As a captured Czech killer sits bound in a Glasgow warehouse awaiting his fate, Mackay provides a series of flashbacks detailing the events that brought him to such a dire spot.
Martin Sivok is good at what he does, but after leaving Brno under some pressure, he doesn’t expect the opportunities for new work in a new home to fall into his lap. His drought ends when low-level dealer Usman Kassar invites him to serve as gunman on a routine heist he’s researched thoroughly. Unfortunately, Kassar’s research has been thorough enough to attract attention, and when he and Sivok break into the bookmaking establishment Donny Gregor runs for jailed crime boss Peter Jamieson (Every Night I Dream of Hell, 2017, etc.), Jamieson security consultant Nate Colgan and his predecessor, Stephen "Gully" Fitzgerald, are also on hand. Miraculously, Sivok and Kassar escape with 32,000 pounds and without killing anybody, and Kassar concludes: “It was a success.” But although they haven’t left any corpses behind, they’ve left enough clues to make it much likelier than they’d expected that Colgan and Fitzgerald can trace and identify them. Two months later, the sky still hasn’t fallen down around the thieves, and Sivok, pressed to make a down payment on a house for his live-in girlfriend’s daughter, reluctantly agrees to Kassar’s proposal for a second job. This one doesn’t go as fatality-free as the first, and the two thieves survive only because they’ve succeeded in turning two gangs fighting for control of Glasgow’s drug trade against each other. But despite the complete absence of law enforcement personnel (a nice touch), how long can their good luck continue when Kassar is more vulnerable than he realizes and when Sivok’s due to end up tied to a chair as the clock ticks down?
Dour, dead-eyed, and appropriately disillusioned, though the unfolding is more ritualistic than suspenseful.