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The Heretic by Liam McIlvanney

This crime novel is set on the gritty streets of Glasgow in 1975. DI Duncan McCormack returns to Glasgow after working for six years in London. When he was last in Glasgow, he solved a notorious serial murder case, winning great kudos from the public. But when McCornack also exposed a corrupt police boss as part of the case, he was seen as a rat by members of the force. When he returns to Glasgow to escape a personal situation in London, he is keen to bring to justice notorious gangster Walter Maitland, but the gangster boss remains just beyond his reach.

But then McCormack is called on to investigate three cases that must take priority over him investigating Maitland. There is an arson attack on a Glasgow warehouse that spreads and causes the deaths of a mother and child. There is a prominent person found murdered and dumped in a Tradeston slum, having been tortured. And there is an explosion that rips through a crowded pub, and one of McCormack’s team is killed in the blast.

This is the sequel to the award-winning novel, The Quaker, but you don’t need to read the first book to enjoy The Heretic (although you will probably want to go and read after).

The Heretic has outstanding characterisation and a plot that is expertly connected by the end of the book. DI McCormack is a particularly compelling lead character, and the writing is top-notch. This is excellent crime fiction. Go get a copy to read.

Reviewer: Karen McMillan



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