The Hangman's Song picks up right where The Book Of Souls left off. The first chapter grabs you and holds you tight, dropping you right in to the story and introducing you to the chilling madness of this latest book.
I felt so sad reading much of this. You learn even more about Tony McLean and each thing I learn about him makes me want to learn more. This book is slightly bitter in its tone, and Tony is bitter too - and it should be that way. After everything that's already happened and what happens in this, McLean has every right to be bitter.
I loved the snarky bitterness in the narrative, the digs at the general public, at the police force, at anyone who got in McLean's way and at the coffee. I loved Mrs McCutcheon's cat, whose actions seemed so closely to mirror McLean's throughout the book, even if he didn't realise.
Although it seemed at first that this book was more toned down, it wasn't - the story was just more complex, a little deeper and more subtle. And much, much darker than anything we've read of McLean before, despite the humour and the sarcasm which bring a very much needed breath of lightness.
I didn't see that ending coming, although I suppose I should have. I just couldn't believe it would actually happen. I thought the ending was quite poignant, despite the desperation obvious in the pages.Review originally posted at This Northern Reader, November 2013.