A Glasgow detective goes up against a wealthy family whose corruption runs deep in this gritty noir series debut set in 1970s Scotland.
Glasgow, 1973. As poverty and crime drag the city deeper into a heroin epidemic, fighting in the streets has become depressingly mundane. But when an eighteen-year-old boy shoots a young woman dead in broad daylight and then commits suicide, Det. Harry McCoy knows it can’t be a simple act of random violence. With a newbie partner in tow, McCoy hunts down leads through the underworld, all of which lead to a secret society run by Glasgow’s wealthiest family, the Dunlops.
Among their inner circle, every nefarious predilection is catered to at the expense of society’s most vulnerable—including McCoy’s best friend from reformatory school, drug-tsar Stevie Cooper, and his on-off girlfriend, a prostitute named Janey. But with McCoy’s boss calling off the hounds, and his boss’ boss unleashing their own, the Dunlops seem to be untouchable. McCoy has other ideas.
“Parks’ debut novel has an in-your-face immediacy that matches its protagonist. Compelling portraits of minor characters tucked into several scenes add texture and interest.” —Kirkus Reviews
Det. Harry McCoy, the protagonist of Scottish author Parks's tautly woven first novel set in 1973, doesn't put much stock in information he gets from a criminal like Howie Nairn, but when Nairn locked up in Glasgow's Barlinnie Prison tells McCoy that a woman named Lorna is going to die the next day, the copper takes notice. The subsequent murder of 19-year-old waitress Lorna Skirving at a bus station by 17-year-old small-time thief Tommy Malone, immediately followed by Malone's suicide, sends McCoy on a hunt through the city's dankest slums and brothels all the way up to one of Glasgow's richest families, the Dunlops. McCoy's personal connection to the Dunlops who are nearly untouchable when it comes to the police makes him all the more determined to find a link between them and not only Lorna but also the other bodies that soon pile up. Stevie Cooper, McCoy's childhood friend who now makes less than savory business deals in the city, gives even the good guys a glossy sheen of blood and corruption. A worthy addition to the tartan noir canon, McCoy is a flawed hero to watch, as is his creator. Agent: Tom Witcomb, Blake Friedmann