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The Necessary Death of Lewis Winter

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A twenty-nine-year-old man lives alone in his Glasgow flat. The telephone rings; a casual conversation, but behind this a job offer. The clues are there if you know to look for them. He is an expert. A loner. Freelance. Another job is another job, but what if this organisation wants more? A meeting at a club. An offer. A brief. A target: Lewis Winter. "It's hard to kill a man well. People who do it well know this. People who do it badly find out the hard way. The hard way has consequences."
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An arresting, gripping novel of dark relationships and even darker moralities: introducing a remarkable new voice in crime fiction

About the Author

Malcolm Mackay was born and grew up in Stornoway where he still lives. The Necessary Death of Lewis Winter, his much lauded debut, is the first in the Glasgow Trilogy, set in the city's underworld. Follow Malcolm @malcolm_mackay


'Cool, laconic and very enjoyable. I look forward eagerly to the second novel in the trilogy' Allan Massie 'A very auspicious debut, this is an amazing novel, incredibly gripping from the first page to the last. A vivid portrait of the Glasgow underworld, it's completely hypnotic ... like the great writers, people like Elmore Leonard, Mackay paints really vivid portraits of his characters ... a really unique voice' Mark Billingham 'A really clever multi-viewpoint novel about the Glasgow underworld ... The Necessary Death of Lewis Winter was a real revelation, a real find for me' Kate Mosse 'A dark, rich, brutal thriller ... it absolutely captivates you. The Necessary Death of Lewis Winter is more than a page turner, it's a page ripper. For a debut novel this sparkles, this zings, it leaps off the page. If you like Ian Rankin, if you like Stuart MacBride, if you like Val McDermid, Denise Mina - Malcolm Mackay is right up there' Peter James 'Glasgow's a tough city and this is a tough book ... very authentic, very gritty, you can really feel the streets. They call this genre Tartan Noir and absolutely The Necessary Death of Lewis Winter is a first class member of that' Lee Child 'I finished it almost in a sitting. The prose is spare and taut and pulls the reader into the minds of the disparate characters ... beautifully and truthfully written with the deceptive simplicity of a fine short story' Ann Cleeves, creator of VERA 'A remarkably original debut ... this is a book that it would be hard not to finish in one sitting ... a wholly believable and unnerving portrait of organised crime' Observer 'The debut writer who is being hailed as tartan noir's most authoritative and authentic new voice ... Mackay writes in a tough-guy style that is reminiscent of Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett at their most hard-boiled' Scotsman 'Brutal, witty and well-written ... a brilliant debut' Sunday Telegraph 'On the evidence of his impressive debut Malcolm Mackay will no doubt be hailed as the newest member of the Tartan Noir community. Yet the feel and style of The Necessary Death of Lewis Winter is more American than Scottish ... a quietly absorbing gangland tale, full of moral ambiguities' Marcel Berlins, The Times 'The remarkable first book of a trilogy about Glasgow hit-man Calum MacLean, which will be published over the next year, this marks the debut of 31-year-old Mackay from Stornoway in the Outer Hebrides ... His achievement is all the more stunning because drawing on his sublime imagination and innate empathy he has created a cast of characters so vivid - especially MacLean, who knows how hard it is to kill a man - that they live on in the memory long after the final page. There are Glasgow villains, bent policemen, a gangster's moll with smarts to die for, not to mention the shabby drug-dealer Lewis Winter who has to die ... 'tartan noir' will have a new star' Daily Mail 'From the outset Mackay's debut makes it clear he has ambitions for this work that don't fit the mould ... The first of a trilogy, The Necessary Death Of Lewis Winter would seem to take its inspiration less from Scottish noir antecedents, and more from American TV series such as Dexter, The Sopranos or Breaking Bad ... impressively controlled and confident debut ... The Necessary Death Of Lewis Winter is unexpectedly compelling. Mackay knows how to pace a story related in a matter-of-fact manner that, in less assured hands, would become suffocatingly slow. Measuring out its excitement more like a morphine drip than a hit, the author insidiously builds up to a powerful conclusion. Whether he's describing Calum's last meal before the job and that of his prey or evoking the deceptively polite manners of his sinister employers, Mackay never deviates from the stony, heartless, dangerously restrained style he has set himself. It's an audacious and risky tactic, but he pulls off his first hit with the same strong nerve and cool head his hero brings to his work' Herald 'Equally original is The Necessary Death of Lewis Winter...if all this tradecraft has come straight out of Mackay's head, he's doing a damn good impression of someone who knows what he' talking about. This is frills-free storytelling: the prose is clinical and unadorned, the moralising minimal, the narrative linear with no mystery element and nothing kept secret from the reader. Yet Mackay ratchets up the tension like a master, and his ability to create rounded characters makes his book, despite its dark subject matter, a breath of fresh air' Daily Telegraph

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