Zenosbooks

(03/25/2008) Strange Loyalties by William McIlvanney. New York. 1992. Morrow. keywords: Literature Scotland Mystery. 281 pages. Jacket design & illustration by Lawrence Ratzkin. 068811413.

The third book in William McIlvanney's Laidlaw Scottish mystery series. As much a study of loss and guilt as a traditional mystery. McIlvanney's people are real and well drawn.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   Detective Inspector Jack Laidlaw is back. It is a tribute to William McIlvanney that the occasion should be so eagerly anticipated. The normal mode for building an audience for a fictional detective is a large number of titles delivered in quick succession by contrast, LAIDLAW - the first novel of McIlvanney's sequence - appeared in 1977, and the second, THE PAPERS OF TONY VEITCH, only after a long interval in 1983. Now, eight years later, he makes his third appearance in STRANGE LOYALTIES. As in the earlier books, he is obsessed by an obscure death and is seen by his colleagues as a man near breaking point, driven by a private morality to work at the profession's outer edges. This time, however, the line between investigator and victim is blurred. The dead man is Laidlaw's younger brother, and the investigation takes him back to his roots in Ayrshire from which the not-so-grieving widow has departed and where Laidlaw learns from others of the breakdown of the marriage and his brother's increasing unpredictability in the months before his death under the wheels of a car. With a week's leave and a bottle of Antiquary, Laidlaw sets himself the task of finding out more. To this main plot is added a murder investigation being conducted back in Glasgow into the killing of drug pusher Meece Rooney. The linking of plot and subplot is achieved with the craft of an experienced novelist. The criminal Eddie Foley, for example, is seen in a similar light to the businessman Dave Lyons, who regards the law as 'a set of rules for those who get caught. ' Laidlaw himself is never more persuasively a policeman than when he is passing judgment: a drug dealer gets the thumbs down; an adulterous wife is convicted of lacking the courage of her sins; he scrutinizes himself constantly for lapses from his own standard of conduct. To live behind hedges, draw the curtains, shut out others, begins to seem like the humanist equivalent of sinning against the Holy Ghost. Laidlaw's antecedents are an odd mixture of traditions. There is recognizably a strain of Chandler, the writer who gave crime back to the people who commit it and sent Marlowe down mean streets armed only with integrity and a wisecrack. But it is the unrelenting seriousness of his moral concern which makes Laidlaw different. As a crime novel, STRANGE LOYALTIES does not engage the Glasgow underworld with the ferocious infatuation of the earlier books. It contains instead some of McIlvanney's best set pieces on suburban values; and arguably the finest ending he has achieved. Crime fiction needs Laidlaw back before another eight years have passed.' - The Scotsman.

 

Check zenosbooks.com for either a used or a new copy of this book, or you can add it to your wishlist.

 



Search

Zeno's Picks

  • Walker, David. David Walker's Appeal to the Coloured Citizens of the World

    Zenosbooks - Zeno's Picks

    Walker, David. David Walker's Appeal to the Coloured Citizens of the World Walker, David. David Walker's Appeal to the Coloured Citizens of the World. University Park. 2000. Penn State University Press. 9780271019949. Edited, with an introduction and annotations by Peter P. Hinks. 5 x 8.5. 2 illustrations. 184 pages. paperback.   FROM THE PUBLISHER - In 1829 David Walker, a free black born in Wilmington, North Carolina, wrote one of America‚Äôs most provocative politicaldocuments of the nineteenth[…]

    Read more...
  • Dumas, Henry. Jonoah & the Green Stone

    Zenosbooks - Zeno's Picks

    Dumas, Henry. Jonoah & the Green Stone Dumas, Henry. Jonoah & the Green Stone. New York. 1976. Random House. 0394497910. 170 pages. hardcover. Jacket design by Mike Stromberg.  FROM THE PUBLISHER - Henry Dumas was a first-rate writer with first-order intelligence. The publication of his short stories, ARK OF BONES, and poetry, PLAY EBONY PLAY IVORY, was received with spectacular acclaim. Now a novel has been discovered that will satisfy the appetites[…]

    Read more...
  • Uwagba, Otegha. Whites: On Race and Other Falsehoods

    Zenosbooks - Zeno's Picks

    Uwagba, Otegha. Whites: On Race and Other Falsehoods Uwagba, Otegha. Whites: On Race and Other Falsehoods. London. 2020. 4th Estate. 9780008440428. 71 pages. paperback.  FROM THE PUBLISHER - In this powerful and timely personal essay, best-selling author Otegha Uwagba reflects on racism, whiteness, and the mental labour required of Black people to navigate relationships with white people. Presented as a record of Uwagba's observations on this era-defining moment in history - that is,[…]

    Read more...
  • Davies, Carole Boyce. Left of Karl Marx: The Political Life of Black Communist Claudia Jones

    Zenosbooks - Zeno's Picks

    Davies, Carole Boyce. Left of Karl Marx: The Political Life of Black Communist Claudia Jones Davies, Carole Boyce. Left of Karl Marx: The Political Life of Black Communist Claudia Jones. Durham. 2008. Duke University Press. 9780822341161. 311 pages. paperback. Cover photograph - Claudia Jones in 1948.  FROM THE PUBLISHER - In LEFT OF KARL MARX, Carole Boyce Davies assesses the activism, writing, and legacy of Claudia Jones (1915-1964), a pioneering Afro-Caribbean radical intellectual, dedicated communist, and feminist. Jones is buried[…]

    Read more...
  • Painter, Nell Irvin. The History of White People

    Zenosbooks - Zeno's Picks

    Painter, Nell Irvin. The History of White People Painter, Nell Irvin. The History of White People. New York. 2010. Norton. 9780393049343. 496 pages. hardcover. Cover design by Keenan.  FROM THE PUBLISHER - A mind-expanding and myth-destroying exploration of notions of white race - not merely a skin color but also a signal of power, prestige, and beauty to be withheld and granted selectively. Our story begins in Greek and Roman antiquity, where the[…]

    Read more...
Copyright © 2021 Zenosbooks. All Rights Reserved.
Joomla! is Free Software released under the GNU General Public License.