Bloody January – Alan Parks


Bloody January is published on 28 December 2017 by Canongate Books

When a teenage boy shoots a young woman dead in the middle of a busy Glasgow street and then commits suicide, Detective Harry McCoy is sure of one thing. It wasn’t a random act of violence.

With his new partner in tow, McCoy uses his underworld network to lead the investigation but soon runs up against a secret society led by Glasgow’s wealthiest family, the Dunlops.

McCoy’s boss doesn’t want him to investigate. The Dunlops seem untouchable. But McCoy has other ideas . . .

In a helter-skelter tale – winding from moneyed elite to hipster music groupies to the brutal gangs of the urban wasteland – Bloody January brings to life the dark underbelly of 1970s Glasgow and introduces a dark and electrifying new voice in Scottish noir.

My thoughts

Bloody January. Bloody fantastic.

Noir fans look no further for a superb read. Bloody January is the debut from Scottish author Alan Parks. It oozes atmosphere. It is dark. It is powerful.

We go back in time to the 1970s. To Glasgow, Scotland. To the dark underbelly of the city, with its poverty and sidelines in creative criminality. We follow Detective Harry McCoy and his young sidekick, Wattie. They navigate the harsh landscape; with its corruption, dirty dealings and petty criminals. The story gets off to a glorious bang, when Harry finds out about a possible murder from an informant behind bars. A woman is shot by a teenage boy in the street. Harry witnesses this. The informant dies a terribly death, in retaliation. Harry finds connections to one powerful family, the Dunlops. He is warned off them. Nothing will stop Harry McCoy getting to the truth.

Harry McCoy is an anti-hero. He is your 1970s man, who follows his own path. He sleeps with prostitutes. He associates with criminals. This can be forgiven though. He is a character, that you can easily believe in. His heart is in the right place, even though his morals are a bit on the blurred side. He is a product of his background. A boy from the care system, who is trying to make good. He is wonderful.

Dark crime fans, you need to read this book. It is top notch crime! Highly recommended.

About Northern Crime

Reviewer with a mind of her own. This is a collection of book reviews, which started in 2014. Mostly crime and odd other genres thrown in. Some I loved. Some I loathed. You get the picture.
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