The Dark Remains

World Noir. (Laidlaw Investigation, Bk. 4). Sept. 2021. 208p. ISBN 9781609457198. $27. M
A prequel to the Dagger Award–winning Laidlaw trilogy by the late McIlvanney, whose widow passed along the unfinished manuscript to Rankin to complete. Set in 1972, this gritty crime novel probes the inner character of detective inspector Jack Laidlaw, who has just been assigned to the Glasgow Crime Squad. He’s gotten a reputation for his uncanny sense of the streets, but he’s not a team player. When Bobby Carter (lawyer and right-hand man to the mob boss Cam Colvin) goes missing and then turns up dead behind a pub in John Rhodes’s territory, Glasgow could go up in flames. Colvin controls a third of the city, Rhodes another third. When Laidlaw learns which police supervisor is in charge of the investigation into Carter’s murder, he goes rogue. He’s not afraid to confront gang leaders or their men in his quest for answers. Laidlaw might not go home at night or show up at the police station in the morning, but he’ll discover a surprising truth that could prevent Glasgow gangs from going to war.
VERDICT An essential purchase to complete crime fiction collections or where international police novels are popular.
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