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How a Gunman Says Goodbye: The Glasgow Trilogy Book 2 [Kindle Edition]

Malcolm Mackay
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)

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Book Description


How does a gunman retire? Frank MacLeod was the best at what he does. Thoughtful. Efficient. Ruthless. But is he still the best?

A new job. A target. But something is about to go horribly wrong. Someone is going to end up dead.

Most gunmen say goodbye to the world with a bang. Frank’s still here. He’s lasted longer than he should have . ..

The breathtaking, devastating sequel to lauded debut The Necessary Death of Lewis Winter, How a Gunman Says Goodbye will plunge the reader back into the Glasgow underworld, where criminal organisations war for prominence and those caught up in events are tested at every turn.

The final book in the Glasgow Trilogy The Sudden Arrival of Violence will follow soon . . .

Praise for The Necessary Death of Lewis Winter, longlisted for both the CWA John Creasey Dagger for Best Debut Crime Novel of the Year and the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger for Best Thriller of the Year:

‘A truly exceptional debut’ Paul Bailey, Independent

‘Brutal, witty and well-written . . . a brilliant debut’ Sunday Telegraph

‘Remarkable . . . ‘tartan noir’ will have a new star’ Daily Mail

‘Mackay ratchets up the tension like a master’ Daily Telegraph

‘Remarkably original . . . a wholly believable and unnerving portrait of organised crime’ Observer

Books In This Series (3 Books)
Complete Series

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    How a Gunman Says Goodbye is even better than its remarkable predecessor . . . The author is already being hailed as a new star of tartan noir and if the third book in this trilogy can maintain the impetus of the first two the existing clan of Scottish writers may have to look to their laurels’ Daily Express

    'You know how among all the kids acting tough at school there is one that stands out, the only one who convinces? Malcolm Mackay is that man. His characteristically urgent prose style drives his narrative at a remorseless pace as the Gunman – old and approaching the end of his career – works out what options he has left . . . Don't worry that it's set in Glasgow – there's no dialect. Nor that it's the second in a trilogy – it stands alone. By all means read the first book; you'll enjoy it. But it's time to get on board. Hail the new king of Scottish crime. This is a superb book. It should win prizes' Crime Time

    Brutal but elegantly constructed (New York Times)

    A thriller trilogy that thrills . . . Mackay has three great strengths. He knows (or, what is equally good, persuades us that he knows) whereof he writes . . . Second, Mackay is a natural storyteller, able to jump from one hurtling train of action to another without making the reader feel manipulated. And, third, he's got a voice to which we're happy to surrender. (Washington Post)

    Book Description

    The stunning new novel from the author of The Necessary Death of Lewis Winter

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    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
    3.0 out of 5 stars A misnomer? 17 Aug. 2014
    I enjoyed this a bit of good, old-fashioned pulp fiction and I will read the last one for completeness.
    But I cannot for the life of me see why this is called a Glasgow trilogy. It could be set in any English-speaking city anywhere. There is almost nothing in the dialogue or diction to tell you that it is even set in Scotland let alone Glasgow.
    The book was typeset in Glasgow yet throughout the book whisky is written as whiskey which is the Irish spelling not the Scottish one.
    Finally there are no coroners in Scotland - we have Procurator Fiscals instead.
    All feels like a bit of a sell out in the hope of gaining a wider (north American?) audience.
    If you want the ultimate Glasgow crime novel read Laidlaw by William McIlvanney - it has never been bettered.
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    1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
    By I Read, Therefore I Blog VINE VOICE
    It’s several months after THE NECESSARY DEATH OF LEWIS WINTER. Callum now lives in a flat paid for by Peter Jamieson, who wants Callum to resume gunman duties. But Callum’s not so keen to be tied to his organisation, plus he has a new girlfriend – Emma – to think about. Fortunately for Peter, his top gunman, Frank MacLeod, has recovered from his hip replacement operation and is ready to go back to work. Peter tasks him with killing Tommy Scott – an ambitious former low level drug runner who’s currently setting up a drug network for Peter’s rival, Shug Francis. But when the job goes wrong, Callum’s got no choice but to put things right, which means that the body count will rise …

    The second in Malcolm Mackay’s GLASGOW TRILOGY is another tightly written, taut Tartan noir told in a clipped, economic style that builds on events from the first book while setting up for a bloody showdown in the final volume. There’s more character development here – especially of Callum who’s budding relationship with student Emma exposes him to the things that he misses due to his lifestyle and also the dangers of his work. I particularly liked the growing tension that develops between the two and the way that each is manipulated by others in Jamieson’s organisation who have their own interests to protect. I also liked the way Callum’s dilemma dovetails in with Frank’s story, showing him the kind of life he can look forward to if he stays with Jamieson. Although the plot is pretty simple, it’s well told and shows the grimy reality of two crime gangs going to war and I’m really looking forward to reading the conclusion.

    This is really Frank’s book more than Callum’s as it’s his actions that drive the action and result in the bloody consequences.
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    1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars better than the first novel in series 21 Feb. 2014
    How A Gunman Says Goodbye begins where the previous novel of the trilogy ended. Young gunman Calum MacLean heals his wounds and is not in a hurry to return to work: hitmen have sick leaves, too. But back from such leave is another hitman, working for a local crime boss Jamieson - Frank MacLeod, recovered after hip replacement. MacLeod is a veteran of killing business, who started as a freelancer and later came under Jamieson’s wing, regularly making hits for the boss. MacLeod is already in his sixties, but he has no plans to retire. He longs to work, and he gets it. Jamison should remove a small dealer, a young lad with big plans. MacLeod expects an easy job, but falls into a trap. Jamieson goes against the unwritten rules and calls Calum to help Frank. And the unwritten rule is that if a hitman makes a mistake, then organization will not help him, he is now on his own.

    The first novel of the trilogy, The Necessary Death of Lewis Winter, was a solid story of the life of a hired killer, though somewhat predictable. This one is more interesting in terms of plot. Most often, we read about hitmen, who are healthy and working, their killings, but rarely we have a chance to see what happens when a gunman stumbles. How a gunman says goodbye - to the world. The set-up is really complex: the boss and gumnam employee are bound not only through business, but also long-term friendship.

    Calum in this novel steps in the shade, while playing an important role. The young hitman has time to think, including what is it, to kill for money. Hired killers in books almost do not think about what they are, how they fit into today's society, what lies ahead of them. Most often, they don’t have time ti think, always something endanger their lives.
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    7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Even better than the first- six stars! 5 July 2013
    By Raven TOP 500 REVIEWER
    How A Gunman Says Goodbye is the follow-up to Malcolm Mackay's exceptional debut novel The Necessary Death of Lewis Winter forming the first two instalments of his Glasgow Trilogy ( the final book, The Sudden Arrival of Violence due to be published January 2014) , and I really don't know what I can add to the universal praise Mackay has attracted so far. With How A Gunman Says Goodbye, Mackay merely adds to the kudos of his first, with another taut and uncompromising but utterly compelling read, this time focusing on ageing hit man Frank MacLeod, whose comeback from a hip operation, has slightly dulled his formerly razor sharp senses, thereby damaging his long standing reputation as a hit man to fear, and a man whose long term options become increasingly limited...

    With the same spare and mesmerising prose that so defined the style and pace of the first book, Mackay cleverly melds moments of tangible compassion with the grim realities of Frank's future options, that by turn raises empathy, yet an acceptance of the harsh truth within the reader as we see the diminishing of Frank's usefulness to his former masters. As the pace and coolness of the narrative decreases the passion of the prose, you are so aware of the decreasing circle that Frank finds himself in, with the uncomfortable realisation that his options are decreasing by the hour and that his future is bleak. As Frank considers a life spent at the murderous behest of others, a sad picture comes to light of a life unlived, that is so powerful in its portrayal with the tautness of Mackay's characterisation and prose.
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