Alan Parkes: The Definitive Guide to the Glasgow Wilderness

Bomb in a Glasgow brewery. An explosion in the cathedral itself. An anonymous call to the police station. A customer scribbles what he hears on a piece of paper. “We will free Scotland from the oppression of alcohol and the influence of foreign occupiers. With our help, Scotland will rise again. Today is the first day of the War of Liberation.” Detective (Harry McCoy) who reads the letter and re-reads it in disbelief before setting off on the… pub to try to connect the dots. A terrorist leader (Lindsay) confesses in the last part of the novel why he attacked a city for which he had never felt so much affection: “More drunks per capita than anywhere else. The inheritance was sold for a few coins that the English did. I threw it into the beggars pot.” That’s why I need to amuse myself somehow.”

At the beginning death in april (Tusquets, 2023), one of the best detective novels of 2021 by timesA great mystery arises: a homemade bomb explodes in a flat in Woodlans, a slum in Glasgow. It is Good Friday in April 1974. The dead body of the person who was making the bomb appears in the apartment. McCoy doubts the IRA. He wonders if the city has become, once and for all, Belfast. if it was The first three shipments From the Harry McCoy series worked to delve into the character of the tortured detective and locate him simultaneously, death in April I just finished a picture of a city steeped in decadence that breaks everything. “My books are set in a specific place and time, Glasgow, early 1970s. I don’t think I can ignore that when I write. The social and political aspects are vital to the characters of the story, they provide clues about the decisions they make. Ignoring that would weaken the book,” asserts Alan Parkes EL PERIÓDICO DE ESPAÑA.

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Blunt fact

by death in April wandering Alcoholics and broken families, “secrets” from British police embroiled in the dirty war against the Irish Republican Army, an actress who, after her success in Hollywood, founds a new country commune, prostitutes, and gypsies in charge of tourist attractions are “treated like shit” by the police. Presence of Andrew Stewart A wealthy American goes to McCoy to find his son Navy He weaves the plot together and steers it toward the terrorist Sons of 51’s moral crusade. “The fact that alcohol is an integral part of society is why they attack it. They see alcohol as the real opiate that keeps people quiet and unable to see the true state of society,” says Alan Parks. Fast paced excitement It is concluded with the appearance of Cavendish, a cocky British secret policeman, who blackmails McCoy and threatens to link him to the IRA. The writer acknowledges that he brings the dirty war that existed against the IRA into the novel because it is a topic that is not discussed much. “Many people simply refuse to believe that the British Army or the British government were involved in something like this. What the military in Malaysia or Kenya learned about torture and social control was used in Northern Ireland. It causes stress, lack of sleep, so-called white noise (noise-based torture) and so on. All this was happening within forty miles of Glasgow and nobody knew or didn’t want to know,” Parkes said during the interview.

As mysterious bombs continue to explode across town, Detective McCoy takes refuge on the spot pub Nicknamed La Puñalada due to its dubious reputation. As if in defiance of the terrorist monster he faces, McCoy violently drinks alcohol, despite the fact that the doctor forbids him on the first page and diagnoses him with an ulcer in the lining of his stomach. McCoy’s body becomes the physical validation of the so-called “Glasgow effect”, which hovers over the city like ghosts and reduces the life expectancy of its residents. next to McCoy An unhealthy diet, copious amounts of alcohol, drug abuse, a traumatic childhood, a frustrating upbringing with the loss of a young child, violent outbursts, ways that don’t always comply with the law-, The most powerful detectives in world literature appear as reckoned citizens. McCoy wanders like a zombie between the pub and the pharmacy to get Pepto-Bismol, which relieves a stomach ache. Vomits “brown sludge-like” fluids with splashes of red blood. Vomiting, vomiting. Although he has never felt “pain like this”, he continues his undisciplined life.

Good and evil

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Parks’ effective prose paints with sparse descriptions of a stubborn and aggressive Macroy, affectionate and loyal to friends, tormented by memories of an alcoholic father and a mother who left him. in death in April Cooper, a criminal with whom he strikes up a historical friendship, reappears. McCoy goes to pick up his friend from prison. It doesn’t take long for you to regret it. Unable to do anything about it, Cooper steps in and disrupts the investigation into the Sons of 51 bombing. Cooper, each a alternate personality Underworld Detective, one of the series’ greatest narrative achievements. Cooper is, in some ways, the most important figure in McCoy’s life. They’ve known each other since they were kids. Cooper has always cared for McCoy, but she demands loyalty in return, which, as they get older and part ways, gets harder. Cooper is the one. Which McCoy goes to when he’s in trouble, because he’s a friend, not a thief or robber. GangsterWith mastery and sympathy, Parks weaves a relationship between the two, between people who aren’t quite defined by their profession (police, thief). McCoy shares with Cooper, according to Parks himself, “humour, phobias and sentiments.” Law enforcement and lawbreakers are complicit Ultimately at the epicenter of the “Glasgow effect”, in a frozen corner of the UK fueled by unemployment and heroin.

Many of the writer’s great influences hang on Harry McCoy’s Story: Landscape Not to go that James Ellroy Fired against Los Angeles, Sid’s historic career excitement Scotch Philip KerrThe atmosphere is charged Don DeLillodealing with intrigue King Stephen. When Alan Parks was asked about the role of fiction in describing reality, he had no doubt: “It can illuminate the time and space about which it is written, and make it more vivid and comprehensible. In fiction, the writer crafts the truth to tell a better story and pull readers back in time and space with an intriguing story. Which makes them want to go deeper.

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