Private Investigator Lennox really does come near to the end in this exceptional novel from the very talented Craig Russell. Violent and unrelenting, The Long Glasgow Kiss is atmospheric and chilling in equal parts. Difficult to pause, you find yourself constantly wondering just how things will turn out in what is a dark and disturbing novel, brilliantly read by the greatly talented Sean Barrett.
1950s Glasgow bookie Jimmy ‘Small Change’ MacFarlane is found bludgeoned to death; Lennox is in a ‘relationship’ with his daughter and is drawn into hunting the killer by Willie Sneddon, one of Glasgow's notorious ‘Three Kings’ – the gangsters who rule the Scottish city – and who has his own reasons to find out who is responsible for his fellow-criminal’s death.
Set in the world of boxing, Teddy Boys, razors and jade dragons, The Long Glasgow Kiss has all the atmosphere and exotic menace of the great American pulp authors, suffused with mystery and intrigue until the final page. And the style is intoxicating:
She dressed with an elegance that Glasgow didn’t stretch to. Cream silk blouse, figure-hugging powder blue pencil skirt, long legs sheathed in sheer silk. Her throat was ringed with a necklace with pearls so big the diver must have had to bring them up one at a time ... [and] draped over the forearm a handbag that, in a previous life, had swum in the Nile or the Florida Everglades.
The black humour is here, to be sure, but there is a great deal of violence too, and a terrifying denouement. It's cracking stuff - exceptional audiobook material and proof that British – or Scottish – noir is equal to anything the mean streets of Los Angeles can deliver.
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