Monday, July 15, 2013


The second of the "Laidlaw" books with "Laidlaw" taking interest in the death of a vagabond who passed on a message to him just before his death.

This escalates into a series of murders involving all levels of Glasgow citizenry from the backrooms of bars where the "hard men" meet to the businessmen who run the city.

The star of this story is Glasgow itself. The humour, the random violence and the climate make this a really great read. The book has been around since 1977 and there were only three of them written with Laidlaw as the cop who probably shouldn't be one, he just cares too much.

Great story, wonderfully written, don't get put off by the Scots vernacular its beautiful and where much of the humour comes from.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

LIGHT OF THE WORLD - James Lee Burke

This is stunning. When I read "Creole Belle" last year I thought Dave and Cletus had ran their race and it was time for them to be retired but back comes Mr Burke with his, in my opinion, best since "In the Electric Mist...".

In this new thriller all the main characters, Dave, Clete,Molly, Alafair and Clete's daughter Gretchen are living in Montana. Due to circumstances they lock horns with an escaped serial killer, the usual wealthy bad guy and two other extremely interesting additions, an insane rodeo cowboy and his equally strange girlfriend. This all sounds silly the way its laid out by me but it is fantastic.

I haven't deprived myself of sleep to finish a book in a long time but I did with this. One of the most enjoyable things is that we don't get too much of Dave's philosophy on life,the universe and everything and the other characters share almost equal billing.

Its got it all - violence,humour,a really evil villain and the final scenes on the lake front are edge of the seat stuff.

Brilliant stuff and long may it continue.

PETRELLA AT "Q" - Michael Gilbert

I was spoiled by reading Gilbert's " Behrens and Calder" tales before I read this collection of short stories.

These are good, very well written but not as exciting as some of his other writing. The main character in these procedural's is interesting but in my opinion better suited to a full length novel. A couple of these stories have a 'dashed off' feel about them. This is probably too harsh as 90% of short story writers would be envious in regards writing this well.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

FEAR TO TREAD - Michael Gilbert

This is a good solid mystery concerning the activities of black marketeers in early 1950's London.

A Mr Wetherall,a head master at a unfashionable inner city school becomes involved in the murder of one of his pupils father and from there his obstinacy will not allow him to drop the matter. There are some very nice nasty characters that he meets along the way and the first is not the last violent death.

This is a nice old fashioned story and proves again you don't need graphic violence to fill out a good solid plot.

The only negative I could mention is I have no idea how this qualifies as part of the Inspector Hazelrigg series as he appears in the book for about three lines.

More John Buchan than James Lee Burke but very enjoyable.