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Alan Parks

Alan Parks

Before beginning his writing career, Alan Parks was Creative Director at London Records and Warner Music, where he marketed and managed artists including All Saints, New Order, The Streets, Gnarls Barkley, and Cee Lo Green. His love of music, musician lore, and even the industry, comes through in his prize-winning mysteries, which are saturated with the atmosphere of the 1970s music scene, grubby and drug-addled as it often was. Parks’ debut novel, Bloody January, propelled him onto the international literary crime fiction circuit and won him praise, prizes, and success with readers. The second book in the Harry McCoy series, February’s Son, was a finalist for a MWA Edgar Award. Parks was born in Scotland, earned an M.A. in Moral Philosophy from the University of Glasgow, and still lives and works in the city he so vividly depicts in his Harry McCoy thrillers.

All Alan Parks's books

Latest reviews

  • “The pace is deliberate, but the lean, muscular prose is matched by a deep dive into character and the seamy side of the city...A full-bodied immersion into Glasgow’s gritty past.”
    — Kirkus Reviews, May 19 2021
  • “[Parks] captures the buzz of playing in clubs and the grind of touring, with its cheap hotels, hangers-on, and obliging drug dealers, who keep reality at bay for another night and then, inevitably, forever.”
    — Air Mail, Apr 17 2021
  • “Parks’s description never fails him, be it description of the horrors of some of the places where the action takes place, or the action itself.”
    — Seeing the world through books, Mar 2 2021
  • “The meticulously described setting is so suggestive readers may even catch whiffs of stale cigarette smoke and patchouli. Fans of Scottish noir will be satisfied.”
    — Publishers Weekly, Jan 18 2021
  • “Parks’ sprawling plot offers not tidy whodunit puzzles but a wide-angle view of a gritty city in the grip of crime, home to an entertaining cross section of characters [ . . . ] Brisk Scottish noir with an appealingly hard edge.”
    — Kirkus Reviews, Jan 13 2021
  • “This creepy, absorbing, well-paced tale covers numerous wide-ranging subjects including mental illness, lobotomy, suicide and sexual deviance.”
    — The Lansing State Journal, Mar 8 2019
  • “‘February’s Son’ startles readers with surprises as its story strands pull together.”
    — Wall Street Journal, Feb 15 2019
  • ”. . . a town and setting that should get the noir fan sitting up straight in anticipation of some of the most brutal and beautiful prose around.”
    — CrimeReads, Jan 8 2019
  • "Bloody January has all the gritty bells and whistles expected of noir, but at the same time its main character, Detective Harry McCoy of the Glasgow Police Force, grapples with the contradictions of morality on a multitude of levels."
    — Los Angeles Review of Books, May 30 2018
  • "Parks’ debut is filled with the sights and sounds of Edinburgh in the 70s. [ . . . ] This book would make an excellent companion to The French Connection, mainly because while reading it, I had an image of a Scottish Gene Hackman in my head the whole time."
    — CrimeReads, May 7 2018
  • “Alan Parks’s grisly debut novel, “Bloody January”, is also set in Glasgow—in the first month of 1973. Though snow is blanketing the streets, it can’t hide the corruption in a city where cops and criminals are often forced to keep each other’s secrets.”
    — Wall Street Journal, May 4 2018
  • “A few different things inspired [BLOODY JANUARY]. The physical landscape of my childhood. . . I wanted to write about those places around the time I was there, the early seventies.”
    — Words Without Borders, May 2 2018
  • “Told over the course of 20 days, Bloody January never flags in pace. Bundled with a myriad of personal flaws, Harry McCoy is an immediately compelling new character.”
    — Mystery Scene, Apr 23 2018
  • “Bloody January is Bloody Fantastic…dark, violent, extremely well-written and real. Alan Parks is a talent to watch!”
    — Mystery Tribune, Apr 17 2018
  • “In this classic noir-flavored debut set in 1973 Glasgow, Detective Harry McCoy grapples with both a horrific crime and changing times.”
    — Shelf Awareness, Apr 13 2018
  • “There's something about Glasgow in the sleet and snow that fits perfectly with a the noir genre.”
    — Reviewing the Evidence, Apr 2 2018
  • "Parks is uncompromisingly realistic in his vision of the city, its gangs, its poor, and its corruption . . . ”
    — Seeing the World Through Books, Mar 17 2018
  • “For noir connoisseurs, this will hit the spot...”
    — Booklist, Feb 27 2018
  • “[A] dark and violent debut novel that resurrects the tartan noir phenomenon.”
    — Library Journal, Feb 1 2018
  • "A worthy addition to the tartan noir canon, McCoy is a flawed hero to watch, as is his creator."
    — Publishers Weekly, Jan 29 2018

Scotland

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