While I really like Malcolm Mackay, the novel did split the judges. I was certainly gripped by it and nominated it for the long list, but several other judges found it to be cold, with no likeable characters. It is true that this tale of the rise of darkly brutal and ambitious Oliver Peterkinney in Glasgow is full of compromised and often unpleasant characters. Here, the author is continuing his MO from his Glasgow trilogy (The Necessary Death of Lewis Winter, How a Gunman Says Goodbye, The Sudden Arrival of Violence) of writing in a near-documentary style to depict criminal lives. The bosses are bastards, their underlings are desperate bastards, and the whole story unfolds with ruthless logic.
The first installment in Malcolm Mackay’s Glasgow Trilogy, The Necessary Death of Lewis Winter, was shortlisted for the CWA John Creasey New Blood Dagger Award, the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award and longlisted for the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger for Best Thriller of the Year Award. The second installment, How a Gunman Says Goodbye, won the Deanston Scottish Crime Book of the Year Award at Bloody Scotland in 2013. It’s worth noting that the other nominees for that year’s Deanston Award included Ann Cleeves, Val McDermid, Denise Mina and Ian Rankin.
This is the final novel in The Glasgow Trilogy, and it is a wonderful way to wrap up the series, living up to the high standard set by the earlier novels: “The Necessary Death of Lewis Winter” and “How a Gunman Says Goodbye.” The war between crime syndicates is coming to a showdown.
The Glasgow Trilogy—The Necessary Death of Lewis Winter, How a Gunman Says Goodbye and The Sudden Arrival of Violence—is a trio of crime fiction tales told from the other side of the law