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The Necessary Death of Lewis Winter by Malcolm Mackay

The Necessary Death of Lewis Winter

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Maxim Jakubowski's view...

Shortlisted for the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year 2014.

One of our Books of the Year 2013.

Maxim Jakubowski's November 2013 Highly Recommended.

The first volume in a gritty trilogy set in the Glasgow crime underworld (the following volumes are HOW A GUNMAN SAYS GOODBYE and THE SUDDEN ARRIVAL OF VIOLENCE), this is Tartan noirer than noir with a cast of characters who range from grey to black and all ambiguous shades in between and a considerable dark achievement, and establishes Calum MacLean, a hired killer with hidden depths, and dogged local cop Michael Fisher as memorable, opposing characters who will stay in the readers' mind for ages. A particularly bracing read.

Winner of the CWA Crime Thriller Book Club Best Read 2013.

Malcolm MacKay said: “It’s a huge honour and thrill to win. To be included in such a strong list of nominees is a wonderful thing for any young writer.”

CWA Judges' comment: “Tartan noirer than noir with a cast of characters who range from grey to black and all ambiguous shades in between, this is a refreshing tour through the dark side of Glasgow and the promising initial volume in a trilogy that could mark the crime landscape for years to come.”

Shortlisted for the CWA John Creasey Dagger 2013.

Sarah Broadhurst's view...

Totally enthralling new crime series set in a grim Glasgow underworld where a young hitman, Calum, is beholden to no-one. He is hired to take out a small-time drug dealer, Lewis Winter, and gets involved in a scam that backfires. This is full of nasty, violent people trapped in a nasty, violent world and features one of the best new present tense voices I've read for a long time. In short, sharp sentences with a deliberate absence of drama, this paints a dark world of corruption in a very impressive first novel. Volume two is to follow into paperback in just six months time.

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

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The Necessary Death of Lewis Winter by Malcolm Mackay

Winner of the CWA Crime Thriller Book Club Best Read 2013.

Shortlisted for the CWA John Creasey Dagger 2013.

A twenty-nine-year-old man lives alone in his Glasgow flat. The telephone rings; a casual conversation, but behind this a job offer. The clues are there if you know to look for them. He is an expert. A loner. Freelance. Another job is another job, but what if this organisation wants more? A meeting at a club. An offer. A brief. A target: Lewis Winter. It's hard to kill a man well. People who do it well know this. People who do it badly find out the hard way. The hard way has consequences. The second book in the Glasgow Trilogy How A Gunman Says Goodbye will follow soon ...


'Cool, laconic and very enjoyable. I look forward eagerly to the second novel in the trilogy'
Allan Massie

'I finished it almost in a sitting. The prose is spare and taut and pulls the reader into the minds of the disparate characters ... beautifully and truthfully written with the deceptive simplicity of a fine short story'
Ann Cleeves, creator of VERA

'A remarkably original debut ... this is a book that it would be hard not to finish in one sitting ... a wholly believable and unnerving portrait of organised crime'

'The debut writer who is being hailed as tartan noir's most authoritative and authentic new voice ... Mackay writes in a tough-guy style that is reminiscent of Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett at their most hard-boiled'

'Brutal, witty and well-written ... a brilliant debut'
Sunday Telegraph

'On the evidence of his impressive debut Malcolm Mackay will no doubt be hailed as the newest member of the Tartan Noir community. Yet the feel and style of The Necessary Death of Lewis Winter is more American than Scottish ... a quietly absorbing gangland tale, full of moral ambiguities'
Marcel Berlins, The Times

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

6th June 2013


Malcolm Mackay

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Thriller / Suspense
All Shortlists and Winners
Crime / Mystery
Debuts of the Month
Maxim Jakubowski's Selection
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