Monday, 24 June 2013

Long Time Dead - Tony Black

The fourth novel featuring down-at-heel ex-journo Gus Drury bestriding the meaner than expected streets of Edinburgh.  Having been so disappointed with the second DI Brennan novel (having loved the first), I remain a bigtime Dury fan.  With his chaotic lifestyle and choice social circle, he is perfect vehicle for Tartan Noir.  With his tragic back story of physical abuse from his football-hero father, he has the necessary weight to carry the flippancy.

The actual crime here is not especially interesting - the victim is almost Cameronesque in his unlikeability, and for the same reason.  It doesn't matter.  The gangland supremo Boaby 'Shaky' Stevens is involved, as is DI Fitz Fitzsimmons, sworn enemy of Freemasons.  The action rattles along and Black pushes the personal jeopardy for his hero just about as far as it is possible to go.  Highly enjoyable.

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