THE PAPERS WANT BLOOD
THE FORCE WANTS RESULTS
THE LAW MUST BE SERVED
WHATEVER THE COST
July, 1973. The Glasgow drugs trade is booming and Bobby March, the city's own rock-star hero has just overdosed in a central hotel.
Alice Kelly is thirteen years old, lonely, and missing.
Meanwhile the niece of McCoy's boss has fallen in with a bad crowd and when she goes AWOL, McCoy is asked - off the books - to find her.
McCoy has a hunch. But does he have enough time?
Brilliant, fantastic, my kind of reading and a punch in the face for myself for having it a year or so before reading it. What a wally!
70s Glasgow, rock music - a dead star, a missing girl, another missing girl, the main main - Harry McCoy, a capable detective reduced to errand boy status because of some petty cop rivalry, Rod the Mod, the Rolling Stones, Keith, drugs, armed robberies, a best friend aka a dodgy criminal and addicted to junk, his gangland hold under jeopardy - McCoy, nursemaid to the rescue. Lots more going on besides.
I love the setting of 70s Glasgow. I don't know if the memories the cultural references evokes make me feel young again or very old - possibly both at the same time.
There's a busy feel to the book, with multiple strands expertly juggled by the author throughout. I like the main character McCoy. He's not a typical bent cop on the take for personal gain, though he has a blind spot when it comes to his best mate, Stevie Cooper - a known and feared criminal face. Their allegiance goes back to a difficult childhood where Steve saved Harry's arse (literally) more than once.
McCoy gets results pretty much on all fronts. There's a scare or two to be had along the way, especially in a quick trip across the pond to an unsettled north of Ireland.
Ticks in all the boxes. Rest assured I won't be waiting a year before consuming Harry's 4th outing - The April Dead. Bloody January and February's Son have previously knocked my socks off.
5 from 5
Read - April, 2021
Published - 2020
Page count - 368
Source - review copy from publisher - Canongate
Format - paperback ARC