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Mystery Authors

Book reviews - Laidlaw

Laidlaw


Author: William McIlvanney
Book One in the Laidlaw Trilogy

“Laidlaw...‘is not just an inspector of crime; he’s an inspector of society.’”—Allan Massie, “The Father of ‘Tartan Noir’,” Wall Street Journal

Introducing Jack Laidlaw, the original damaged detective.

The Laidlaw novels, a groundbreaking trilogy that changed the face of Scottish fiction, are credited with being the founding books of the Tartan Noir movement that includes authors like Val McDermid, Denise Mina, and Ian Rankin. Says McDermid of William McIlvanney: "Patricia Highsmith had taken us inside the head of killers; Ruth Rendell tentatively explored sexuality; with No Mean City, Alexander McArthur had exposed Glasgow to the world; Raymond Chandler had dressed the darkness in clever words. But nobody had ever smashed those elements together into so accomplished a synthesis."

In Laidlaw, the first book of the seies, readers meet Jack Laidlaw, a hard-drinking philosopher-detective whose tough exterior cloaks a rich humanity and keen intelligence. Laidlaw's investigation into the murder of a young woman brings him into conflict with Glasgow's hard men, its gangland villians, and the moneyed thugs who control the city. As the gangsters running Glasgow race Laidlaw for the discovery of the young woman's killer, a sense of dangerous betrayal infests the city that only Laidlaw can erase.

US publication: 1977
Detective: n/a
Genre: n/a