The Night the Rich Men Burned
CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger
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.
Malcolm Mackay's writing rings true . . . [he] is quite unlike the general run of writers of Tartan Noir. Indeed he is quite unlike most crime writers . . . He writes with authority, and this is what makes his novels compelling . . . Mackay's underworld is convincing . . . Mackay writes with such assurance that he makes it credible . . . Mackay's achievement is to have created a credible world of his own . . . He is a very unusual writer, one who skilfully gives the impression that he is without illusions about how people think and act.
For his Glasgow trilogy, Malcolm Mackay accumulated praise and awards rarely accorded to a new crime writer, all the more astonishing for an author who has rarely ventured into the city that he describes with such vigour. Can he keep it up? His fourth novel, The Night the Rich Men Burned, says yes. Different characters and more intricate storylines than the books of the trilogy, but recognisably the same terrain. Mackay has created his own world of Glasgow gangsterism, and within it two friends try to set up an empire of debt collectors that is not to the liking of the existing operators.
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.