Murderabilia | Craig Robertson


Craig Robertson

Simon & Schuster


DI Rachel Narey and former police photographer turned photojournalist Tony Winter are back with a bang in Murderabilia.

Here’s the cover blurb to whet your appetite:

The first commuter train of the morning slowly rumbles away from platform seven of Queen St station. And then, as the train emerges from a tunnel, the screaming starts. Hanging from the bridge ahead of them is a body. Placed neatly on the ground below him are the victim’s clothes. Why?

Detective Inspector Narey is assigned the case and then just as quickly taken off it again. Winter, now a journalist, must pursue the case for her. The line of questioning centres around the victim’s clothes – why leave them in full view? And what did the killer not leave, and where might it appear again?

Everyone has a hobby. Some people collect death. To find this evil, Narey must go on to the dark web, and into immense danger …

You don’t have to have read ANY of Craig Robertson’s other Narey/Winter books in order to enjoy this one. Their relationship is on a serious footing and they both find themselves in unfamiliar territory – Narey becomes confined to bed, Winter finding his feet at his new job as a photojournalist.

I’ve only read a few of Craig Robertson’s books, but I learned about Urbexing (In Place of Death) and now here in Murderabilia I have discovered that murderabilia is actually a proper thing. It’s where people collect memorabilia surrounding crime, criminals and victims. Chilling thought, isn’t it? When Craig came to Bute Noir this year, he spoke with Denise Mina and Luca Veste about what murderabilia he himself had bought as background research for this book. We all shivered, but I’m betting that there wasn’t one amongst us who wouldn’t have liked to see for ourselves the hand-penned letter from Moors murderer Ian Brady. It’s so not stamp-collecting! After Brady’s death earlier in the year, the letter has undoubtedly gone up in value… * shudders involuntarily*

Narey, pregnant, bed-bound and off the case, makes a few tentative steps into the world of the dark web as she hunts for clues and soon finds herself being consumed by it: You can buy masonry from the house where the Manson Family murdered Sharon Tate. Sharon Tate was eight and a half months pregnant at the time she was murdered. The blurring of the lines between real crime and the fictional crime leads to a strange sense of it ALL being real.

As with Craig’s other books, this rattles along at a cracking pace (with me only stopping to google murderers and crimes to keep tabs on what was real and what was not!) and keeps you on your toes right to the end.

Poor Narey and Winter! Craig likes to be very cruel to the pair of them and this book is no exception – it’s an emotional roller-coaster for the couple! The juxtaposition of Narey and the precious cargo that she is carrying with the horror of the world that she is VOLUNTARILY wading around in on-line becomes uncomfortable reading. But that’s surely one of the book’s aims– murderabilia IS a ghoulish, fascinating and exploitative way to spend one’s hard-earned shekels.

Murderabilia is not only a great story well told, it holds a mirror up to a part of life that is quite real, quite unusual and quite unpleasant.  Don’t take my word for it that this is a good ‘un to read – Murderabilia was on the short list for The McIlvanney Prize at Bloody Scotland this year and also long-listed for the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the year.  I can’t wait to read Craig’s next book: The Photographer drops in January 2018!

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