I’m currently reading Strange Loyalties by William McIllvanney, a superb novel about detective inspector Jack Laidlaw (the 3rd book) in Glasgow. I guess you could call it a detective story or crime-fiction but it’s really more of a novel than suspense story. I’ve read both Laidlaw (1977) and the papers of Tony Veitch (1983) and loved them. McIlvanney writes with a depth and a sharp pen, his language is direct, fluent and realistic – he paints surroundings, environments and portraits that have depth and life. As Cornell Woolrich he paints much of it I a grayscale rather than black and white, he also has a streak of Raymond Chandler’s wisecracks. Though one can recognize different influences McIlvanney is his own man – the language, as mentioned, set him apart, perhaps a streak from his work as a poet, – all in all, I dare say – though I’ve haven’t finished the book yet, a great read as was it’s processors.
“I woke up with a head like a rodeo. Isn’t it painful having fun? Mind you, last night hadn’t been about enjoyment, just whisky as anaesthetic… I got up and went on safari for the pain-killers.”
Time to leave the office for a five hour train ride to Stockholm – which I’ll use to finish this book!