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Laidlaw (Laidlaw 1) by William Mcilvanney

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Ian Rankin has openly admitted there would have been no Inspector Rebus without Jack Laidlaw! Likewise the current tsunami of Scottish crime writing... The original damaged detective, Laidlaw was created back in 1977 by Glasgow journalist William McIlvanney. He is hard man who walks fearlessly amongst even harder men and trawls the dark streets with a deathly purpose and a shattered soul. A noir journey through the underworld and the nature of society, the Laidlaw trilogy is one of the high points of crime writing and an indispensable read. The Papers of Tony Veitch and Strange Loyalties followed the initial volume, but there are rumours that McIlvanney has finally been persuaded to pen a new volume featuring his memorable character. We can't wait!

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Laidlaw (Laidlaw 1) by William Mcilvanney

Meet Jack Laidlaw, the original damaged detective. When a young woman is found brutally murdered on Glasgow Green, only Laidlaw stands a chance of finding her murderer from among the hard men, gangland villains and self-made moneymen who lurk in the city's shadows. It is winner of the CWA Silver Dagger.


'Glittering' -- Val McDermid

'The Laidlaw books are like fine malt whisky - the pure distilled essence of Scottish crime writing' -- Peter May

'Fastest, first and best, Laidlaw is the melancholy heir to Marlowe. Reads like a breathless scalpel cut through the bloody heart of a city' -- Denise Mina

'A crime trilogy so searing it will burn forever into your memory. McIlvanney is the original Scottish criminal mastermind' -- Christopher Brookmyre

'It's doubtful I would be a crime writer without the influence of McIlvanney's Laidlaw. Here was a literary novelist turning his hand to the urban, contemporary crime novel and proving that the form could tackle big moral concerns and social issues' -- Ian Rankin

'The first of Laidlaw's investigations sets a stunningly high standard ... A world apart from other examples of the genre' Guardian

'The Laidlaw books are not just great crime novels, they are important ones. McIlvanney proved that crime writing could have both perfect style and huge ambition. Most of us writing crime fiction today are standing on the shoulders of giants. McIlvanney is one such giant' -- Mark Billingham

'McIlvanney is the razor king of Scottish crime writing, carving out crackling prose and pounding storylines. His Laidlaw is an enduring hero with the dry wit and insight to make other literary detectives seem two-dimensional' -- Gordon Ferris

'William McIlvanney paints a world of harsh reality, but does so in language that is strangely beautiful and hauntingly poetic. His work defies pigeonholing in any genre: this is simply great writing from a master of his craft' -- Craig Russell

'Deeply understood people, fine descriptive writing' The Times

'In his compelling novel, LAIDLAW, McIlvanney lays bare the soul of Glasgow, capturing every nuance of its many voices' -- Alex Gray

About the Author

William Mcilvanney

William McIlvanney's first novel, Remedy is None, won the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize and with Docherty he won the Whitbread Award for Fiction. Laidlaw and The Papers of Tony Veitch both gained Silver Daggers from the Crime Writers' Association. Strange Loyalties, the third in the Detective Laidlaw trilogy, won the Glasgow Herald's People's Prize.

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Book Info

Publication date

2nd May 2013


William Mcilvanney

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Canongate Books Ltd


304 pages


Crime / Mystery
Thriller / Suspense
eBook Favourites

Crime & mystery



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