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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gritty, Witty, Hilarious And Profound
This set of adjectives could, quite frankly, apply to pretty much everything that William McIlvanney, perhaps Scotland's most criminally (no pun intended) under-read author, has ever written. Whether it be his early tale of a miner's plight (Docherty), the ups and downs of a bare-knuckle fighter (The Big Man) or his superlative Glaswegian detective trilogy, of which...
Published 22 months ago by Keith M

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3.0 out of 5 stars Strange Loyalties
I was somewhat disappointed with the third book in the Laidlaw trilogy. It is not nearly as good as the first two. It took a long time to get moving and lacked action and I did not think it was as well written as the first two. I reread the first two before reading this one and if I had come to this one first I doubt if I would have bothered to read the others!
Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gritty, Witty, Hilarious And Profound, 30 Aug 2012
By 
Keith M - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Strange Loyalties (Paperback)
This set of adjectives could, quite frankly, apply to pretty much everything that William McIlvanney, perhaps Scotland's most criminally (no pun intended) under-read author, has ever written. Whether it be his early tale of a miner's plight (Docherty), the ups and downs of a bare-knuckle fighter (The Big Man) or his superlative Glaswegian detective trilogy, of which Strange Loyalties appears to be (sadly) the final instalment, McIlvanney delivers more perceptive and honest insights into the human condition than almost any writer (from any era) that I have read. Funnily enough I have just finished re-reading Cormac McCarthy's magnificent Border Trilogy, and, whilst the two sets of novels are poles apart stylistically and temporally, I would place McIlvanney's Laidlaw trilogy on a par with that of the universally acclaimed McCarthy, the Scot's books in effect providing a 'Glaswegian equivalent account' in terms of the history of its working people and culture, as McCarthy does for the southern US and Mexico.

Strange Loyalties is another joyous McIlvanney read, packed full of the author's trademark witticisms and idiosyncratic observations of Glaswegian working life. I cannot recall a recent novel where I have actually laughed out loud so much (probably apart from the earlier Laidlaw tales). This episode sees Laidlaw taking some time off his normal duties (of course, to the frustration of his work colleagues) to investigate the apparently accidental death of his brother. There follows two essentially parallel narratives, one in which Jack uncovers a guilty secret his brother was harbouring dating back to his college days, and the other in which Laidlaw attempts to finally bring to justice local gangster Matt Mason. Once again, McIlvanney's plotline serves simply as the framework within which Laidlaw's own frailties and obsessions are explored, as the detective embarks on a crusade in the name of the exploited Glaswegian underclass (mothers who are ignorant of the exploits of their criminal offsrping, wives of the victims of gangland murders and drug addicts coerced into becoming criminals' accessories).

Another engrossing and intelligent work from this most gifted of novelists.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rich, and to-be-read again (and again) for the philosophy, 16 July 2013
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This review is from: Strange Loyalties (Laidlaw 3) (Laidlaw Trilogy) (Paperback)
I had to break my own rule about leaving a decent gap between books by the same author. Laidlaw is a man who gets into your head and lodges there, making you want more and more. And more this one was. I shall need soon to start at the beginning and re-read the whole trilogy again.

A personal quest this one, steeped in sadness and retrospection, pondering on relationships, moralities and the way one lives ones life. But with a search for truth. A multitude of characters being drawn together to form a fractured whole. Unguessable ending (though in a way it should not have been).
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, 28 Jun 2014
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McIlvanny is a wonderful and charismatic author. His crime novels are full of philosophical thoughts and complexities and far far from the average crime thriller.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great read, 28 April 2014
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E. Cameron "Ewen" (UK) - See all my reviews
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Along with the other books in this trilogy this is a great book.

Not only is the story captivating, but the insights the author provides to his characters make them very real.

If you haven't read any McIlvanney I suggest you do. He's a fantastic author.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great Read, 24 Mar 2014
Very well written and an excellent read. Describes Glasgow and the West of Scotland in the context of the day it was written.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Strange Loyalties, 11 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Strange Loyalties (Laidlaw 3) (Laidlaw Trilogy) (Paperback)
I was somewhat disappointed with the third book in the Laidlaw trilogy. It is not nearly as good as the first two. It took a long time to get moving and lacked action and I did not think it was as well written as the first two. I reread the first two before reading this one and if I had come to this one first I doubt if I would have bothered to read the others!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous read, 8 Dec 2013
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M. Prior "eileenann" (UK) - See all my reviews
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Love McIlvanney and the Laidlaw books - what an author, what a story. Not sure what else he's written but need to find more!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Strange Loyalties, 27 Nov 2013
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Fantastic conclusion to the Laidlaw trilogy. The books that created the Tartan Noir, well worth taking the time to make their acquaintance.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The set, 8 Nov 2013
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Mr. G. Blair (haydock) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Strange Loyalties (Laidlaw 3) (Laidlaw Trilogy) (Paperback)
The first of the trilogy was reveiwed in the Guardian so i thought it might be good for a holiday read. Ended up buying the rest of the trilogy and thoroughly enjoyed them as well as a few people i lent them too.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 3 Oct 2013
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Read all 3 in sequence. An Ian Rankin fan, I had misgivings about the Glasgow setting but was converted. Felt at times I needed to write down characters names to mkeep track though.
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Strange Loyalties (Laidlaw 3) (Laidlaw Trilogy)
Strange Loyalties (Laidlaw 3) (Laidlaw Trilogy) by William McIlvanney (Paperback - 3 Jun 2013)
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