Book Review: Death of an Addict by MC Beaton

I’ve been back on night shifts and I find it easier to stay awake by reading than if I watch TV. Of course, you need a certain type of book. Something relatively light and easy to read, so this charity shop find fit the bill well.

I’ve read another of the Hamish Macbeth books earlier this year and quite enjoyed it and by sheer fluke this is actually the next book in the series, with a couple of nods to the previous book (which I reviewed here).

This time around Hamish is looking into the death of Tommy, a reformed drug addict who appears to have fallen off the wagon and died from a heroin overdose. His colleagues are fine with this finding, and muster little enthusiasm to look into the death of the young man. Hamish, however, has doubts about this and begins poking around by himself.

The problem here is that while it starts off as a whodunnit Hamish then gets caught up in a large undercover operation to bring down some drug dealers. This is all handled with a decent amount of skill and it’s an easy, entertaining read but it feels a bit of a stretch at times and a large part of this kind of book’s appeal is trying to work out the mystery yourself. We’re denied that and the murder becomes an afterthought, hastily wrapped up after the undercover mission finishes.

Beaton keeps it moving on and Macbeth is an interesting hero, a rather unorthodox copper who works at his own pace and shows no ambition beyond wanting a nice life in his Highlands home. It’s nice to see him out of his depth and hit with believable emotions of nervousness and awkwardness, but I hope future books are more straight forward whodunnits.

There is a nice subplot about a monster being sighted that works well.

It has a decent plot, a few thrills and a nice, gentle sense of humour and it really helped pass the time on night shifts.

Verdict: 6/10.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.

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