Glasgow, Winter 1968/1969. A serial killer named “The Quaker” is around in the Scottish metropolis. He already has three young women at his discretion. Raped, strangled with their tights and draped, they lie in the dilapidated houses of the megacity, which is in a social and urban turmoil: homes have to give way to modern (office) high-rise buildings, “whole streets missing.” are gone.
Families scattered. Some moved to faceless social housing on the outskirts, but most of them disappeared. They ended up in new satellite cities on the coast or moved to Canada or the United States.”
The investigation got stalled even after a lot of investigation by the police. Thousands of recorded statements of witnesses, huge mountains of files and a phantom image – according to information from a fully intoxicated witness – that’s all the research so far has revealed. Political and public pressure is increasing all the time.
DI Duncan McCormack, an aspiring Catholic inspector from the Highlands, is seconded to show townspeople how the standoff investigation can be continued or even resolved altogether. The policemen of the big city feel concerned with the young man coming from the mountains and keep a distance from him. But a fourth woman’s body was found… McCormack now knows the true background of the crime. He succeeds in acquitting an innocent person of the charges.
It’s hard to predict the end of this exemplary whodunit, surprising enough. Apart from the actual criminal case, Liam McIlvaney is convinced by the extremely good language and the fact that Scottish history is in no way involved in his work in general. A must for crime lovers!
By the way – McElvaney. Was there nothing already? Actually. Definitely. Because Liam’s father, William McIlvaney, wrote three “classics” of Scottish crime literature. They deal not only with social grievances, but also with the social upheavals of the 1970s/80s. Liam had a great teacher there. But he shows himself as equal to her. In 2018 he received the Bloody Scotland Award for “A Pious Murderer”. jörg lehni
Liam McIlvaney, a holy killer. Thriller. Translated from English by Sabine Lohmann, paperback, Wilhelm Hein Verlag Munich 2021, 448 pages, 14.99 euros.
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