cover image Crime


Irvine Welsh, . . Norton, $24.95 (344pp) ISBN 978-0-393-06819-1

Welsh's most coherent and satisfying novel in a decade showcases the Scottish author's inimitable combination of dark realism, satire and psychological insight. Having been placed on leave after suffering an emotional meltdown, Edinburgh detective Ray Lennox, introduced in Filth (1998), and Trudi, his fiancée, fly to Miami for a few days to relax and plan their wedding, but from the start the trip is a nightmare. Lennox gobbles antidepressants and begins drinking again in a desperate frenzy, but things really tilt out of control when he parties with some locals, who reacquaint him with an old obsession, cocaine. One of his new “friends” has a 10-year-old daughter, who's been targeted by an organized ring of pedophiles. Can Lennox save the girl and redeem himself? The main action alternates with chapters set in Scotland, written from a claustrophobic second-person point-of-view. Welsh offers no easy answers in this complicated, unsettling and at times beautiful novel. (Sept.)