In 1950’s Glasgow, a household of women were found slaughtered in their beds. The father, William Watt, had a cast iron alibi but police were convinced he was guilty. Determined to clear his name, Watt let it be known that he would pay for information. Step forward career criminal Peter Manuel, with compelling details only the murderer could know. Watt agreed to meet him. They spent twelve hours together, driving and drinking in Glasgow pubs and clubs. No one knows what happened that night. The next time they met was in the High Court where Peter Manuel was defending himself against the murder charges. He called Watt as a witness and quizzed him about their long, shady night together.
This is the first book I’ve read by Denise Mina, but it won’t be the last! I found this novel instantly exciting and by the time I got to 30% I was hooked and couldn’t put it down, finally finishing it at 1:30 in the morning. This novel drips with menace and chills you to the bone in some parts, it’s a really fantastic and quick thriller read.
This book tells the story of Peter Manuel, real life Scottish serial killer. Like with so many other books on the market nowadays, this is a non-fic-fiction novel. It’s based its contents on real events but the author has weaved a story around it too.
What’s so striking about this novel is Mina’s ability to tell a story. The story flowed brilliantly and it never lost my interest, even when we started getting into some of the more in-depth and historic facts about Glasgow. The writing style is short and snappy, so you really feel yourself racing through this.
Characters. Oh wow, the characters. Somehow, you feel simultaneously angry and empathetic for everyone in this book, even Peter Manuel, the serial killer. Mina’s character development is superb and you find yourself getting drawn into each person’s story so quickly. We follow Peter Manuel and William Watt throughout most of this novel, but there are small scenes popped in that introduce characters we only meet once throughout the entire book, yet I still felt like I knew them and I still invested myself in their stories, no matter how short.
Overall, this book was really superb and if you’re looking for something dark, but quick to read, this is the book for you. At only 240 pages, you’ll find yourself racing through this! I can’t wait to read more of Mina’s work, if it’s all as good as this one.
Thanks to Netgalley and Little, Brown and Company for giving me the opportunity to read this in exchange for an honest review.
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