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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. I also wished that there had been some more female characters in the book – I understand that this is in keeping with the male world of crime in Glasgow – but it would have been interesting to have some more female perspectives on living with it and while Deana goes some way to do that it wasn’t enough for me. These quibbles aside, I’ve really enjoyed this trilogy and I’m looking forward to seeing what Mackay writes next.
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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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on 21 January 2016
This is the final novel in The Glasgow Trilogy, and it is a wonderful way to wrap up the series, living up to the high standard set by the earlier novels: “The Necessary Death of Lewis Winter” and “How a Gunman Says Goodbye.” The war between crime syndicates is coming to a showdown.

From the publisher: It begins with two deaths: A moneyman and an informant. The deaths offer a unique opportunity to a man like Calum MacLean. A hitman who has finally had enough of killing. It’s never easy to walk away from a job. It’s near impossible when that job is murder. Nobody’s gotten away with it before. But nobody who’s tried is as good as Calum MacLean at leaving no trace. Calum plans an unprecedented escape just as his employers need him the most. Glasgow’s biggest criminal organizations are gearing up for a final, fatal confrontation. The panic over Calum’s abrupt disappearance may finally give Detective Michael Fisher the chance he needs to close the case of a lifetime. But first he must track down a man who has become a master at staying in the shadows.

Calum is 29 years old. “After ten years of killing people for a living,” the ‘complicated turf war’ has gotten to the point that he wants to walk away, although he is mindful of how difficult that is: “They’re going to do what they do to anyone who tries to walk away without permission. Anyone who knows too much. They’ll put a bullet in him.” He relearns something he already knew: “As long as you trust them all to be untrustworthy, they’ll never let you down.” The bad guys and the ostensibly good guys (the cops) are filled with people who can’t be trusted, by the other side or their own. Can Calum finally get away from all this?

The author once again masterfully conjures up this world, and the suspense builds as the denouement nears. A fitting conclusion to a trilogy well worth reading, and this one as well is highly recommended.
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Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Although this is the final book in Malcolm Mackay’s Glasgow Trilogy, each of them can be read as a standalone novel. There is a glossary of character names - together with traits and a brief synopsis - to help place the various identities within the story. Although the list may appear quite long if this is your first Mackay book, it is not confusing because the cast is quite individual and it’s easy to remember them.

The action begins from page one, with Richard Hardy - a small-time, self-employed accountant - who is not averse to helping his clients move money around. Hardy is ‘lifted’ one evening by two men claiming to be detectives, who need his help regarding information about one of his clients. As he is being driven to the ‘station’, Hardy doesn’t realise that there is a tarpaulin, two spades and a white towel lying in the boot of the car. The ‘detectives’ are shovel-ready!

The central character in all three books is Calum MacLean, a young and skilful hit man, who has taken assignments from both sides of the major crime syndicates. By book three, MacLean has had enough; he wants out, but he’s a victim of his own success – and he knows that the warring drug lords are not just going to let him walk away.

Malcolm Mackay’s style of writing may not be to everyone’s taste. He writes in short, punchy sentences - and descriptions of people and places are kept to a minimum. Personally, I think this adds to the clinical distance the author creates in reflecting the brutal behaviour of the criminal gangs. His characters are terrifyingly believable - and although the book is set in Glasgow, we all know that this type of organised crime is present in all major cities. A depressing thought. However, if you can get your mind away from murky realities, this is a terrific trilogy and I’m just sorry that this is the last in the series.
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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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VINE VOICEon 6 November 2014
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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on 17 July 2014
I've read all three of Malcolm mackay's Glasgow trilogy books about the underworld and in particular the professional assassins. I'd recommend these to anyone looking for something a bit different to the usual cop thriller. These characters are on the other side and in particular, the reader gets the chance to get inside the head of the killers. You need to read all 3 books to make sense of it all but if you know Glasgow and like thrillers, give them a go!
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TOP 50 REVIEWERon 19 August 2015
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I haven't read the first two of the Glasgow trilogy but this didn't seem to matter, I got the hang of this one. which is well-plotted, well-paced and engaging. It has the word 'violence' dripping with blood in the title but there's nothing here too grizzly for gifting it to a relative.

I found the prose style distracted me from the narrative because it is written in present continuous –am I loving his work? Hmmm. This is presumably done to evoke immediacy but It takes longer to say "he's walking quickly to the front door. Ringing the doorbell and waiting." Than it does to say "He strides to the door, rings the bell and waits." Also, MacKay drops the pronoun and the article from the beginning of his sentences and sometimes the verb, though not both at the same time. It's quite an interesting read stylistically but I think there's probably a reason most authors stick to the plain old present historic. I found the use of the the present continuous a little wearing after a while.
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on 13 February 2014
I got the first book for Christmas from a neighbour, I started reading it mid-sized , it's the twelfth February and that's the trilogy complete. 2 paperback + a kindle. if you enjoy Rankin this is for you. if you know Glasgow or its underbelly it's a must read. Right down to identifying Stuart st. police station
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on 30 September 2014
I have read the trilogy in relatively quick succession, so there must be something in them - but maybe I was just waiting for it to start. The banality of (writing about) evil. There is no atmosphere, the killings are almost genteel, the gangsters lack menace, and as for a "Glasgow Trilogy", there is almost nothing that leads one to believe this was not taking place in any unidentified Western city - albeit one where the gangsters are rather polite. One does not necessarily need 'the patter', nor lots of caricature Billy Connolly characters, but this is no more Glasgow than 'any town'. No grit, I would suggest no realism, almost a empty stage and a few under-formed characters failing to hold one's attention. The trilogy has been given some very good reviews, but I just found it bland, characterless, insipid - the arrowroot pudding of crime fiction
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