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Born in Fife, Russel D. McLean studied Philosophy at the University of Dundee before falling into bad company and entering the booktrade. He has been a reviewer, a freelance reader, a bookseller and an ezine editor. He now lives in Glasgow.
Author photo © Ross Fraser McLean
A Maxim Jakubowski selected title. A tense Glasow gangland thriller laced with family saga elements with pace and strong characterisation to boot, McLean's latest novel raises him a fair few rungs up the crowded McMafia steps. Ray Scobie, a killer who can't experience pain, lies in hospital under an assumed name while police and cohorts believe he is dead. He plots his revenge against the crime family he holds responsible. John, an undercover cop, however, stands in his way, complicated by the fact that he has initiated a relationship with Kat, a Scobie relative. Conflict, blood on the floor and heightened emotions all conjugate well to deliver a high octane read with ounces of 'noir' to spare. Of course, Glasgow as always makes a perfect setting for a dark take of violence and woe. ~ Maxim Jakubowski
A Maxim Jakubowski selected title. The Dundee-based A.J. McNee series reaches its fourth volume. McNee is a former cop and disgraced private investigator whose life has been marked by a distinct streak of bad luck but has never discarded his integrity along the way. Pressured by a local crime boss and an offer to work undercover for the drugs squad, McNee is also investigating a boy's murder on behalf of his mother who is unsure whether the man imprisoned for it is guilty or innocent. McLean orchestrates the diverse strands of his plot ingeniously, balancing all the ingredients with care, realism and empathy and proves a clever storyteller with a definite dark touch, which somehow feels a natural fit for its Dundee environment.
A high-octane read. - Maxim Jakubowski. Meet Jen. She works in a bookshop and likes the odd glass of Prosecco... oh, and she's about to be branded The Most Dangerous Woman in Scotland. Jen Carter is a failed writer with a rubbish boyfriend, Ed. That is, until she accidentally kills him one night. Now that Ed's dead, she has to decide what to do with his body, his drugs and a big pile of cash. And, more pressingly, how to escape the hitman who's been sent to recover Ed's stash. Soon Jen's on the run from criminals, corrupt police officers and the prying eyes of the media. Who can she trust? And how can she convince them that the trail of corpses left in her wake are just accidental deaths? A modern noir that proves, once and for all, the female of the species really is more deadly than the male.