Jasmine Sharp and Catherine McLeod return in the third book of their series, this time to investigate the gangland execution of a Glasgow crime boss and its links to much-older murders.
On his 49th birthday, gangster king Stevie Fullerton celebrates by taking his car to the least impressive of his vast holdings—a small, cash-only car wash that’s good for laundering more than cars. He doesn’t survive the final rinse: The police find him shot to death in his car, with a strange symbol made in blood on his forehead. DS Catherine McLeod, who’s in charge of the case, has evidence that Fullerton’s supposedly dead rival, Glen Fallan, was the killer. She doesn’t welcome the intrusion of the daughter of Stevie’s late cousin, private investigator Jasmine Sharp, who has a paradoxical relationship with Fallan, her father’s murderer. Catherine has her own reasons for hating Fallan and the other Glaswegian gangsters implicated in the death of a woman connected to a 25-year-old murder. Neither Catherine nor Jasmine will quit the search for answers, including discovering Fallan’s true role in the events of the last quarter century, even though revisiting the past jeopardizes both their lives.
Brookmyre (When the Devil Drives, 2013, etc.) spares no detail in his account of Glasgow’s violent underworld. Although his characters are satisfyingly multidimensional, the uninitiated will find the long, slow exposition that relies on previous cases even more challenging than the Scottish slang.