Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Low Road

The latest in a series of mystery novels about Scotland, The Low Road once again features the intrepid newspaper reporter John McAllister, whose approaching marriage fills him with doubts. The disappearance of his friend, the Scottish Traveller Jimmy McPhee, brings McAllister out of his quiet life in the Highlands back to his former life in crime-ridden Glasgow. Thrown into the company of Mary Ballantyne, a young and lovely journalist, McAllister finds himself struggling with feelings of new love as well as with many old demons. His atheism seems to cast a darkness and hopelessness over his entire approach to life, mirrored by the grayness and grime of the post-war Glaswegian slums. His social prejudices cause him to be wary and critical of anyone who comes from what he views as the upper class. In the meantime, he must decide whether or not to go ahead with his wedding. A man of honor, McAllister tries to take the high road of decency while surrounded by cutthroats. The graphic descriptions of violence and dirt do not make the book an advertisement for a summer holiday in Glasgow. Nevertheless, the suspense keeps the reader surprised and curious to see what will happen next. Each character comes with a unique mystery, which in itself makes The Low Road a pleasure for lovers of a good thriller.

 This review originally appeared in the November 2014 edition of the Historical Novels Review.

(*NOTE: The Low Road was sent to me by the Historical Novel Society in exchange for my honest opinion.)


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