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The Sudden Arrival of Violence: The Glasgow Trilogy Book 3 Hardcover – 16 Jan 2014


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Mantle (16 Jan 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 023076973X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0230769731
  • Product Dimensions: 14.1 x 3.3 x 22.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 178,679 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Superb . . . Mackay is a true original, managing to conjure up a gripping new way of portraying city-noir. This, from a writer who has lived his whole life in far-off Stornoway, with only few short visits to the Glasgow he has so vividly created. He's no longer a rising star. He's risen (Marcel Berlins The Times)

Reviewers often groan at the hyperbole with which publishers adorn new novels, but with Malcolm Mackay it is justified. His poetic titles (The Necessary Death of Lewis Winter and How a Gunman Says Goodbye) are infused with the sense of menace that is the sine qua non of the genre while tipping the wink that this is crime writing with ambition. The Sudden Arrival of Violence is the conclusion to Mackay's acclaimed Glasgow trilogy . . . The youthful Mackay has the command of a writer twice his age, and he has delivered a conclusion to his trilogy that is just as cohesive and forceful as his previous two books. (Financial Times)

The final novel in Malcolm MacKay's wonderful Glasgow trilogy . . . Gripping and vivid, with a labyrinthine plot involving double - and triple-crossing, The Sudden Arrival of Violence is told in a staccato, abbreviated style throughout. It's very difficult to keep this up, let alone do it well, but MacKay succeeds magnificently, and his third novel is well up to the high standard of its predecessors (Guardian)

This is a story to take in one gulp . . . Malcolm Mackay's lauded Glasgow Trilogy pounds a familiar beat - fans of Taggart and William McIlvanney's Laidlaw will know it well - the Glasgow backbeat of chisel-faced hard men, organised crime, vengeance, punishment beatings, vicious killing . . . As you'd expect from a writer whose previous books have been listed for - and won - major crime fiction prizes, the prose is as terse as the tale is tense . . . Mackay grabs the action from the start . . . He completely commands his material as he steers it towards a dramatic culmination. (Scotsman)

It's a virtually unanimous verdict. Few new novelists have enjoyed such comprehensive acclaim in the critical fraternity as the young Scottish crime writer Malcolm Mackay. His books, the first of which was 2013's The Necessary Death of Lewis Winter, suggest a Scottish equivalent of the hardboiled James M Cain; a writer who doesn't waste a word and who nourishes a certain poetic sensibility - as evinced by the titles of the other two books in his trilogy, How a Gunman Says Goodbye and now this acerbic final volume, The Sudden Arrival of Violence. Every debut in the crime fiction field is inevitably (and wearingly) trumpeted by its publisher, though many such books fall by the wayside. But this is a writer who justified the publisher's hyperbole and has had critics attempting to come up with new adjectives to praise him. The Necessary Death of Lewis Winter places the reader uneasily in the mind of a hitman. Using the familiar trappings of the crime novel, the book was still utterly original. What makes all three novels in the now-completed trilogy particularly impressive is the terrifyingly laidback, authentic toughness - surprising, coming from an unassuming 30-year-old author from Stornoway (where he still lives) in the Outer Hebrides. Mackay has conjured and brilliantly sustained throughout his three novels an astringent vision of the Scottish underworld. Crucially, he has not forgotten the importance of pithy characterisation. In The Sudden Arrival of Violence, the author draws a variety of strands together, but not in a too schematic fashion. Calum MacLean is a hitman working for two criminal bosses. He is always watching, alert for the weaknesses that will give him an advantage. But as Calum begins to arrange his retirement, a gang war breaks out between one of his bosses and a bitter rival, and inevitably the gunman is drawn into the bloodiest of showdowns. I hadn't the slightest doubt that Mackay - whose youth belies a crime novelist of worldly authority - would pull off this concluding volume with the kind of understated panache that distinguished its predecessors ... and so it has proved. (Independent on Sunday)

Dangerously original. (Saga Magazine)

Mackay's clipped, spare, present tense narrative is urgent, clever and ominous. In a field so crowded as crime writing it is not easy to present an original voice. Malcolm Mackay's laconic tone is his alone . . . the Herbrides have produced an author of their own who strides easily into the top division. (West Highland Free Press)

From the Back Cover

This is how it's going to be from now on. When you're the lead gunman for a major organization, there's a lot of cleaning up . . .

It begins with two deaths: a money-man and a grass. Deaths that offer a unique opportunity to a man like Calum MacLean. A man who has finally had enough of killing.

Meanwhile two of Glasgow's biggest criminal organizations are at quiet, deadly war with one another. And as Detective Michael Fisher knows, the biggest - and bloodiest - manoeuvres are yet to come . . .

The stunning conclusion to Malcolm Mackay's lauded Glasgow Trilogy, The Sudden Arrival of Violence will return readers to the city's underworld: a place of dark motives, dangerous allegiances and inescapable violence . . .

Praise for Malcolm Mackay's Glasgow Trilogy

'The youthful Mackay has the command of a writer twice his age, and he has delivered a conclusion to his trilogy that is just as cohesive and forceful as his previous two books' Financial Times

'There aren't too many crime novels that take the reader into the mind of a hit man . . . truly exceptional' Independent

'Mackay ratchets up the tension like a master' Daily Telegraph

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By D. Elliott TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 24 Nov 2014
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Though the third book in a trilogy of crime thrillers set in the Glasgow underworld ‘The Sudden Arrival of Violence’ is a stand-alone story, assisted by 5 pages of notes on characters. Unfortunately there is no-one with whom to empathize. As a ‘hitman’, Calum MacLean has killed on behalf of at least 2 criminal organisations, and he attempts to break free, but he knows the criminal bosses will not allow this - he is a marked man and will not be allowed to escape his past.

Following a ‘hit’ it is practice for the ‘hitman’ to lie low for a while, and after a murder that Calum intends to be his last he hopes to use this period to effect his disappearance. His plans are complicated by the criminal organisations being at each other’s throats in order to gain supremacy and control drug dealing and other such activities. Characters cross and double one another and Calum can only turn to his brother for help - but violence for them and others is never very far away.

Author Malcolm Mackay paints a depressingly mundane picture of Glasgow gang culture with implications that the criminals are somehow forced into their roles - the criminals do what they do as entrepreneurs with killing their own to achieve their ends presented as inevitable when they are no longer useful, muck things up, become grasses, or present any sort of threat. Calum is a marked man and his predicament provides a gripping action-packed roller-coaster read - but it is without moral boundaries - and it loses a star.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
It’s several months after HOW A GUNMAN SAYS GOODBYE. The war between Peter Jamieson and Shug Francis has intensified and Callum MacLean has seen a huge rise in his workload. But Callum’s had enough of killing. He wants out. Jamieson wants him to kill Shug’s accountant and a grass. After that, he won’t expect to hear from Callum for a week. That’s more than enough time for him to get away and make a new life for himself.

But nothing in crime is simple and it isn’t long before events spiral out of Callum’s control and all the time, DI Michael Fisher is circling closer and closer, just waiting for the chance to take them all down …

The conclusion to Malcolm Mackay’s GLASGOW TRILOGY is another tautly written, hard-boiled tale that ties up the loose ends and provides a satisfying conclusion to this strong crime trilogy. Callum’s really developed as a character over the books and the end game between Shug and Jamieson really comes good with Fisher lurking in the background, trying to put all the pieces together from the first book. There are some neat twists, the pacing works well and although the plot line is stripped down and simple, Mackay injects plenty of suspense and I enjoyed the parallels between Jamieson and Young and Shug and Fizzy. I really like the way Mackay shows the relationships and the distrust between the men in this story and how there can never really be friendships when you enter a life of crime. That said, the introduction of Alex MacArthur came a little too late in the trilogy for me and I wished that there had been some earlier interaction between him, Shug and Jamieson to provide a context to some of the events in this book and at times contrivance is relied on to keep events moving forward.
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By Sid Nuncius HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWER on 13 Jan 2014
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is the concluding volume in Malcolm MacKay's excellent Glasgow Trilogy and it maintains the brilliance of the preceding two. It is comprehensible if you haven't read the previous two, but I would strongly recommend beginning with The Necessary Death Of Lewis Winter and How A Gunman Says Goodbye because the story and characters progress through all three to the climax here.

The story is of the Glasgow underworld and how different "organisations" manoeuvre for power between each other and within themselves. As before, we get the points of view of a number of characters which is a difficult trick to pull off but MacKay does it brilliantly, showing the way in which these things play out and the rapid changes in perspectives and loyalties as things change. He is so good at this that, slightly disturbingly, I found myself concerned for a cold-blooded gunman and wanting him to be safe. It's an excellent, exciting and thoughtful story, full of tension and insight and which avoids most of the clichés of the genre.

I find MacKay's style riveting. He writes mainly in short, staccato sentences. Not many adjectives. No similes or metaphors. It moves the action along. Builds the tension, too. You get the idea, and it's fantastically effective, I think. Despite the title, there isn't all that much graphic violence. What violence there is, is described in the same tone as the rest of the book which, to me, makes it exceptionally vivid and disturbing.

I was completely hooked on this as I have been on the previous two books. If you like a good crime novel (this is a lot more than a basic thriller) you'll probably love this and I recommend it very warmly indeed.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Two gangs are at war. Their leaders Peter Jamieson and Hugh 'Shug' Francis deal in anything to make money and with people who run semi-legitimate businesses. Calum MacLean is a hired gunman who has become tired of killing. He has just disposed of two men and vowed that would be his last job.

Jamieson and Shug are being given information by a corrupt policeman and this helps them keep ahead of the law.

However, D.I. Fisher, a man with a few unsuccessful cases to his name, suspects the officer and keeps him away from vital information.

The murder of Calum's brother, William, changes the situation. The gangs now look for Calum because of what he knows and that it is likely he will seek revenge. Calum is now on the run. He contacts DI Fisher and asks to meet him in a neutral place. Fisher agrees.

Is this a trap Fisher is facing? Is Calum too walking into a police trap that could put him behind bars? Two men to face each other - one a cold, calculating killer. The other a lone police officer keen to see the gang leaders in jail.

A fairly complex story of murder, gang rivalry and loss. The characters are well drawn and believable. Plenty of intrigue combined with action. A pleasing 'whose going to win' novel.
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