#BlogTour – #BookReview of #TheDarkRemains by William McIlvanney and Ian Rankin @Beathhigh @canongatebooks @RandomTTours #RandomThingsTours  

I’m excited to welcome you today to my stop on the blog tour for dark and gritty Glaswegian crime novel The Dark Remains, written by late crime writing legend William McIlvanney and much loved and acclaimed author Ian Rankin. Thank you to Anne Cater and Canongate Books for giving me the opportunity to read and review this book, which is a prequel to William McIlvanney’s inspirational DI Laidlaw crime trilogy.

About the book:

If the truth’s in the shadows, get out of the light . . . 

Lawyer Bobby Carter did a lot of work for the wrong type of people. Now he’s dead and it was no accident. He’s left behind his share of enemies, but who dealt the fatal blow?

DC Jack Laidlaw’s reputation precedes him. He’s not a team player, but he’s got a sixth sense for what’s happening on the streets. As two Glasgow gangs go to war, Laidlaw needs to find out who got Carter before the whole city explodes.

About the authors:

Two crime-writing legends join forces for the first ever case of DI Laidlaw: the original gritty Glasgow detective who inspired an entire genre

William McIlvanney’s Laidlaw trilogy changed the face of crime fiction in the 1970s and 1980s, inspiring an entire generation of crime writers including Mark Billiangham, Val McDermid, Denise Mina, Chris Brookmyre – and Ian Rankin.

When McIlvanney died in 2015, he left half a handwritten manuscript of Laidlaw’s first case – his first new novel in 25 years. Now, Ian Rankin is back to finish what McIlvanney started. 

In The Dark Remains, these two iconic authors bring to life the criminal world of 1970s Glasgow, and the relentless quest for truth.

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.
Born in the Kingdom of Fife in 1960, Ian Rankin graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 1982, and then spent three years writing novels when he was supposed to be working towards a PhD in Scottish Literature. His first novel The Flood was published in 1986, while his first Rebus novel, Knots & Crosses, was published in 1987. The Rebus series is now translated into twenty-two languages and the books are bestsellers on several continents. Ian has received an OBE for services to literature. He is also the winner of an Edgar Award and the recipient of a Gold Dagger for fiction and the Chandler-Fulbright Award. He lives in Edinburgh, Scotland, with his wife and their two sons.

My Review:

The Dark Remains is a dark and gritty Glaswegian crime novel written by crime writing legend of the seventies and eighties William McIlvanney and much loved and acclaimed author Ian Rankin. Started by the late William McIlvanney but sadly left unfinished, Ian Rankin has stepped up to the plate to finish what the iconic author started.

As someone new to the writing of William McIlvanney I don’t have anything to compare this fantastic crime novel to, but I have read quite a few novels by Ian Rankin so had every faith that he would be able to give it the justice it deserved. The writing is flawless, with no discernible difference between the two authors so the story flows exactly as I would have expected it to if it had been written by only one talented writer instead of two. And I loved it, devouring every word in almost one sitting, not wanting to put it down as I was drawn into the dark and shadowy world of the detective who would later become the DI Laidlaw of William McIlvanney’s trilogy of Scottish crime novels, a trilogy that would inspire a generation of up and coming crime writers.

The book opens in 1972 as DC Jack Laidlaw begins working with a new team. With a reputation that precedes him and an attitude that make him very much NOT a team player, Laidlaw has a difficult relationship with DI Mulligan, the animosity between the two palpable from the outset. So when the body of a lawyer associated with a high profile Glasgow gang is found murdered, Laidlaw is kept on the periphery of the case and partnered with DS Bob Lilley, a character I loved from the start. Laidlaw likes to work alone, so Lilley has his work cut out trying to keep up with him as he sets out to get to the bottom of the case.

So as two rival Glasgow gangs go to war, Laidlaw must use his knowledge of the streets to find out who killed lawyer Bobby Carter before the city begins to rip itself apart…

The Dark Remains is Scottish crime fiction at its very best. Dark and intense, with a cast of memorable, well written characters, this is a book that draws you in from the very first page, the tension becoming almost unbearable the deeper into the story we go. Ian Rankin pulls the threads of the story together with a deft hand, bringing William McIlvanney’s final words to life and making them shine.

Set in a time I can barely remember (I was only 3 in 1972), The Dark Remains is an outstanding introduction to the world of Jack Laidlaw that has made me want to pick up the original trilogy to see what the future had in store for this fascinating character.

The perfect place to start what I am sure is a fantastic series of books, The Dark Remains is a brilliant, fast paced and gripping Glaswegian crime novel that I would highly recommend.

The Dark Remains by William McIlvanney and Ian Rankin is available to buy now: 

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