Ways to Die in Glasgow - Jay Stringer

Sometimes you can sense a shitty day is on the way. I liked to give them levels—scores out of ten. The game was to guess at the start what level of shite the day would achieve. I’d got pretty good at it. I judged I was at the beginning of a seven. Maybe I’d be able to get it down to a six if I went for a run later, got some air into my brain and cleared out the booze.

I don’t know what I expected by I’m kind of glad this book wasn’t it. For the first third of the book I was so bored with the patronising tone, the gore, the over-the-top descriptions of the Glaswegian criminal underbelly that I really considered swapping this book out for another.

But then the story seemed to have gotten beyond the scene setting and picked up some pace to move the plot forward and actually developed into a bit of a ride, where I could not figure what the next turn would bring.

Would the character I just got attached to make it through the next chapter?

Would the solution to the murders – plural, there are lots – turn out how I imagined it?

Would the author name yet another street that I remember staggering along after a fun a night out to see a band?

There were elements in this book that I didn’t enjoy but that I appreciate for needing to be in the story to create the Noir atmosphere and setting. And, yet, having finished the book, I am left with a smile, looking forward to the next adventure featuring Sam Ireland and her haphazard ways of investigating, and hoping that I might enjoy this series just as much as McDermid’s Karen Pirie books, which I was reminded of more than once this afternoon.


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