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The Night the Rich Men Burned by Malcolm Mackay

The Night the Rich Men Burned

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Shortlisted for the Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Award 2015.

Acclaimed and garlanded with awards and nominations for his debut Glasgow underworld trilogy which began with The Necessary Death of Lewis Winter, Malcolm Mackay now serves up a terrific and ambitious stand alone tale. The plot follows the rise and fall of two disadvantaged Glaswegians who turn to crime as the only alternative to their plight. One thrives, the other sinks against the turbulent portrait of a city divided between violence and despair and highlighting a colourful cast where villains of all ilk and shades of of black and grey abound. Drugs, prostitution, lost souls and violence dominate but Mackay's forte is how he etches larger than life characters with just the right hint of menace. Gripping stuff, reminiscent of a Scottish GODFATHER. ~ Maxim Jakubowski

Sarah Broadhurst's view...

This author shot to fame with his Glasgow trilogy which began with the award-winning The Necessary Death of Lewis Winter, a violent tale about nasty people who strangely endear themselves to you. This is not part of that series but it is set in the same violent world. A turf war between ruthless debt collectors who we met in the trilogy ensues but our stars are a couple of lads out to make a killing (in all senses of the word). These are truly dreadful people but the scheming is magnificent and the author is superb in dispassionately describing their thinking and what is smart, what dumb. You don’t need to have read the others but you’ll probably get a bit more out of this if you have. I rate them very highly indeed.

If you like Malcolm Mackay you might also like to read books by Allan Guthrie, Simon Lewis and Christopher Brookmyre.

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The Night the Rich Men Burned by Malcolm Mackay

There's nothing so terrifying as money...Two friends, Alex Glass and Oliver Peterkinney, look for work and for escape from their lives spent growing up on Glasgow's most desperate fringes. Soon they will become involved in one of the city's darkest and most dangerous trades. But while one rises quickly up the ranks, the other will fall prey to the industry's addictive lifestyle and ever-spiralling debts. Meanwhile, the three most powerful rivals in the business - Marty Jones, ruthless pimp; Potty Cruickshank, member of the old guard; and Billy Patterson, brutal newcomer - vie for prominence. And now Peterkinney, young and darkly ambitious, is beginning to make himself known ...Before long, violence will spill out onto the streets, as those at the top make deadly attempts to out-manoeuvre one another for a bigger share of the spoils. Peterkinney and Glass will find themselves at the very centre of this war; and as the pressure builds, each will find their actions - and inactions - coming back to haunt them. But it is those they love who will suffer most ...From the award-winning author of the Glasgow Trilogy, The Night the Rich Men Burned is a novel for our times, and Malcolm Mackay's most ambitious work to date.


'Malcolm Mackay's writing rings true ... [he] is quite unlike the general run of writers of Tartan Noir. Indeed he is quite unlike most crime writers ... He writes with authority, and this is what makes his novels compelling ... Mackay's underworld is convincing ... Mackay writes with such assurance that he makes it credible ... Mackay's achievement is to have created a credible world of his own ... He is a very unusual writer, one who skilfully gives the impression that he is without illusions about how people think and act.' Scotsman

'For his Glasgow trilogy, Malcolm Mackay accumulated praise and awards rarely accorded to a new crime writer, all the more astonishing for an author who has rarely ventured into the city that he describes with such vigour. Can he keep it up? His fourth novel, The Night the Rich Men Burned, says yes. Different characters and more intricate storylines than the books of the trilogy, but recognisably the same terrain. Mackay has created his own world of Glasgow gangsterism, and within it two friends try to set up an empire of debt collectors that is not to the liking of the existing operators.' Sunday Times

'Hailed as the rising star of Tartan Noir, this is Mackay's much anticipated follow-up to his critically acclaimed Glasgow Trilogy ... Mackay captures the helplessness of a recession-ravaged industrial city.' Sunday Express

'Malcolm Mackay has only been a published crime writer since June last year but his Glasgow Trilogy attracted the sort of acclaim normally reserved for far more experienced novelists. Fans of the trilogy will be relieved to know that The Night the Rich Men Burned - Mackay's fourth novel and the first to stand alone - does not stray far from the already tried and tested formula ... [It is] a fast-paced read, combining an enjoyably voyeuristic insight to the violent world of these gangsters with enough of a focus on their lives and motivations to make them if not likeable at least understandable. Mackay's description of his chosen setting is superb ... the characters are well thought out and believable ... the huge number of fans Malcolm Mackay has garnered since his first release 14 months ago is unlikely to be disappointed.' Daily Express

About the Author

Malcolm Mackay

Malcolm Mackay was born and grew up in Stornoway where he still lives. The Necessary Death of Lewis Winter, his much lauded debut was the first in the Glasgow Trilogy, set in the city’s underworld. It was shortlisted for the CWA John Creasey New Blood Dagger Award for Best Crime Debut of the Year, the Scottish First Book of the Year, and was featured in ITV3's Specsavers Crime Thriller Club programme. How A Gunman Says Goodbye, the second book in the series, won the Deanston Scottish Crime Book of the Year Award. The Sudden Arrival of Violence is the final book in the trilogy.

Author photo © Raj Curry

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Book Info

Publication date

27th August 2015


Malcolm Mackay

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Pan Books an imprint of Pan Macmillan


496 pages
Interest Age: From 18 years


Thriller / Suspense
All Shortlists and Winners
Crime / Mystery
eBook Favourites

Crime & mystery



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