Praise for The Dark Remains
“Laidlaw... surprises the reader at every turn, showing himself to be literate, intelligent, and thoughtful. McIlvanney’s fans will relish this gritty early perspective on Laidlaw.”—Publishers Weekly
“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... A precious chance to spend a few more hours with a franchise that ended much too soon.”—Kirkus Reviews
“It was sheer joy to hear McIlvanney’s voice once more and be transported back to 1972 and the Glasgow of Jack Laidlaw. Ian has done an excellent job of echoing Willie’s voice and recreating his inspirational character. It would be impossible to calculate just how many writers have been influenced by him.”—Alex Gray, author of Keep the Midnight Out
Praise for William McIlvanney
“He kicked the door open so the likes of Ian Rankin, Denise Mina and me could sneak through behind him.”—Val McDermid, author of The Mermaids Singing
“The finest Scottish novelist of our time.”—The Telegraph
“It is great entertainment, but McIlvanney’s achievement is to transcend the conventions of the crime novel even while he observes them. The trilogy is one of the finest things in modern fiction, in the Chandler and Simenon class.”—Spectator
“The Laidlaw books are like fine malt whisky—the pure distilled essence of Scottish crime writing.”—Peter May, author of the Lewis trilogy
“Allan Guthrie probably comes closest to McIlvanney in his mix of humor and compassion, but even that top-flight crime writer doesn’t do it with the same concentration.”— Peter Rozovsky, Detectives Beyond Borders
“A crime trilogy so searing it will burn forever into your memory. McIlvanney is the original Scottish criminal mastermind.”—Christopher Brookmyre, author of When the Devil Drive
“The Laidlaw books are not just great crime novels, they are important ones. McIlvanney proved that crime writing could have both perfect style and huge ambition. Most of us writing crime fiction today are standing on the shoulders of giants. McIlvanney is one such giant.”—Mark Billingham, author of Sleepyhead
“McIlvanney’s prose is simultaneously sparse and lyrical. Short sentences, paragraphs and, indeed, chapters give the feel of a thriller to some beautiful writing.”—Killing Time Crime
Praise for Ian Rankin
“Ian Rankin is a genius.”—Lee Child, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Jack Reacher thrillers
“There's no one like Ian Rankin.”―Tana French, New York Times bestselling author of In the Woods
“A master storyteller.”—The Guardian
“One of Britain's leading novelists in any genre.”—New Statesman
“Rankin is a phenomenon.”—The Spectator
A prequel to the Dagger Award-winning Laidlaw trilogy by the late McIlvanney, whose widow passed along the unfinished manuscript to Rankin to complete. Set in 1972, this gritty crime novel probes the inner character of detective inspector Jack Laidlaw, who has just been assigned to the Glasgow Crime Squad. He's gotten a reputation for his uncanny sense of the streets, but he's not a team player. When Bobby Carter (lawyer and right-hand man to the mob boss Cam Colvin) goes missing and then turns up dead behind a pub in John Rhodes's territory, Glasgow could go up in flames. Colvin controls a third of the city, Rhodes another third. When Laidlaw learns which police supervisor is in charge of the investigation into Carter's murder, he goes rogue. He's not afraid to confront gang leaders or their men in his quest for answers. Laidlaw might not go home at night or show up at the police station in the morning, but he'll discover a surprising truth that could prevent Glasgow gangs from going to war. VERDICT An essential purchase to complete crime fiction collections or where international police novels are popular.—Lesa Holstine, Evansville Vanderburgh P.L., IN
Rankin, the creator of Edinburgh DI John Rebus, returns to complete an unfinished prequel to the Jack Laidlaw trilogy by the late McIlvanney, the founding father of Tartan Noir.
It’s no great surprise when Conn Feeney recognizes the corpse found stabbed to death behind his pub, The Parlour, as that of Bobby Carter. The money-laundering specialist who put the criminal in criminal attorney had been reported missing days earlier by his hard-used wife, Monica, and the clients he advised weren’t the type to let him slip quietly away. To complicate matters, Carter was known to be friendly with a long line of ladies extending most recently to exotic dancer Jenni Love, who insists that their affair had ended, and Cam Colvin, the crime boss who owned Carter and a whole lot of lesser fry, is facing a serious turf challenge from rival gang leader John Rhodes. So it’s the perfect time for DC Laidlaw to bring his signature mix of expertise and attitude to Glasgow’s Central Division. 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. Gangs fight gangs, bosses threaten their underlings, informants sell out their former intimates, husbands and wives squabble over their betrayals, and Laidlaw makes no secret of his withering contempt for DI Ernie Milligan, the incompetent who’s inexplicably been put in charge of the case. The solution is as readily foreseen, unless you’re Milligan, and as deeply satisfying as the final lines of a prayer.
A precious chance to spend a few more hours with a franchise that ended much too soon.