The April Dead

Alan Parks. Europa, $17 trade paper (400p) ISBN 978-1-60945-687-0
Set in 1974 against the backdrop of British-IRA tensions, Edgar finalist Parks’s outstanding fourth outing for Glasgow cop Harry McCoy (after 2020’s Bobby March Will Live Forever) opens with McCoy and his police colleagues checking out what’s left of a flat that’s been destroyed by a bomb explosion—and of the bomb maker. Could it be the work of the IRA? More bombings follow. Meanwhile, a retired U.S. Navy captain wants McCoy to find his son, who has gone AWOL from a nearby U.S. naval base, and Stevie Cooper, McCoy’s boyhood friend who’s now an underworld boss just released from jail, involves McCoy in his attempt to beat down a gang takeover. Finally, McCoy investigates a Scottish nationalist movement, which turns out to be abetted by Britain’s clandestine Special Branch for its own nefarious purposes. Tightly plotted and fast-moving, this well-wrought historical thriller also highlights Parks’s keen analysis of Scotland’s societal traumas, in particular the failure to cope with domestic violence and child abuse. Tartan noir fans won’t want to miss this one. Agent: Isobel Dixon, Blake Friedmann Literary (U.K.). (Aug.)
Reviewed on : 05/27/2021
Release date: 08/01/2021
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
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