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Stuart MacBride: ‘I love writing fictional serial killers. But I cannot stand real ones’

The bestselling novelist stresses that his relish for the kind of bloodshed that features in new novel The Coffinmaker’s Garden is strictly confined to stories

When Stuart MacBride is making up a serial killer, there is one paramount rule he follows. “It doesn’t have to make sense to us, as long it makes sense to the killer.”

The bestselling Scottish novelist has studied all sorts of books about what motivates killers – the FBI’s crime classifications handbook; FBI agent Robert Ressler’s books on tracking down serial killers – and that is his abiding takeaway.

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