MacBride’s work is beyond gruesome yet the horror is tempered by gallows humour and Henry, “a daft, slightly stinky, Scottie dog”. The energetic prose is peppered with Scottish verbs — sook, hirple, wheech — and enlivened with such onomatopoeic inventions as zwip-zwop, skreltch and poonk. The violence, however, is not cartoonish. “Life is fleeting, short, and horrible,” Ash says to a colleague before he buys her a ride on a carousel. “Take whatever joy you can, where you can.” You could do a lot worse than start right here.