The Laidlaw books are widely considered to be among the greatest achievements of Scottish crime writing and the founding novels of what has since become known as the school of Tartan Noir, which includes authors like Val McDermid, Denise Mina, and Iain Rankin. This third book in the series begins with the death of Jack Laidlaw’s brother in a banal road accident. His questions about the circumstances surrounding his bother’s death lead to larger questions about the nature of pain and injustice, and the meaning of his own life. Laidlaw is determined to learn more about Scott Laidlaw’s death. His investigations will lead to a confrontation with his own past and a harrowing journey into the dark Glasgow underworld.
William McIlvanney is widely credited as the founder of the Tartan Noir movement that includes authors such as Denise Mina, Ian Banks, and Val McDermid, all of whom cite him as an influence and inspiration. McIlvanney’s Laidlaw trilogy “changed the face of Scottish fiction” (The Times of London), his Docherty won the Whitbread Award for Fiction, and his Laidlaw and The Papers of Tony Veitch both gained Silver Daggers from the Crime Writers’ Association. Strange Loyalties won the Glasgow Herald’s People’s Prize. William passed away in December 2015.