A crime novel set in the dizzy heights of Glasgow that follows Harry McCoy’s shenanigans after first in the series, Bloody January, February’s Son is a Alan Parks’ gripping thriller, which screams Scottish noir, set in the seventies. Following Harry McCoy and his struggle between his troublesome past and his more upstanding present, the reader is compelled to follow Wattie, Murray, McCoy, Cooper and others to navigate the motives and whereabouts of a killer that works for the wealthy and dangerous of the city.
Alan Parks, who lives and works in Glasgow, has worked in the music industry for over twenty years. His debut novel Bloody January was one of the top crime debuts of 2018 and was shortlisted for international crime prize, the Grand Prix de Littérature Policière.
His knowledge of Glasgow is fierce, particularly his atmospheric description of Maryhill in February’s Son, which is the second Harry McCoy thriller. You can feel and taste the vibe of the city, the pubs that they frequent, the wakes, it is all vivid, and Glasgow in the seventies is present in this crime novel. The city is not the only persona fleshed out, the characters of Wattie, McCoy and Cooper as well as Mary, the flash reporter and Elaine Scobie are all very much alive in this novel, as you can picture, envisage and witness these police and gangsters trying to throw their weight, as there is a lot at risk here in this grappling for power.
The writing pulls you in and makes you struggle with your need to continue, you want to unravel more of the plot, learn more about the characters, question the relationships and ego at stake, it is cleverly vivid and brutal in it’s stark honesty. Park plots some interesting scenes that hook you in, the scene with Wattie in the water, the wake in Maryhill and the history surrounding the rules and regulations regarding lobotomy. He sets the foundation and allows this world of Harry McCoy to evolve, take new turns and twists, which will see Alan Parks up there yet again for potential new awards for this fantastic Scottish noir.
February’s Son is out on 31st January, published by Canongate Books.