The stunning conclusion to the Glasgow Trilogy from the celebrated author of The Necessary Death of Lewis Winter and How a Gunman Says Goodbye
Malcolm Mackay was born and grew up in Stornoway where he still lives. The Necessary Death of Lewis Winter, his much lauded debut was the first in the Glasgow trilogy, set in the city's underworld. It was shortlisted for the CWA John Creasey New Blood Dagger Award for Best Crime Debut of the Year, the Scottish First Book of the Year, and was featured in ITV3's Specsavers Crime Thriller Club programme. How A Gunman Says Goodbye, the second book in the series, won the Deanston Scottish Crime Book of the Year Award. The Sudden Arrival of Violence is the final book in the trilogy.
Reviewers often groan at the hyperbole with which publishers adorn new novels, but with Malcolm Mackay it is justified. His poetic titles (The Necessary Death of Lewis Winter and How a Gunman Says Goodbye) are infused with the sense of menace that is the sine qua non of the genre while tipping the wink that this is crime writing with ambition. The Sudden Arrival of Violence is the conclusion to Mackay's acclaimed Glasgow trilogy ... The youthful Mackay has the command of a writer twice his age, and he has delivered a conclusion to his trilogy that is just as cohesive and forceful as his previous two books. Financial Times Superb ... Mackay is a true original, managing to conjure up a gripping new way of portraying city-noir. This, from a writer who has lived his whole life in far-off Stornoway, with only few short visits to the Glasgow he has so vividly created. He's no longer a rising star. He's risen -- Marcel Berlins The Times The final novel in Malcolm Mackay's wonderful Glasgow trilogy ... Gripping and vivid, with a labyrinthine plot involving double - and triple-crossing, The Sudden Arrival of Violence is told in a staccato, abbreviated style throughout. It's very difficult to keep this up, let alone do it well, but MacKay succeeds magnificently, and his third novel is well up to the high standard of its predecessors. Guardian This is a story to take in one gulp ... Malcolm Mackay's lauded Glasgow Trilogy pounds a familiar beat - fans of Taggart and William McIlvanney's Laidlaw will know it well - the Glasgow backbeat of chisel-faced hard men, organised crime, vengeance, punishment beatings, vicious killing ... As you'd expect from a writer whose previous books have been listed for - and won - major crime fiction prizes, the prose is as terse as the tale is tense ... Mackay grabs the action from the start ... He completely commands his material as he steers it towards a dramatic culmination. Scotsman Dangerously original. Saga Magazine Mackay's clipped, spare, present tense narrative is urgent, clever and ominous. In a field so crowded as crime writing it is not easy to present an original voice. Malcolm Mackay's laconic tone is his alone ... the Herbrides have produced an author of their own who strides easily into the top division. West Highland Free Press It's a virtually unanimous verdict. Few new novelists have enjoyed such comprehensive acclaim in the critical fraternity as the young Scottish crime writer Malcolm Mackay. His books, the first of which was 2013's The Necessary Death of Lewis Winter, suggest a Scottish equivalent of the hardboiled James M Cain; a writer who doesn't waste a word and who nourishes a certain poetic sensibility - as evinced by the titles of the other two books in his trilogy, How a Gunman Says Goodbye and now this acerbic final volume, The Sudden Arrival of Violence. Every debut in the crime fiction field is inevitably (and wearingly) trumpeted by its publisher, though many such books fall by the wayside. But this is a writer who justified the publisher's hyperbole and has had critics attempting to come up with new adjectives to praise him. The Necessary Death of Lewis Winter places the reader uneasily in the mind of a hitman. Using the familiar trappings of the crime novel, the book was still utterly original. What makes all three novels in the now-completed trilogy particularly impressive is the terrifyingly laidback, authentic toughness - surprising, coming from an unassuming 30-year-old author from Stornoway (where he still lives) in the Outer Hebrides. Mackay has conjured and brilliantly sustained throughout his three novels an astringent vision of the Scottish underworld. Crucially, he has not forgotten the importance of pithy characterisation. In The Sudden Arrival of Violence, the author draws a variety of strands together, but not in a too schematic fashion. Calum MacLean is a hitman working for two criminal bosses. He is always watching, alert for the weaknesses that will give him an advantage. But as Calum begins to arrange his retirement, a gang war breaks out between one of his bosses and a bitter rival, and inevitably the gunman is drawn into the bloodiest of showdowns. I hadn't the slightest doubt that Mackay - whose youth belies a crime novelist of worldly authority - would pull off this concluding volume with the kind of understated panache that distinguished its predecessors ... and so it has proved. Independent on Sunday