrillers:

DI Heather Filson Series:

Contributed to:
Everyday Kindness: A Collection of Uplifting Tales to Brighten Your Day

Books as Barry J. Hutchison:
Dan Deadman Space Detective Series:

Space Team Series:
The Search for Splurt 
Song of the Space Siren 
The Guns of Nana Joan 
Return of the Dead Guy 
Planet of the Japes 
The Time Titan of Tomorrow 
The King of Space Must Die 
Sting of the Mustard Mines 
Sentienced to Death
The Hunt for Reduk Topa
A Lot of Weird Space Shizz: Collected Short Stories

Sidekicks Initiative Series:

The Bug Books Series:
Episode 1
Episode 2
Episode 3
Complete Season One

Other Books:

Children’s books as Barry Hutchison:
Invisible Fiends Series:
The Crowmaster 
Doc Mortis 
The Beast 
The Darkest Corners 

The Missing Remote of the Apocalypse
The Book of Doom 

Benjamin Blank Series:

Beaky Malone Series:

Generator Rex Series:

Living Ted Series:
Revenge of the Living Ted
Invasion of the Living Ted

Spectre Collectors Series:
Too Ghoul for School
A New York Nightmare!

Other works:

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