Brit Grit Alley

Brit Grit Alley features news and updates on what's happening down British crime fiction's booze and blood soaked alleyways.

By Paul D. Brazill 

The big news down Brit Grit Alley this week is the relaunch of William McIlvanney' s Laidlaw. McIlvanney is known a The Godfather Of Tartan Noir. He's twice won the CWA's Dagger Award, won a Whitbread Award and also a BAFTA

Laidlaw was his first crime novel and is considered a classic by all and sundry, including Ian Rankin, Tony Black, Val McDermid, Mark Billingham, Chrispher Brookmyre and more:

Glittering (Val McDermid )

The Laidlaw books are like fine malt whisky - the pure distilled essence of Scottish crime writing (Peter May )

Fastest, first and best, Laidlaw is the melancholy heir to Marlowe. Reads like a breathless scalpel cut through the bloody heart of a city (Denise Mina )

A crime trilogy so searing it will burn forever into your memory. McIlvanney is the original Scottish criminal mastermind (Christopher Brookmyre )

It's doubtful I would be a crime writer without the influence of McIlvanney's Laidlaw. Here was a literary novelist turning his hand to the urban, contemporary crime novel and proving that the form could tackle big moral concerns and social issues (Ian Rankin )

It was first published in 1977 -how punk is that?- and has just been republished by Canongate Books.  You can find Doug Johnstone interviewing McIlvanney here and/or pick up a copy of Laidlaw here. More of McIlvanney's crime novels should be published pretty damned soon.  

There'll be more carrryings on down Brit Grit Alley next week.

Spinetingler Award nominee Paul D. Brazill has had short fiction published in various magazines and anthologies, including The Mammoth Books Of Best British Crime 8 and 10,and he has edited the anthologies True Brit Grit & Off The Record 2– with Luca Veste - and Drunk On The Moon 1 and 2. His books The Kelly, Affair, Red Esperanto, Death On A Hot Afternoon, 13 Shots Of Noir, Vin Of Venus (with David Cranmer & Garnett Elliot ) and Snapshots are out now, and his novellas The Gumshoe and Guns Of Brixton will be out pretty damned  soon. His blog is here.