Random – Craig Robertson (Narey & Winter Book 1)

About the Book: Glasgow is being terrorised by a serial killer the media have nicknamed The Cutter. The murders have left the police baffled. There seems to be neither rhyme nor reason behind the killings; no kind of pattern or motive; an entirely different method of murder each time, and nothing that connects the victims except for the fact that the little fingers of their right hands have been severed.
If DS Rachel Narey could only work out the key to the seemingly random murders, how and why the killer selects his victims, she would be well on her way to catching him. But as the police, the press and a threatening figure from Glasgow’s underworld begin to close in on The Cutter, his carefully-laid plans threaten to unravel – with horrifying consequences.

About the Author: A former journalist, Craig Robertson had a 20-year career with a Scottish Sunday newspaper before becoming a full-time author. He interviewed three Prime Ministers, reported on major stories including 9/11, Dunblane, the Omagh bombing and the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. He was pilloried on breakfast television, beat Oprah Winfrey to a major scoop, spent time on Death Row in the USA and dispensed polio drops in the backstreets of India.

His gritty crime novels are set on the mean streets of contemporary Glasgow. His first novel, Random, was shortlisted for the 2010 CWA New Blood Dagger, longlisted for the 2011 Crime Novel of the Year and was a Sunday Times bestseller. Murderabilia was longlisted for the 2017 Crime Novel of the Year and shortlisted for the McIlvanney Prize.

He now shares his time between Scotland and California and can usually be found on a plane somewhere over the Atlantic.

My Review:  I’m going to be honest here, I had heard incredible things about one of Craig’s books Murderabilia and went to download it, but saw it was number 6 in a series and if you follow my reviews you will know I don’t like reading books out of order and the idea of having to read 5 books just to get to Murderabilia when I currently have over 400 books on my kindle wasn’t overly appealing.

This week all 6 books in this series have been reduced to 99p, so I popped back onto Amazon to see if I should buy them all or not and guess what I saw…? A 1 star review which actually made up my mind and I downloaded it instantly.  The idea that a book was too violent and written in the first person by the serial killer actually got me rather excited and I started reading Random as soon as it landed on my kindle.

So, my thoughts on Random…. I loved this book, the pace, the narrator, the gore, the murders, the subtle humour and most of all the story-line.  This is the first book in a series featuring DS Rachel Narey, however I think we need to reword “featuring” to “cameo appearance” as Random is told entirely from the point of view of The Cutter or Jock the Ripper a serial killer who is targeting random people in Glasgow and killing them in the most gory and twisted ways imagined, then cutting off their little finger and sending it to the police.

This is not a police procedural book as other than reading the occasional police statements we have no interaction from DS Narey, so be warned – whilst this is a crime book, it’s written from the perspective of the killer.  I personally thought the story was gripping and entertaining (yes I do love a gory death on the pages), I felt sympathy towards our serial killer (you will too eventually) and have downloaded the other 6 books immediately as it would be rude not to at 99p each!

Books in Order:

1. Random (2010)
2. Snapshot (2011)
3. Cold Grave (2012)
4. Witness the Dead (2013)
5. In Place of Death (2015)
6. Murderabilia (2016)
7. The Photographer (2018)