The April dead

Alan Parks

Book - 2021

Chief Detective Inspector Harry McCoy follows the scarce clues to search for the perpetrators of a bombing campaign in Glasgow and its surrounding towns in a strike for independence in April 1974, as well as a missing American sailor from the base at Holy Loch.

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Series
Parks, Alan. Harry McCoy thriller.
World noir.
Europa international mysteries and crime.
Subjects
Genres
Detective and mystery stories
Detective and mystery fiction
Thrillers (Fiction)
Novels
Published
New York, N.Y. : Europa Editions 2021.
Language
English
Item Description
Originally published: Edinburgh: Canongate.
Physical Description
393 pages ; 21 cm
ISBN
9781609456870
1609456874
Main Author
Alan Parks (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

The fourth in Parks' unrelenting Harry McCoy series again probes the fissures in the social fabric of 1970s Glasgow, exposing a city teetering on the brink of chaos. It begins when an American sailor goes missing from a naval base but quickly spirals from there to a plot by Scottish nationalists to wreak havoc. Bombings, Harry had assumed, were an Irish problem, but when Glasgow spawns its own crazed purveyors of homemade explosives, his vision changes dramatically. Is the missing sailor linked to the bombings? As Harry attempts to sort that out, he must also deal with his childhood friend Cooper, now a crime boss recently released from prison who is struggling to regain his position in the Glasgow underworld. The violence is nonstop, and it's taking a toll on Harry's ulcer-ravaged stomach and fragile psyche: He was getting tired of all this . . . . Didn't want to see tied-up boys screaming fear, men getting glass picked out of their faces. Parks is less well known than other Scottish noir masters (Val McDermid, Ian Rankin, Denise Mina), but he deserves a seat at their table. Copyright 2021 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Set in 1974 against the backdrop of British-IRA tensions, Edgar finalist Parks's outstanding fourth outing for Glasgow cop Harry McCoy (after 2020's Bobby March Will Live Forever) opens with McCoy and his police colleagues checking out what's left of a flat that's been destroyed by a bomb explosion—and of the bomb maker. Could it be the work of the IRA? More bombings follow. Meanwhile, a retired U.S. Navy captain wants McCoy to find his son, who has gone AWOL from a nearby U.S. naval base, and Stevie Cooper, McCoy's boyhood friend who's now an underworld boss just released from jail, involves McCoy in his attempt to beat down a gang takeover. Finally, McCoy investigates a Scottish nationalist movement, which turns out to be abetted by Britain's clandestine Special Branch for its own nefarious purposes. Tightly plotted and fast-moving, this well-wrought historical thriller also highlights Parks's keen analysis of Scotland's societal traumas, in particular the failure to cope with domestic violence and child abuse. Tartan noir fans won't want to miss this one. Agent: Isobel Dixon, Blake Friedmann Literary (U.K.). (Aug.) Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

"When an American sailor from the Holy Loch Base goes missing, Harry McCoy is determined to find him. But as he investigates, a wave of bombings hits Glasgow. Soon McCoy realises that the sailor may be part of a shadowy organization led by a dangerous fanatic and committed to a very different kind of Scotland. A Scotland its members are prepared to kill for. Meanwhile Cooper, McCoy's long-time criminal friend, is released from jail and is convinced he has a traitor in his midst. As allies become enemies, Cooper has to fight to maintain his position as crime kingpin. He needs something done, something illegal, and his old friend McCoy is the only one who can do it. As word begins to circulate on the streets that another, bigger explosion is being planned for Glasgow, McCoy battles corruption in his ranks in an attempt to save the city for which he is the perfect noir hero"--

Review by Publisher Summary 2

When an American sailor from the Holy Loch Base goes missing, Harry McCoy is determined to find him. But as he investigates, a wave of bombings hits Glasgow. Soon McCoy realises that the sailor may be part of a shadowy organization led by a dangerous fanatic and committed to a very different kind of Scotland. A Scotland its members are prepared to kill for.Meanwhile Cooper, McCoy’s long-time criminal friend, is released from jail and is convinced he has a traitor in his midst. As allies become enemies, Cooper has to fight to maintain his position as crime kingpin. He needs something done, something illegal, and his old friend McCoy is the only one who can do it.As word begins to circulate on the streets that another, bigger explosion is being planned for Glasgow, McCoy battles corruption in his ranks in an attempt to save the city for which he is the perfect noir hero.