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The Night the Rich Men Burned

3.86 based on 118 ratings & 35 reviews on Goodreads.com

2015 Short-listed

CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger

Synopsis

The incredible standalone novel from the award-winning author of The Glasgow Trilogy

Longlisted for the CWA Steel Dagger for Best Thriller 2015

There's nothing so terrifying as money. . .

Two friends, Alex Glass and Oliver Peterkinney, look for work and for escape from their lives spent growing up on Glasgow's most desperate fringes. Soon they will become involved in one of the city's darkest and most dangerous trades. But while one rises quickly up the ranks, the other will fall prey to the industry's addictive lifestyle and ever-spiralling debts.

Meanwhile, the three most powerful rivals in the business - Marty Jones, ruthless pimp; Potty Cruickshank, member of the old guard; and Billy Patterson, brutal newcomer - vie for prominence. And now Peterkinney, young and darkly ambitious, is beginning to make himself known . . .

Before long, violence will spill out onto the streets, as those at the top make deadly attempts to out-manoeuvre one another for a bigger share of the spoils. Peterkinney and Glass will find themselves at the very centre of this war; and as the pressure builds, each will find their actions - and inactions - coming back to haunt them. But it is those they love who will suffer most . . .

From the award-winning author of the Glasgow Trilogy, The Night the Rich Men Burned is a novel for our times, and Malcolm Mackay's most ambitious work to date.

In the media

Centring again on the seedy underbelly of Glasgow, and life among the criminal classes, this was another gripping and terse read that kept me hooked, and as the story plays out, Mackay effortlessly ramps up the tension to a well played out and unsettling conclusion. A truly excellent read, and strongly illustrative of the wealth of talent on the Scottish crime writing scene.
Raven Crime Reads
Mackay's writing is shot through with grim poetry. Mackay doesn't waste words on elaborate topographical descriptions, or detailed accounts of the weather. We are hardly aware if it is hot or cold; we are not even sure, at times, if it is night or day. All that matters are the words and actions of his cast. The actors are almost entirely male and, with rare exceptions, they are flawed but potentially violent wasters who prey on the weaknesses of society's natural victims. Make no mistake. If this is theatre, it is the theatre of cruelty. You will not finish this book and feel better about the human condition. It is an emotionally exhausting read, and contains many of the elements of classical tragedy - the continuity of place, the fatal coincidences, and the vaulting ambition of powerful men. There were strong hints of Mackay's skill as a writer in his Glasgow Trilogy and you can read our reviews of books one, two and three by following the links. But this is on a different level altogether. It is a harrowing, but quite brilliant tour de force.
Crime Fiction Lover
Hailed as the rising star of Tartan Noir, this is Mackay's much anticipated follow-up to his critically acclaimed Glasgow Trilogy . . . Mackay captures the helplessness of a recession-ravaged industrial city.
Sunday Express