A Glasgow fixer gets roped into the machinations of an embattled crime empire in this hard-boiled tartan noir.
When a crime syndicate's head is imprisoned, the hoods trying to maintain control hire Nate Colgan to provide muscle, especially in light of a murder that contains all the earmarks of a warning that the syndicate is about to find itself under attack. Nate and his apprentice, Ronnie, go about providing the security and beatings that his new position requires. Things aren't helped when a hired gun from London comes north to avenge the murder and to prove himself the new hard man in town, nor when the mother of Nate's child suddenly reappears. What follows are the expected brutalities, betrayals, and double crosses, all of it in the determinedly grim tone that offers none of the noir pleasures but is nonetheless almost always acclaimed as authentic. A thriller can have a cold son of a bitch at the center, the classic example being Michael Caine in the film Get Carter, but said SOB also needs charisma, and apart from brooding and beating people, Nate doesn't bring much to the party. From his nondescript house to his nondescript appearance, Nate talks a lot about the necessity for a tough guy to fly beneath the radar. He pretty much flies beneath the radar of the book in which he's the protagonist.
Label this one Highland dinge.