STRANGE LOYALTIES by William McIlvanney

STRANGE LOYALTIES

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KIRKUS REVIEW

 The third outing for Glasgow police detective Jack Laidlaw (Laidlaw, 1977; The Papers of Tony Veitch, 1983) starts off with the most understated premise imaginable: Given that the driver who ran down Jack's brother Scott wasn't looking to kill him, why should Scott have died just then? Laidlaw's hunch that Scott's death, though accidental, was more than an accident leads him to painful scenes with Scott's drop-dead wife Anna, the drinking buddies linked in one of Scott's paintings to a spectral man in a green coat--a man whose existence they vehemently deny--and a spreading circle of petty, violent criminals. It's all fleshed out, like Laidlaw's hopeless attempt to rekindle his affair with his restaurateur girlfriend Jan, with the depressive exactness of a mortician cosmetologist. Structurally a detective story with more solution than mystery, but really a grimly effective novel like Chandler's The Long Goodbye, about the detective's loyalty to the dead.

Pub Date: May 22nd, 1992
ISBN: 0-688-11413-X
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 1992




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