Books, reviews

The Coffinmaker’s Garden

Thanks to NetGalley, the author and publishers for a free e-arc in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

A village on the edge…As a massive storm batters the Scottish coast, Gordon Smith’s home is falling into the North Sea. But the crumbling headland has revealed what he’s got buried in his garden: human remains.A house full of secrets…With the storm still raging, it’s too dangerous to retrieve the bodies and waves are devouring the evidence. Which means no one knows how many people Smith’s already killed and how many more he’ll kill if he can’t be found and stopped.An investigator with nothing to lose…The media are baying for blood, the top brass are after a scapegoat, and ex-Detective Inspector Ash Henderson is done playing nice. He’s got a killer to catch, and God help anyone who gets in his way.

When I requested this I hadn’t realised there were previous books with the main characters in. I just thought it sounded interesting! This was also the first Stuart Macbride book I’d read.

The reasons it came out as a three star are complicated. Technically it was a high three star close to a four star. I’ll start with the cons and end on a positive note!

Yep, more of my poor editing as I don’t have a physical copy!


To say it was a thriller, I didn’t feel particularly hooked. I never felt compelled to keep reading and it was very easy to put it down. I also never felt that I absolutely had to pick it up to start reading. There were some fast paced parts but there was also a lot of just driving about. I like my thrillers to absorb me and make me feel tense! I think I’ve learnt that I’m not great with slow stories. Which is fine because other people are. This is just my personal opinion. If I hadn’t been reading this for a review I might have come close to dnfing a couple of times.


What saved this book and turned it into a high three stars was the characters. I loved each and everyone of them. Obviously as I stated there are previous books with these characters so their relationships are fully formed. But this was quite possibly a plus with me as characters weren’t introduced so there was no “he had brown hair and blue eyes” rubbish. I loved the relationship between the main character Ash and Alice as well as Henry. The dialogue was excellent and there was a few times where I chuckled. The author also makes a joke about crime book covers which was great!

It’s because of the strength of the characters that I actually want to go and read his first novels with Ash so that I can find out what exactly happened in his past.

So overall, I liked this book but didn’t absolutely love it. Which is still good in my opinion. Nothing wrong with a three star book!

1 thought on “The Coffinmaker’s Garden”

  1. I’ve read a couple of MacBride’s detective novels about Logan McRae. As I remember them, they tend to be a bit slow going, but with good characters. Personally, I quite like that, but I understand that people expect something different from a thriller.

    Liked by 1 person

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