Thursday 8 September 2022


Synopsis/blurb …

They'll all be crow bait by the time I'm finished...Jail was hell for Davie McCall. Ten years down the line, freedom's no picnic either. It's 1990, there are new kings in the West of Scotland underworld, and Glasgow is awash with drugs. Davie can handle himself. What he can't handle is the memory of his mother's death at the hand of his sadistic father. Or the darkness his father implanted deep in his own psyche. Or the nightmares... Now his father is back in town and after blood, ready to waste anyone who stops him hacking out a piece of the action. There are people in his way. And Davie is one of them.

Tense, dark and nerve-wracking... a highly effective thriller. THE HERALD

This is crime fiction of the strongest quality. CRIMESQUAD.COM

A gory and razor-sharp crime novel from the start, Douglas Skelton's Crow Bait moves at breakneck speed like a getaway car on the dark streets of Glasgow. THE SKINNY

Skelton has been hiding from his talent for long enough. High time he shared it with the rest of us. QUINTIN JARDINE

Crow Bait is the second in Douglas Skelton’s four book Davie McCall series. It’s a series I’m now three books into, but it’s also one I’ve come at ass-backwards. I read Open Wounds the last one first. Followed it up a couple of months after (both in 2016) with the first Blood City. Then left a gap of about six years – just long enough to forget my previous encounters with Davie – before cracking on with the second – Crow Bait.

Crow Bait is mainly concerned with Davie and his dad and a long anticipated, long feared inevitable reunion.

Prior to this event we have …. prison life, freedom, a reconnection with friends and a former lover, a murder, taunts and escalations, encounters with the police – both bent and straight and a revisiting of events with the history of Davie’s sad family life and the reasons behind his incarceration.

Most of Davie’s associates are in the criminal life. He doesn’t feel it is something he is suited to after ten years in prison, but his options are limited. We have plenty of secrets, alliances and power struggles. A lot of the fraternity spend time looking over their shoulders, fearful of what might happen with McCall Jr back on the streets and possibly picking away at the narrative regarding who killed his mentor. We have schemers and plotters, none more so than Danny McCall. Whatever path Davie chooses, he needs to face his father first.

Took me a while to get into this, but once I did I was flying.

Great story, intriguing characters. Am I alone in finding criminals and their antics more interesting than ordinary Joe lifestyles?

4 stars from 5

In addition to the other Skelton - McCall books I’ve read, I’ve also enjoyed the 3rd from his Rebecca Connolly series – A Rattle of Bones. Another series of his which I decided not to start at the beginning! 

Read – July, 2022

Published – 2014

Page count – 233

Source – purchased copy

Format - Kindle


  1. I've read some of Skelton's other work, Col, but not this one. The father/son showdown is an interesting dynamic to add to the plot, and the whole prison angle is, too. I think prison really does change people, and it's a ripe area for authors to explore. I'm glad you enjoyed this one.

    1. Margot, I like his work. I just don't read enough of it. That's a statement that applies to nearly every author I enjoy!