In this prequel to the hit series, Glasgow’s gritty detective probes the murder of a gangland lawyer as tensions rise in the city’s underworld.
Lawyer Bobby Carter did a lot of work for the wrong kind of people. When his body is found in an alley behind a pub that is known to be under the protective wing of a local crime boss, the fragile equilibrium that has been keeping Glasgow relatively safe for months is shattered. Besides a distraught family and any number of powerful friends, Carter has left behind his fair share of enemies. So who is responsible for his death?
DC Jack Laidlaw’s reputation precedes him. He’s not a team player, but he’s got a sixth sense for what’s happening on the streets. His boss chalks Carter’s death up to the usual rivalries, but Laidlaw knows it can’t be that simple. As two Glasgow gangs go to war, he needs to find Carter’s killer before the whole city explodes . . .
Award-winning author William McIlvanney’s Laidlaw books changed the face of crime fiction. When he died in 2015, he left half a handwritten manuscript of Laidlaw’s first case. New York Times–bestselling author Ian Rankin has finished what McIlvanney started. Here, in The Dark Remains, these two iconic authors bring to life the criminal world of 1970s Glasgow, and Laidlaw’s relentless quest for truth.
Praise for The Dark Remains
Winner of the 2022 British Book Award for Crime & Thriller Book of the Year
“Fantastic—like witnessing Scottish noir’s Big Bang creation in the company of its greatest living exponent . . . Like Maradona and Messi playing in the same team.” —Lee Child, #1 New York Times–bestselling author of the Jack Reacher thrillers
“Jack Laidlaw is the quintessential crime fiction protagonist, and Ian Rankin delivers a wholly satisfactory homage.” —Irish Times
“The writing here is so sharp nearly every sentence could split open a haggis.” —The Washington Post
“The world McIlvanney and Rankin create—there’s no indication of who wrote what, and readers will be hard-pressed to tell—is deliciously fluid in its conflicts.” —Kirkus Reviews
“A brilliant read: gritty, atmospheric, and menacing.” —Mystery Scene Magazine
Terrific, but sadly not quite as good as Laidlaw
McIlvanney’s estate made the right pick to author this prequel to the 3-book Laidlaw series. Rankin’s detective John Rebus may be the most engaging protagonist in contemporary crime fiction, and Rankin’s stories pull you along relentlessly.
But Laidlaw was unique—placed firmly in our real world, and deeply wounded by his efforts to live fully and compassionately in it. Ultimately, only McIlvanney could make him work completely.
Still, although I don’t read crime fiction obsessively enough to be an authority, I’ll wager this is better than 99% of what’s out there.