cover image Runaway


Peter May. Quercus, $26.99 (336p) ISBN 978-1-62365-789-5

The scents of regret and squandered promise suffuse this well-crafted crime novel, about a group of senior Glaswegians attempting to make amends for past sins, from May (Entry Island). In 1965, they drove a stolen van to Swinging London to pursue dreams of pop stardom. Fifty years later, a small news item about a murder—of the fugitive prime suspect in a 1965 slaying, himself long presumed dead—draws together the group: the dying disbarred solicitor Maurie and one-time bandmates Jack and Dave (with Jack’s depressed 22-year-old grandson, Ricky, as their driver), who all make a return trip to unmask the real killer. Deftly switching between the present and their previous journey, when the teens stumbled into the epicenter of the London scene as houseguests of well-connected but creepy Dr. Robert, May gradually reveals the expanding ripples of his story and the submerged horrors lying below. Like Ricky, the reader slowly comes to an appreciation of the still-passionate people obscured by old age and infirmity—but it’s a sobering trip not everyone will want to make. (Feb.)