Author:William McIlvanney & Ian Rankin
When William McIvanney died in 2015, he left behind an unfinished manuscript, amounting to about half of a novel, of Jack Laidlaw’s first case – a prequel to the three existing novels in that series, and his first new work in almost twenty five years. Ian Rankin has now been drafted in to fill in the gaps and finish the incomplete story, and a very good fist he makes of it too. Set in the underworld of 1970’s Glasgow, the tale begins with the murder of a lawyer who is also the unofficial right hand man to one of the city’s gangland ‘Mr Big’s’. His slaying has the potential to be the touch paper for gang warfare in the streets, but is all as obvious as it first seems? A complex web of deceit, misguided loyalties and long held grudges unfolds as the story reaches its gripping, unexpected climax. An excellent gritty read written with a realism that authentically captures the spirit of the period it depicts, and if it brings a new audience to the originals, then frankly it’s a job well done.
Length of Read:Medium
Might appeal to people who enjoyed…
One thing you’ve learned
I reread the original trio of novels before embarking on this one, and I have to say I couldn’t distinguish the passages of the original manuscript from those added by Rankin, so closely does he stick to the spirit and style of McIlvanney’s writing..