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Bitter Water

(Douglas Brodie #2)

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  876 ratings  ·  73 reviews
Summer in Glasgow. When the tarmac bubbles, and the tenement windows bounce back the light. When lust boils up and tempers fray.
When suddenly, it’s bring out your dead...

Glasgow’s melting. The temperature is rising and so is the murder rate. Douglas Brodie, ex-policeman, ex-soldier and newest reporter on the Glasgow Gazette, has no shortage of material for his crime column
Kindle Edition, 327 pages
Published April 1st 2012 by Corvus (first published January 1st 2012)
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4.06  · 
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 ·  876 ratings  ·  73 reviews

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Description: This is a declaration to the people of Glasgow. The police are useless and corrupt. We are taking it into our own hands: The Glasgow Marshals For Douglas Brodie, Glasgow's outbreak of murder and mayhem begins simply enough. A typical Saturday night brawl adds a splash of colour to the morning edition of the Gazette. But Brodie's piece receives a hot-blooded reply - the declaration of a new war upon petty crime signed by a group of vigilantes: The Glasgow Marshals. After his own stin ...more
Jan 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was an excellent follow up to "The Hanging Shed". Although this can be read as a stand alone book, it does make references throughout to the first book in the series, so maybe it is worthwhile beginning at the beginning. Once again the plot lines have been carefully thought out, and the characters and the locations have that air of authenticity about them. Set in post war Glasgow it feels like an accurate depiction of a devastated city trying to regenerate itself. Those not familiar with th ...more
John Lee
Jun 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When I read the synopsis for this one I wasnt sure that it was my kind of novel but I remembered the first novel, 'The Hanging Shed', as much enjoyed and an exciting read, although most of the detail had been blurred by time.
I opened the book to a special smell and feel, - newness but quality too. Try sniffing a Kindle and tell me that you get this !
The story here is a classic. Well drawn characters and a good storyline. At one stage I could almost see Robert Donat and Madeleine Carroll clamberi
Mar 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scottish-fiction
Murderin’ bampots…

This is the second in Ferris’ Douglas Brodie series which started as a Kindle sensation with The Hanging Shed. Tartan Noir at its finest, putting Brodie’s Glasgow right up beside Rebus’ Edinburgh.

Brodie is now working as a crime journalist in Glasgow when a spate of vigilante attacks hits the city. At the same time, his colleague, senior reporter Wullie McAllister is covering the murder of a councillor and suspects corruption at the heart of Glasgow Corporation. Brodie’s relat
Fred Shaw
Mar 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book "Douglas Brodie #2" is pure adrenaline. The build up is a little slower than "The Hanging Shed" but with an amazing finish. I enjoy Gordon Ferris' writing style. He writes the way the locals talk, Scottish brogue and all, and I'm learning a wee bit o' dialect along the way. Highlanders and Lowlanders, and a touch of Glaswegian. There are a few hold over bad guys from the previous novel, which makes things interesting. Soldiers returning from the war are finding no jobs, no homes, wives ...more
Shirley Schwartz
I was expecting an edge-of-my-seat thriller with this the second book in the Douglas Brodie series. The first one blew me away, and this one is just as good, if not better. We open the book about six months after the big bang ending of The Hanging Shed. Douglas is a junior reporter on the Glasgow Gazette. He counts himself lucky to be doing the job he loves when so many of his ex-army buddies are out of work and with no prospects. But Brodie being Brodie, he finds himself in some pretty hot wate ...more
Mary Fleming
Feb 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great tale of the darker Glasgow set at the end of WW2. Characters, language and setting just perfect. Loved his 'literary inclusions!' Glad I found this writer Look forward to more of his writings.
Jun 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Brodie can't seem to stay out of trouble. He is working at the paper, Wullie, his mentor is uncovering a big problem with the Council, where councilmen are being kill. The men are taking money to give a rich man what he wants. Wullie won't tell the whole story yet, but he is working a a giant story. Brodie has been contacted by the Marshalls, a group of men who are attacking criminals and people not doing the right thing. At first the city is with the Marshalls as they attack rapist, wife beater ...more
Elaine Tomasso
Mar 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have sat up late reading this book - it's one of those "just another chapter" until it's finished. Brodie is a junior crime reporter who gets tangled up in the Glasgow Marshals' vigilante justice to such an extent that they want to recruit him. He also spots a couple of thugs he had dealings with in The Hanging Shed. Mayhem ensues. It is violent and not for the faint hearted, but post war Glasgow was violent. The style is easy to read and draws you in with enough action to keep you turning the ...more
Jennifer Gottschalk
A satisfying read set in post World War II Scotland. The book's central theme is around justice, retribution and the possibility of salvation. At times thought provoking, I enjoyed this book despite it being a bit slow in places.

The characters were well rendered, likeable and realistic. It was easy to identify with their struggles and I found myself hoping that things would turn out well for them.

Ferris is definitely 'above average' and has delivered a solid tale. I'll be keeping an eye out for
Jul 27, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: unfinished, mystery
Sometimes a place in a book is so real you feel like you're right there with the characters - I usually feel that way with Ian Rankin's Rebus books and Rowling's Cormoran Strike books. In this book, I don't feel like I'm in Glasgow with Brodie, I feel like I'm sitting with Gordon Ferris as he googles Glasgow in the 40s. It's distracting and didn't make me want to read much of this book.
Sep 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
A great read that captures post-war Glasgow very well, from the poor quality housing, to the returned soldiers and the changing job market. Our hero as a former police officer, war hero and rookie journalist partnered with Sam the advocate is a good combo. Too a high body count by the very end with a ridiculous final shootout.
Anne Louise Jones
Jun 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Something different

I read Hanging Shed after picking it up in a bookshop on offer. I was hooked and bought Bitter Water straight after. Enjoyed the plot, the back stories of the characters and the pace of the book. Being set in post war Glasgow is something different for me and I can't wait to read the rest of the series.
May 30, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: listened
An excellent read that keeps you enthralled all the way through. FERRIS' character of Douglas BRODIE is extremely well portrayed as are all the other characters. FERRIS puts us in Glasgow after WW11. His language, descriptions and actions make us feel we are really there.
Loved it.
Nick Phillips
Jan 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Adventurous daring-do 1940s style. Great fun and characters that one cares about. Feels historically accurate nd even if it is t it makes for a great detective story.

Well worth a read.
Lizzie Hayes
Apr 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
‘Bitter Water’ by Gordon Ferris
Published by Corvus. 2012. ISBN: 978-0-85789-604-9

It is the summer of 1946 and ex policeman, ex Soldier Douglas Brodie is now working as a journalist for the Glasgow Gazette as understudy to Chief Crime Reporter Wullie McAllister.

The brutal murder of a Town Councillor has Wullie’s nose twitching - Wullie is old school heading towards retirement and looking for that one last scoop by which to be remembered.

Accosted by a Highlander who says ‘call me Ishmael’ Brodie
Another Kindle Deal of the Day. This time it's the 2nd in the series and halfway through reading it I searched around and ordered the first in the series (as a 2nd hand paper copy - because much as I adore my Kindle you can't beat the sensation of actually having a book in your hand.)

Set in the Glasgow of gangs, tenements and bomb-sites in the aftermath of the 2nd world war, it's a story of corruption and violent gangs. Brodie, a new-ish reporter on the popular Gazette is an ex-major in the Seaf
Bitter Water is the second book in Gordon Ferris’ Douglas Brodie series and it is almost as good as the first. I love the setting: Glasgow circa 1947. The capture of time and place was right on target. The two main characters, Brodie and the lady lawyer Sam, are engaging leads. The sexual tension between the two hits the right balance between adding to the drama yet not taking over the story.

Brodie is now a journalist working the crime beat for the local newspaper. From a career perspective, th
David Lowther
Apr 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
Another first class thriller from Gordon Ferris, his fourth with a fifth recently published.

The author has chosen the miserable immediate aftermath of the second world war as his back drop, with bomb sites, rationing, unemployment and shortages. His evocation of Glasgow at this time is very convincing. His hero, Douglas Brodie, is unusual. A pre war policeman and a decorated major during the conflict, he has a good honours degree in Modern Languages from Glasgow University yet he appears in his
May 01, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gordon Ferris writes so well - there is no need to indulge in hackneyed plot devices to add spice because the writing is so strong. This story picks up where The Hanging Shed left off. A group of vigilantes is dispensing rough justice in Glasgow to people who have "gotten away with" crimes and wrongdoings. Brodie is on to the story for the Glasgow Gazette where he now works as a reporter. However, it is only a matter of time before someone is killed and, as the deaths mount up, Brodie wonders if ...more
Sid Nuncius
Nov 18, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book. It is s very decently plotted crime novel set in Glasgow in 1946. I hadn't read the first in the series, but that didn't interfere with my enjoyment because anything relevant from the first book is neatly explained where necessary. The plot itself is well summarised elsewhere on this page, and I found it reasonably plausible and comprehensible. The characters are well drawn and believable, the sense of place is strong and the prose is unfussy and easy to read.

The difficulty
Oct 10, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the second in Gordon Ferris's Douglas Brodie series, following on from 'The Hanging Shed'. Once again policeman-turned-journalist Brodie hooks up with lawyer friend Samantha Campbell to solve a series of crimes set in post-war Glasgow. Ferris has a nice ability to juxtapose Glasgow Gorbals poverty with its smugly comfortable middle class, this time based just outside in the Helensburgh area. Two seemingly separate sets of crimes get tangled up in a web of corruption and retribution.

Rob Kitchin
Gordon Ferris’ writing is easy on the eye and he tells a colourful tale that rattles along a fair clip, with plenty of action and twists and turns. The story is entertaining, but one has to often suspend belief for it to work, with too many elements relying on characters not pursuing the logical course, the police being hopeless, and the public to a person siding with the vigilantes. The result is a kind of mix of detective novel and action adventure. The characterisation is quite nicely done, e ...more
Apr 22, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really enjoyed this thriller from Scottish writer Gordon Ferris. It's the second in a series of Douglas Brodie stories, set in the immediate post-war years in Glasgow. Brodie is a former policeman with a distinguished war record who's trying to adjust to civilian life, making his way as a probationary reporter on the Glasgow Gazette. Here, the action gets going when a councillor is discovered with his head in a bucket of cement. At the same time, a gang of vigilantes is roaming the streets dishi ...more
Mitch McCrimmon
Sep 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is my third book in the Douglas Brodie series. I read The Hanging Shed first then got a hold of the 4th one, Gallowglass before reading number 2- Bitter Water. You don't need to read them in order but it helps because there are references in each to past events. Anyway, like the others, this book is beautifully written. It just flows so smoothly and engagingly. As always, great suspense and fascinating characters. All set in Glasgow shortly after WWII. Brodie is nominally a crime reporter b ...more
Jun 25, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great follow-up. Ferris has arrived as an author for today; well written thriller re-unites Brodie with his lawyer/landlady Sam.
This is a story out of the ruins of post war Glasgow where disillusioned soldiers become vigilantes. Brodie crafts his journalistic skills and in the process places himself and those close to him in serious danger. I like the link that Brodie knows Ferris' other hero Danny McRae struggling as a PI in London. Hopefully this alludes to more great stories across Britain in
May 23, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an excellent story set just after WW11. Brodie has returned to his native Glasgow to take up a position as reporter. He becomes involved in a story about council corruption and another about vigilantes. The only complaint I have is the use of the word invite as a verb. This is a modern mis-usage of the word and would never have been used in the late 40s or early 50s. And would certainly not be used by a graduate that Brodie was. I think there may have been other anachronistic usages of m ...more
Apr 08, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Right from the opening sentence, the kick in the guts of the first two paragraphs, you know you're in the safe and hugely entertaining hands of a man who really knows how to tell a story, how to create absorbing characters,how to write compelling dialogue and merge it perfectly with description so as to set the scene of 1940's Glasgow. Most books of this genre, once you know the end, you don't imagine re-reading, but this one is rich and deep enough to do so. But I shall move from the heat of th ...more
Mar 12, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My favourite series so far. Liked the McRae series but this is better. Nice easy read which every now and again is worthwhile. If you like Philip Kerr you will enjoy these, similar but set in Glasgow after WWII. I think I've found my niche when it comes to crime, those hard boiled, old fashioned dectectives, like in the black and white movies. I definitely prefer this guy to James Patterson and am now reluctant to try the Lee Child and Clive Cusslers of this world. Thanks ever so much to the pat ...more
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I was born on Rabbie Burns' day in the small industrial town of Kilmarnock, in the West of Scotland. My mother took it as a sign of impending literary fortune. Naturally enough, I ignored her, despite writing being the only thing I loved [after rugby and the fairer sex].

I took the long way round to becoming an author. I've been a computer programmer and an executive in the UK Ministry of Defence,

Other books in the series

Douglas Brodie (4 books)
  • The Hanging Shed (Douglas Brodie, #1)
  • Pilgrim Soul (Douglas Brodie, #3; Danny McRae, #3)
  • Gallowglass (Douglas Brodie, #4)