The great Steel debate (part 2)

After posting that stuff last week about people wanting me to kill off DI Steel I've been literally swamped with comments demanding that I let her live. Well, when I say 'swamped' I really mean, 'got two or three' -- so it's a very small swamp. Possibly the sort of place Kermit the Frog's estate agent would have called compact and bijou, with ensuite log and ample parking for tadpoles.

But I digress.

Andrew Taylor wades into the debate in this week's Spectator (18 August) with a nice review of BROKEN SKIN:

MacBride focuses on his police officers, foul-mouthed mavericks and hard-drinking misfits to a man and woman. (DI Steel should be declared a national treasure).

Hmm, so now, in order to please everybody, I have to kill her and keep her alive at the same time. Maybe I could kill her and then bring her back to life? A shuffling zombie lesbian crime fighter? There's probably a series in that for Channel 5 or FOX. "DI Steel's back from the dead, and she's pissed! Catch her whacky crime fighting antics only on SKY 1."

No?

She could have some sort of talking Voodoo doll for a sidekick, one that grows to be a full sized person when blood from a crime scene gets splashed on it. Only it sometimes turns evil, for some reason that never really gets explained. And maybe there's someone from the Procurator Fiscal's office who knows the truth, but can't decide what to do about it. Everyone else will just look at Steel's shambling, smelly demeanour and think it's business as normal. Except for the brain eating, of course. She'd have to be a bit secretive about that.

Hey, maybe that's how she solves the crime? As soon as they've finished the post mortem, and everyone's looking the other way, she goes, "BRAINNNNNSSSSS!", scoops the victims' grey matter out of the plastic bucket of formalin and eats it, thereby gaining everything the victim knew and saw.

You know what, I should be writing this down. Anyone out there got a couple of million in their pockets to make a pilot for the series? We'll be rich, I tell you: RICH!

Anyway... Mr Taylor (in the Spectator, remember we were talking about that?) goes on to say:

The procedural background detail feels authentic, the novel rattles along like a bolting horse, and the dialogue crackles like a firework display.

Which is very good for my fragile, bearded ego*. And kinder to the environment too!


* Honestly, it's like a little mouse. A little shy mouse that never gets enough cheese.

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