The godfather of Scottish crime is back with a vengeance
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.
* 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 * Laidlaw is a fascinating, infuriating and memorable character ... McIlvanney probes the nature of society and the limitations of human guilt with razor sharpness Scotsman * The best new character in crime fiction for years Daily Express * [MacIlvanney] shows deftly and convincingly why crime fiction is the ideal place for closely-observed social realism, painting a vivid portrait of working-class Glasgow in the 1970s in the extracts from his three novels, all featuring Detective Inspector Jack Laidlaw -- Bram E. Gieben The Skinny * McIlvanney's prose is simultaneously sparse and lyrical. Short sentences, paragraphs and, indeed, chapters give the feel of a thriller to some beautiful writing -- Gareth Watkins Killing Time Crime * His tough, vivid prose combines the sardonic wit and stark economy of Chandler with the authenticity and artfulness of his own much-admired non-genre work. The DNA of all Scottish crime fiction is here The Skinny * It is great entertainment, but McIlvanney's achievement is to transcend the conventions of the crime novel even while he observes them. His two subsequent Laidlaw novels, The Papers of Tony Veitch and Strange Loyalties, will be published by Canongate in the autumn. The trilogy is one of the finest things in modern fiction, in the Chandler and Simenon class -- Allan Massie Spectator * A classic of the genre - a maelstrom of gangland violence, brutal sentimentality and sectarianism told in richly Gothic prose. If you only read one crime novel this year, this should be it - but you'll undoubtedly want to read the other two books in the trilogy, which will be reissued in a couple of months' time -- Laura Wilson Guardian * An excellent read that is as much about the human condition as it is a crime story The View From The Blue House * The city of Glasgow is captured magnificently by McIlvanney in this novel with every nuance of the city oozing from the pages. The humour and friendliness are here but in equal measure so is the squalor and the undercurrent of fear which runs across the city like a needle on a record. As we read the book we feel like we are walking the streets of Glasgow with Laidlaw Literature for Lads