No Less the Devil

A chilling thriller which is going to stay with me for a long time

Book title

No Less the Devil


Stuart MacBride

Standalone or series


First time reading this author?


Why I picked this

Having re-discovered how good Stuart MacBride is last year I was keen to try his new one. The fact that it was a standalone rather than part of one of the series I need to catch up on helped.

Review copy or purchase

Thank you to the author, publishers Transworld and NetGalley UK for access to this as an advance reader’s ebook. This is an honest and voluntary review.

What it’s about

Detective Sergeant Lucy McVeigh is trying to solve crimes, escape from revenge and move away from the past.


Holy … wow! This chilling thriller is going to stay with me for a long time.

A standalone story, this story is set in the same fictional Scottish city of Oldcastle that the author’s Ash Henderson books are set. There’s a reference to Ash’s last outing in passing (a journalist who wrote a book about the Coffinmaker serial killer is talked about), but otherwise there’s no cross-over her that I picked up on.

Detective Sergeant Lucy McVeigh is on the hunt for a serial killer of her own. The Bloodsmith removes his victims’ hearts and signs the scene, but the police aren’t having any success tracking him down.

In the meantime a man released from prison for a murder he committed aged 11 has gone missing, a mother who blames Lucy for the death of her rapist son is out to get her, and someone seems to be following her.

There are three or four distinct plotlines within the book, but all tie neatly around Lucy as the main character. This helps make it possible to follow the action, and Lucy herself centres it all as an engaging and increasingly layered character, and one who brings the dark humour which is a welcome feature of a Stuart MacBride novel.

I’ve read some high concept thrillers which felt overly convoluted, but this novel ratchets up the tension and keeps it there even as a more and more complex truth emerges.

Very dark, very gripping and a thriller which absolutely delivers.


Rating: 5 out of 5.
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