Bloody January by Alan Parks

From the moneyed elite to groupies, and the brutal gangs of an urban wasteland, Bloody January navigates the underbelly of 1970s Glasgow.

Book Review by Heather McDaid | 08 Jan 2018
  • Bloody January
Book title: Bloody January
Author: Alan Parks

Trust the snitch. From the moneyed elite to groupies, and the brutal gangs of an urban wasteland, Bloody January promises a lot in navigating the underbelly of 1970s Glasgow. The moment Detective Harry McCoy fails to trust an unexpected tip-off, he’s set to traverse all of these murky waters as the body count continues to rise.

The new gnarly star of the Scottish Noir scene, McCoy fits the archetypal mould of the flawed protagonist. Shady dealings are going on, and he seems no stranger to their ways. Parks brings to life a dark side of Glasgow from decades past in bleak but vivid detail, shirking nothing and likely curling a few toes for the faint of heart on his journey to the bottom of the bloody truth. His style keeps you hooked, each turn making you flip the pages faster, gripped and in search of the answer.

Bloody January is a startlingly excellent addition to the Scottish crime scene, even more so as a debut. Detectives, welcome McCoy to your ranks. He'll likely (and hopefully) be around for a while.

Canongate, out now, £12.99 https://canongate.co.uk/books/2428-bloody-january/