If, like me you read up on Tony Black before reading his work you’ll see praise from Irvine Welsh and style comparisons to Ian Rankin. After reading this book neither of those things surprises me. It has been a while since I read the Rebus novels but there is certainly that same gritty feel. It is more gritty than a butt crack after a day at the beach. The is a bleak hopelessness that surrounds Gus Dury and anybody that gets anywhere near him. He has his reasons and having been in a similar place for similar reasons it makes perfect sense. Add to that a bleak and an unforgiving backdrop like a Scottish inner city and you have a setting that just screams brooding and anguish.
This is a Scottish book and there are phrases that will not make much sense if you don’t have any Scottish links. I was quite proud that I only had to look one thing up. All those holidays up there paid dividends.
The plot is simple and very easy to work out from the beginning but that takes nothing away from the enjoyment of this book. Like all good noir it is all about the characters and this one is no different. The interactions are pitched at exactly the tone and I can hear the accents of each character.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book after not reading anything for a few weeks. I must go and start something else now.