Meet Jack Laidlaw, the original damaged detective.
When a young woman is found brutally murdered on Glasgow Green, only Laidlaw stands a chance of finding her murderer from among the hard men, gangland villains and self-made moneymen who lurk in the city's shadows.
Winner of the CWA Silver Dagger.
©1977 William McIlvanney (P)2013 Canongate Books Ltd
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Critic reviews

"The best new character in crime fiction for years" ( Daily Express)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Mrs on 28-06-13


I loved this gritty novel - read by the author himself which added to the atmosphere even his endearing little mistakes do not detract from the story.
I'd love to know when the rest of the Laidlaw books will be available on Audible as I'm eagerly awaiting them.

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9 of 9 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By c on 05-07-14

McIlvaney- Scotland's Raymond Chandler

Would you listen to Laidlaw again? Why?

Most definitely! This Glaswegian detective is a combination of 'troubled man' , scholar, social worker, psychologist and is as consummately clever and tough as they come. A hugely compelling and appealing character.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Laidlaw?

The author uses what I think are immense literary and observational skills each time he analyses the leading characters in this novel. Impossible to point to just one example in a novel that is so rich with these examples. Even the toughies have their finer points.

What aspect of William McIlvanney’s performance might you have changed?

I enjoyed his reading because he wrote this excellent novel and knows exactly how to deliver it to its best BUT, it was often very off-putting to hear so distinctly whenever he needed to swallow or moisten his lips. This is where technically the pro's are best.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

LOVED the whole narrative and scene-setting around the interview Laidlaw has with the mother of the victim's friend!

Any additional comments?

I just so admired the author's ability to combine poetic and insightful descriptions of Glasgow and the various characters with the hard-hitting and more violent aspects of life and crime in this city. This is NOT a who-dun-it nor is it just a hard-hitting tartan-noir. It's almost a social commentary on modern day Glasgow and its damaging inequalities and ever-present dangers. Some really great one-liners that will make you smile though.

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Dr. William J. Kass on 12-01-14

forerunner of good noir

Would you consider the audio edition of Laidlaw to be better than the print version?

For me audio is always better than print.

What other book might you compare Laidlaw to and why?

Girl With The Dragon Tattoo--both are first in their respective parts of the country.

Which character – as performed by William McIlvanney – was your favorite?


Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No, but it was a book I immediately listened to a second time.

Any additional comments?

I am desperate for the other two of this trilogy to be put on Audio....hopefully with the author reading them.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Kiki on 30-09-15

Such a pleasure to read a classic

I just discovered McIlvanney. I loved this book and am now on a mission to read more of Laidlaw series and other McIlvanney books. I wish more of them were on Audible. Meanwhile I'll get the book versions at my San Francisco public library where most of them are available.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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