CTG Reviews: Crow Bait by Douglas Skelton

Crow Bait cover image

Crow Bait cover image

What the blurb says: “Jail was hell for Davie McCall. Ten years down the line, freedom’s no picnic either. It’s 1990, there are new kings in the West of Scotland underworld, and Glasgow is awash with drugs.

David can handle himself. What he can’t handle is the memory of his mother’s death at the hand of his sadistic father. Or the darkness his father implanted deep in his own psyche. Or the nightmares …

Now his father is back in town and after blood, ready to waste anyone who stops him hacking out a piece of the action. There are people in his way. And Davie is one of them.”

CROW BAIT puts the reader up close and personal into the world of criminal gangs in Scotland back in the 1990s. It’s a tense, dangerous and often brutal world where trust is fragile, alliances between criminals and police are made and broken, and the rise of the drug trade is causing rising friction between gang members.

Davie McCall is a compelling narrator – his strong sense of justice, inner conflicts, and loyalty to his friends giving an interesting counterpoint with his capability for extreme violence. Fresh out of prison, he’s soon drawn back into his old criminal activities. But things are different – he’s convinced someone close to him is responsible for killing his old mentor, and he wants to find out who. Then the strange phone calls start, and the murders mimicking that of his mother, and Davie knows his father is back and coming for him. As the story twists and turns towards the final brutal showdown, Davie discovers who his friends and allies really are – on both sides of the law.

This dark, gritty crime thriller is packed with brooding, menacing atmosphere, up-close action and brilliantly drawn characters. It’s a must-read for fans of Tartan Noir.


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