Jack Laidlaw is the original damaged Detective.
When a young girls body is found it is up to Laidlaw to travel through the muck that is gangland Glasgow, and lurking in the shadows are the hard men and petty villains.
This is the first in the Laidlaw trilogy. I had heard that McIlvanney was the godfather of the Scottish Crime novel and the origin of "Tartan Noir" so was intrigued to read what all the praise was about. Laidlaw was first published in 1977 and is an outstanding book on so many levels. The plot itself is not what makes it gripping, it is the incredible way McIlvanney writes the story. It is the sharp, dry wit of the lead character and the exceptional descriptive prose that makes this novel a classic crime read.The characters are a blend of gritty, hard men and Glasgow city is beautifully described in all the dirty, seedy glory of the time.
I love the writing style and will savour reading the next two instalments in the series. I encourage any lover of crime fiction to read this trilogy. Brilliant stuff!