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Ash Henderson Books In Order

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Publication Order of Ash Henderson Books

Birthdays for the Dead (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Song for the Dying (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Coffinmaker’s Garden (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon

Ash Henderson Series by Stuart MacBride

Scottish writer Stuart MacBride was born in Dumbarton, Scotland. He was raised in Aberdeen and had various careers such as scrubbing toilets offshore, web and graphic design and IT/computer programming before he was recognized as the highly talented fiction author he is now.

Since 2005 Mr. MacBride has been delivering a string of standalone novels and several series of stories that have been highly received. He lives in north-east Scotland, passionately growing potatoes with his wife, Fiona and their cat Grendel.

In the Ash Henderson Series Mr. MacBride gives us an apparently washed up Detective Inspector. His career is shredded, his family destroyed, and a vicious Oldcastle criminal is making sure Henderson spends the remainder of his miserable years in prison.

Birthdays for the Dead is the first in the Ash Henderson Series. This is a dark, violent, and deeply disturbing story of a twisted killer who preys on girls who are on the cusp of their 13th birthday.

The sheer number of victims the killer has managed to take without coming even close to being caught is staggering. After years the police haven’t the slightest clue.

Detective Constable Henderson was on the initial investigation of other missing girl five years ago when his daughter, Rebecca Henderson, went missing. Everyone thought she ran away. One year later Henderson started receiving the same nightmare Polaroids from the kidnapper.

The papers call him “The Birthday Boy” because after he takes the girls he sends a Polaroid a year later and yearly after showing the terrified girls who are bound, naked, tortured, and then dead.

Henderson carries the burden of this alone. His family has no idea; they think she simply ran off and didn’t contact them again. He collects the pictures in a little box Rebecca had decorated. They are inscribed with “Happy Birthday” and numbered. The kidnapper is sadistic and meticulous.

His police department doesn’t know about Rebecca or the yearly photos he receives. If they knew, he would be off the investigation. He can’t let that happen. He has to be able to run this evil person down and hopefully save his daughter, if not, other teenagers like her.

Ash Henderson returns in the second novel of the series- A Song for the Dying. Eight years ago “The Inside Man” murdered and then disappeared. Henderson was a Detective Inspector during the first investigation.

Eight years ago the man murdered four women and slit their stomachs open and stitched a plastic doll inside. He left three other women in critical condition.

The killer was never caught. In the meantime, lives can dramatically change in eight years. Henderson’s career is shredded, his family has been shattered and is in ruins, and a vindictive female criminal, Mrs. Kerrigan, has made sure Henderson will spend the rest of his days in prison.

Every time his parole hearing is scheduled Kerrigan schedules a beating by a couple of huge, mean criminal thugs. And Henderson gets blamed for causing a fight and parole is denied. She’s has promised to keep this going until she’s bored of it, then she’ll simply have him killed in prison. He’s never getting out alive.

Years later, another woman has turned up dead. Claire Young, a young pediatric nurse out in a wasted area behind Blackwall Hill, a plastic doll tucked into her body, like the other women. Dr. Alice McDonald has other ideas. She persuades a member of the investigating team to get Ash out of prison to work the case. He has his own agenda. If he’s out he’s in position to exact his revenge and get Mrs. Kerrigan off his back for good.

Mr. McBride delivers another thrilling, tension-filled story of mystery and violence with his third book in the Ash Henderson series: The Coffinmaker’s Garden.

Gordon Smith had secrets he could have kept buried for a long time with no one the wiser. Until a massive storm battered the Scottish coast.

Turns out ol’ Gordon has been on a killing spree and seeding his garden with the bones of his victims. When a huge storm batters the coast of Scotland, Gordon’s garden is washed away and his secrets are exposed with bits of bones coming to the surface at a time .

It’s too dangerous to physically go out there and assess the crime scene and evidence is quickly being washed away by the storm. Gordon has moved on to who knows where and he may be gathering and planting more victims already.

Of course the media is baying for answers and the top brass is looking for who they can blame to get the spotlight away from them. EX-inspector Ash Henderson has been asked to assist with this complicated investigation.

This time around Henderson has a partner. Dr Alice McDonald, psychologist, is the only one who has been sticking up for him, way back when he was in prison. Henderson has already been working with Dr. McDonald on another case.

The abduction and murder of young boys around Oldcastle. When they are called to the scene of the Smith house where a lot of bones have been found.

The garden isn’t the only gruesome discovery at the Smith house. There are more grim discoveries in the basement. This house hasn’t given up all its secrets.

After what Henderson has been through, he is done. Done waiting. Done following the rules. Done playing nice. He’s going to catch this killer. Don’t get in his way.

As per usual, MacBride gives us a story filled with grit, precious little humor, and troubling violence and pain.

Book Series In Order » Characters » Ash Henderson

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