Douglas Skelton

Blood City

"In this hugely impressive fiction debut, the author simply doesn’t put a foot wrong. "


Davie McCall is not your average henchman. Abused and tormented by his father for fifteen years, there is a darkness in him searching for a way out and under the wing of Glasgow’s Godfather, Joe ‘The Tailor’ Klein, he flourishes.

Joe the Tailor may be a killer, but there are some lines he won’t cross, and Davie does well under his strict moral code. He doesn’t like drugs. He won’t condone foul language. He abhors violence against women. When the Tailor refuses to be part of Glasgow’s new drug trade, the hits start rolling.

It’s every man for himself as the entire criminal underworld turns on itself, and Davie is well and truly caught up in the action. But then a young woman enters his life. A beautiful young reporter makes him question if he can ever leave his life of crime behind.

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If you are a fan of true crime, the name Douglas Skelton may well be recognisable to you, as he is the author of 11 non-fiction works. And he has used the wealth of his experience of the criminal mind to produce a compelling and hugely entertaining read in the aptly named ‘Blood City’. It’s clear from reading the book that Skelton has a real affection for, and a deep knowledge of the crime fiction genre. In particular those books from the other side of the Atlantic, as his Glasgow-based novel has a strong American feel to it. L.A. by way of Govan, if you like. With any novel, you want to ‘meet’ a character you can hang your heart on and Skelton spoils us here by assembling a collection of them, any one of whom is strong enough to carry a novel. This story, in the main, is told through the eyes of the young Davie McCall, a character who had me so on side that at several times throughout I wanted to tell him to forget all about his father – and his adopted father, Joe the Tailor - and give the poor lad a hug. (My reward for which, would no doubt have been a glasgow kiss.) And that’s good writing, people. In this hugely impressive fiction debut, the author simply doesn’t put a foot wrong. Everything I look for in a book is represented here. Jump in and you’ll quickly be caught up in the atmosphere. Effortless prose, Glasgow banter and the wearing down of shoe leather as you charge through the streets of Douglas Skelton’s vision of the mean city, are what you will find between the covers of this magnificent book. I can’t recommend ‘Blood City’ highly enough.

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