11 Dec The Scotsman by Rob McClure
Tartan noir crosses the Atlantic. US villains beware!
OK, as a proud Scot, I just had to apply for a place on the blogtour for this title, even before I knew what the book was about.
Was I about to be treated to a kilted hero, laird of a lonely castle, in search of a bride?
As if! Although that trope is briefly and humorously explored in Rob McClure’s thrilling story of DI Chic Cowan of Glasgow, who turns his back on his current cases to fly to Washington DC in search of justice for his late daughter, Catriona.
It seems that her violent death was a meaningless random mugging gone wrong on the subway. But McClure suspects there is more to the story, and he sets out to track down everyone involved in her life.
He only has a week to do it, but luckily Cowan is a fast worker with his own unique way of making people spill the beans.
As he pieces together a life very different from the one he thought student Catriona was living, he becomes embroiled in a shady world of lascivious college professors, part-time sex workers and the scandalous side of US politics.
Cowan is a man who catches your attention
With so much going on, this is a fast-paced, exciting and unpredictable read.
But let’s stop a minute to admire the character of Cowan.
I can’t say he’s particularly likable, but he is a man who catches and holds your attention with his terse dark, dry Glasgow humour and his often brutal frankness.
He’s mean and dangerous to the people who cross him, but he has a softer side too, in his unquestionable paternal love for Catriona. And he’s not averse to romantic love.
A bit of a James Bond in fact. I could see him being played by the late great Sean Connery.
Every DI needs a sidekick, and in the US, he has the perfect foil in Deyon, Catriona’s gay best friend, whose wily charms complement Cowan’s more forthright methods in accessing the places and people he needs to help put Catriona’s story together.
Though I’ve read many a book set in America, seeing the US through a no-bullshit Scotsman’s eyes highlights its foreignness.
Tartan noir comes to its shores – but is the States ready for it?
They’d better be – because Cowan isn’t leaving till he gets answers.
The Scotsman by Rob McClure is published by Black Spring Crime in paperback and ebook
About the Author
Rob McClure was born in Scotland. He currently lives in Galesburg, Illinois, and teaches film at Knox College where he is John and Elaine Fellowes Professor of English.
His fiction has appeared in Gettysburg Review, Manchester Review, Chicago Quarterly Review, Barcelona Review and many other magazines.
The Scotsman is his debut novel.
Thanks to Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for inviting me on this blogtour and to Black Spring Crime for the advance copy of the book.
Catch up with the rest of the blogtour at the links on the poster.
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