We’re just over halfway to Christmas, only 12 sleeps left now and today’s #bookvent post, showcasing my top reads of the year, is a real cracker.
#Bookvent comes to you courtesy of the lovely Jen Lucas from Jen Med’s book reviews, whose brill idea #bookvent is.
Today’s book stood out as soon as I began to read it. It spoke to me of home, family, secrets and history. It is as much a book about my home city and its people as it is about a serial killer.
Have you guessed which award winning book is behind door 13?
Susan Calman said of this book
‘It was, for me, the stand out book from the longlist. It’s one of those novels that as soon as I finished it, I looked forward to reading it again. Not only did I love the evocative recreation of Glasgow but the characters created were refreshing and surprising. It was such a pleasure to read.’
The longlist was of course the Bloody Scotland McIlvanney longlist for Scottish Crime Novel of the year and this year it was won by my 13th top read of the year, The Quaker, by Liam McIlvanney.
A city torn apart.
Glasgow, 1969. In the grip of the worst winter for years, the city is brought to its knees by a killer whose name fills the streets with fear: the Quaker. He takes his next victim – the third woman from the same nightclub – and dumps her in the street like rubbish.
A detective with everything to prove.
The police are left chasing a ghost, with no new leads and no hope of catching their prey. DI McCormack, a talented young detective from the Highlands, is ordered to join the investigation. But his arrival is met with anger from a group of officers on the brink of despair. Soon he learns just how difficult life can be for an outsider.
A killer who hunts in the shadows.
When another woman is found murdered in a tenement flat, it’s clear the case is by no means over. From ruined backstreets to the dark heart of Glasgow, McCormack follows a trail of secrets that will change the city – and his life – forever…
Loosely based on the murders of the real – and never caught – serial killer “Bible John”, who is believed to have raped and strangled three women after meeting them in the city’s Barrowland Ballroom, quoting passages from the bible to them as he danced with them.
This novel goes much deeper into the fictional realm to create a classy and atmospheric novel that is redolent with the fear that gripped Glasgow during that time, when newspapers could sell thousands of copies by putting a murderer on Page 1.
McIlvanney has created a distinctive and beautifully written fiction from the genesis of the facts. With a clear and multi-layered plot and dialogue that is sharp and often quite lyrical, McIlvanney weaves a strong story into a propulsive powerhouse of a book.
Read my review here