By Alan Parks
The second dark and grimy Harry McCoy thriller from the most exciting new voice in Scottish noirTweet
Set in 1970s Glasgow, this book has all the ingredients you would expect from such a setting – violence, drugs, gang warfare etc.
Detective Harry McCoy is investigating various grisly deaths in this book. There is a very fine line between himself and the villains, which he crosses on occasion. He is a very likeable character though, and given his traumatic childhood, and the fact that a good friend of his is one of the gangsters involved in the above, this is hardly surprising.
The interaction between McCoy, his superior Murray, and Wattie is entertaining and reminiscent of old TV police dramas of the same era.
It is a very well written police story which I’m sure you’ll enjoy.
Thoroughly enjoyed reading this thrilling book which is definitely not for the feint hearted. This is the second book in a series following Detective Harry McCoy. However although there are references to past history, you can easily follow the thread of what has previously happened.
The book is quite brutal in parts and Harry is by no means following the letter of the law himself but he is very likeable.
Can’t wait to read the next book whenever that may be.
The book opens with a body on a Glasgow building site. It belongs to a famous footballer and he has a message carved into his chest. As more similarly mutilated bodies are discovered it becomes clear that this is no ordinary murder. The detective in charge is Harry McCoy, a very unconventional individual who is not averse to breaking the rules if he thinks it will help his case. This book takes us on McCoy’s journey into Glasgow’s underground where gang rivalry is rife. It is a dangerous place to be.
There is a lot to like about this book and one of the big plus points is the detective, Harry McCoy. The book is very character-centred and the author has created a great character to take centre-stage. As cops go, McCoy isn’t exactly mainstream – he is volatile, has dangerous friends, drinks far too much, frequently uses recreational drugs and knows all the wrong people. But he does believe in justice and is prepared to put his life on the line to get it. McCoy is undoubtedly the star of the show If it was a TV series he would make quite compelling viewing. You don’t know what on earth he is going to do next, but you can’t wait to find out. He specialises in going off-piste, not necessarily for the right reasons or even in a controlled way but it does make him an exciting character. Would I want him to be in charge of a case that I was pursuing? Probably, but I wouldn’t want to know too much about his methods. I also like the author’s writing style and his wry sense of humour - there are a couple of laugh-out loud moments which still make me chuckle when I think about them now. Finally, apparently this is the second book in a series featuring Harry McCoy (I am pleased about this as he deserves his own series). Although I hadn’t read the first book it did not detract in any way from my enjoyment of this one which works well as a stand-alone. I obviously can’t comment on whether I would have appreciated this one more if I had read the prequel as I just don’t know..
However, there is a down side. It is bloody, violent, gritty and grim (but undoubtedly very realistic). For me, this is an issue as I am more of an Agatha Christie person and I like my crime novels to be of the cosy variety. This book falls short of that yardstick by quite a big margin, but this is purely personal preference and most readers probably aren’t nearly so idealistic and wimpish. The other problem I had, which again is down to personal taste, is that this is not really a crime thriller as such, but more of a police procedural. You know from very early on who “dunnit”, and the book follows the police as they try to catch him before he strikes again. On the whole I would prefer a few twists and turns and a reveal in the last few pages.
Would I read another one in this series? Yes, despite the brutal nature of the narrative, I think I would. Recommended for all crime lovers, but be prepared for a fairly brutal world. It is not necessary to have read McCoy’s previous adventure in order to appreciate this one.