When they start dying, no one seems to care. The criminal set of Glasgow are being gunned down, one by one and many think the vigilante killer is doing what the police couldn’t or wouldn’t do themselves. Police photographer, Tony Winters has a fascination with seeing death through his camera and he begs his best friend, DI Addison to assign him as official photographer on the case. With his penchant for capturing the crowds and the police at work, is he purely a nuisance or could his photos hold the key to solving the crimes?

Winter had never ceased to be amazed at the colour of blood because you never knew quite what you were going to get. See it vivid when the haemoglobin is oxygenated and you will be seeing amaranth, candy apple or American rose. See it dull, listless and dying and it will be sangria, rufous or burgundy.

Tony is not your average crime protagonist and there will be times where you question his allegiance. He was driven to become a police photographer when he was dragged to an exhibition of Enrique Metinides’ work and he became entranced by the scenes of death and destruction. Metinides is a real person, a Mexican photojournalist who has captured the horrors of crime and disaster for tabloid papers, where such shocking images are more commonplace. Of course, in Snapshot Tony doesn’t exhibit his photos and mostly works within the confines of his job but there is a clear feeling that he gets a rush from it.

There was a lot going on in the opening chapters and a lot of characters to get to grips with so it took a while to really get into the story. The murders come one after another but because of the city’s apathy towards the victims, they all rolled into one for me. Once the plot becomes more personal in the second half, it turns into a bloody good read. I have the follow-up, Cold Grave, to read and I will be intrigued to see how it fares now I have become familiar with the characters.

I’m not sure Glasgow’s tourist board will be thanking Robertson though. He paints a bleak picture of a city riddled with violent crime, drugs and prostitution. Maybe now that the vigilante has killed them all off, it may become a better place to live in future instalments!

You can read a bit more about Metinides here but beware the image on the article may be distressing.

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