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The Cabinetmaker

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  39 ratings  ·  21 reviews
The Cabinetmaker, Alan Jones’ first novel, tells of one man’s fight for justice when the law fails him. Set in Glasgow from the late nineteen-seventies through to the current day, a cabinetmaker's only son is brutally murdered by a gang of thugs, who walk free after a bungled prosecution.

It’s young Glasgow detective John McDaid’s first murder case. He forms an unlikely fri
Kindle Edition, 292 pages
Published December 27th 2013 by Ailsa Publishing
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Keith Nixon
Mar 30, 2014 rated it liked it
John McDaid’s first day in CID and he steps straight into the middle of a murder case. A young man has been beaten to death. McDaid and his colleagues quickly catch the offenders, but they get off on a technicality. And so begins a career long case for McDaid, from the late 70’s through to the 00’s when he finally learns all the answers to what really happened that fateful night.

I really wanted to like this story, it’s exactly the sort I tend to reach for (as BigAl said, “It screamed Keith Nixo
Feb 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
THE CABINETMAKER was offered to me as a review book, no conditions, although it did come with a warning about the inclusion of some strong language. Even allowing for a tendency to think that the pile up of bodies in crime fiction is more discomforting than the occasional burst of swearing, there's not a lot that's particularly noticeable, especially compared to the levels that you find elsewhere.

This is an unusually styled novel, focusing on the 30 year friendship between cop John McDaid and F
Nov 11, 2014 rated it liked it
This unusual crime story is based in Partick (an area of Glasgow in Scotland) and is told from the point of view of John McDaid, who at the beginning of the story in 2008, is a retired police detective, and is burning the papers of Francis Hare.

The story then takes us back to 1978 to explain how McDaid got to know Francis, and what led to the events in the Prologue.

John was just starting out as a detective not long after Francis’s only son Patrick had been beaten to death by a gang of thugs. Th
Shell Baker
Jan 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Well I don't actually know where to start with this one, with it being Alan Jones debut novel and I read Alan's second book Blue Wicked first. In comparison they are both totally different kind of crime books. For me The Cabinetmaker is slower paced and not gritty, but nevertheless it has a interesting plot that I found very gripping and kept me hooked from the start.

The story is set in Glasgow starts off in 2008 thirty years after the death of Patrick who was Francis only son. Then we jump back
Jan 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is a little unusual for a crime novel because it does focus more on the relationship between John and Francis, the father of the murdered boy, than on crime. It starts out with the murder, the investigation, all the police procedures and trial, then shifts to the relationship between the two men. We still get glimpses into John's work on the police force. We get to see the effects this crime and verdicts had on everyone. I really like John McDaid and his co-worker Andy. There are also sever ...more
Apr 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. It is different from the standard crime fiction novel. In parts I thought it lost focus somewhat, the crime and justice aspects becoming a bit lost in a wealth of detail about football and furniture making, but apart from that it is a intricately plotted book which had me totally gripped. By the end of the book I realised that there is a purpose to those chapters beyond Alan Jones’s obvious love of football and furniture making. Within them lie the clues to what was ...more
P.J. O'Brien
Jul 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
The Cabinetmaker, a debut novel by Alan Jones, is essentially an exploration of group sanctioned violence. It follows the life of John McDaid from his first day as a detective with a corrupt and abusive police unit in Glasgow until his retirement decades later when the cabinet work he began learning as a hobby became a fulltime occupation for him.

The setting of the Cabinetmaker is Glasgow from 1978 to 2008. Like many urban areas, it is a city of tribes (if you will), with a surface peace mainta
Caroline Barker
Sep 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The Cabinetmaker is a very well-written narrative focusing on the relationship of a murdered lad’s father and the growing friendship the cabinetmaker, Francis Hare, has with Detective John McDaid, who is working on his son’s case. It is written almost biographically from McDaid’s point of view, starting from the death of Patrick Hare in the late seventies until the present day.

Patrick’s death was violent and Alan Jones has written in a very clear and believable manner, allowing the reader to pic
Craig Gillan
Sep 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Really enjoyed this book, not a typical police procedural but great how the characters build a relationship away from work
Aug 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014, j

The Cabinetmaker, Alan Jones’ first novel, tells of one man’s fight for justice when the law fails him. Set in Glasgow from the late nineteen-seventies through to the current day, a cabinetmaker's only son is brutally murdered by a gang of thugs, who walk free after a bungled prosecution.
It’s young Glasgow detective John McDaid’s first murder case. He forms an unlikely friendship with the cabinetmaker, united by a determination to see the killers punished, their passion for amate
Dec 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
The Cabinetmaker is the authors debut novel and though not as fast paced as I would normally expect from a crime thriller, it is still one that I enjoyed very much.

The story is set in Glasgow and spans nearly over thirty years. Though the story centres on detective John McDaid, it doesn't actual feel like your standard crime novels.

Through Patricks murder, his dad Francis and John strike up a life long friendship. For Francis I think John becomes almost like a surrogate son. He is happy to pass
Rabid Readers Reviews
May 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
“The Cabinetmaker” on the surface is a solid police procedural. We get the good, bad and very ugly face of a 1970’s Scottish police precinct. At its heart it’s the story of a bond built between a victim and a man who desperately wants to help him but isn’t sure the police are in the business of the public best interest. Jones does a stunning job of portraying a gritty Glaswegian force. Jones gives readers the feel of a real and unfiltered look into the inner workings of a murder case that seems ...more
Jan 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
John McDaid is starting out in CID when he becomes involved in the investigation into Francis Hare's son, Patrick. disillusioned and disappointed in the lax attitude shown by his superiors, John becomes friendly with Francis and his wife. over the years their friendship develops and John is soon spending much of his time learning the skills of cabinet making under the watchful eye of Francis while at the same time keeping an eye on those who had walked free for the murder of Patrick.
This isn't a
Feb 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This starts off as what seems to be a run of the mill 70s Glasgow police procedural. It is John's first week in CID, where the other officers make Gene Hunt look like a by the book type of policeman. A lad has been murdered on the street by a gang of yobs and the cops think it's an easy case.

Whilst the language in the scenes at the police station is the worst you can read, this story moves away from there. The basis of the story is a boy's death, but the heart of the story is John's developing r
Feb 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this crime novel which begins in Glasgow in the 1970s, where a young student has been murdered. The police are sure that they know the culprits and are less than careful about the investigation, resulting in the case falling apart when it gets to court. John McDaid is new to the CID and he is shocked at the lack of professionalism of his colleagues. The victim's father realises that McDaid is a cut above the rest of them and they end up bonding over a mutual love of cabinetmakin ...more
MS White
May 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The Cabinetmaker by Alan Jones - a Review

I came to this book having just finished a rather strange and rambling, reflective work, and was surprised to find that it had prepared me rather well for The Cabinetmaker. This is not a thiller, not really even a murder mystery (although it also is in a way), but very much a lovely, deep, rich and considered set of character studies, around which some nasty events occur and some rather unsettling discoveries are made.
Told in the first person, which for
Chantelle Atkins
Aug 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is an unusual book, in that it falls into the crime thriller category, but is far slower paced than you would imagine. This is not a bad thing, however, and is, in fact, a brilliant storytelling tool. In the 1970's, John McDaid is a new detective and his first case involves the brutal murder of a young man called Patrick Hare. A local gang of thugs is suspected of the crime, but McDaid fears his superior officers will bungle the case with their typically heavy handed ways. He's not wrong, a ...more
Fiona Mccormick
Jun 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is the debut novel by Alan Jones, and having read and enjoyed his other books I have to say that this is actually my favourite of the three.
Francis is the father of Patrick who was brutally murdered in the late 1970s. Following the collapse of what should have been an open and shut court case, Patrick's family are devastated when justice has not been served. The story concentrates on the friendship that develops over the years between Francis, an expert craftsman, and John who was a rookie
Colette Lamberth
Jan 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
I have read Alan Jones' later books and know that I like his writing so this has been on my reading list for a while. I'm pretty certain I've never read another book that linked murder, football and cabinetmaking. An unlikely trio perhaps but it worked and I was transported into that workshop and really enjoyed the descriptions of the furniture. Francis was a great character and I felt like I would like to meet him. I thought I had worked out where the plot was headed but I'm happy to say I wasn ...more
Sue Gale
Aug 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A brilliant first novel

A brilliant first novel that grips from the first word and immerses you as it unfolds until the final word.An Author to follow for definite
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Mel  Burns
Mar 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
I thought I knew how this book would end but no. I didn't see that coming. without spoiling it for everyone I knew he had to be playing a part in it but I didn't see the rest. A brilliant read. ...more
Christine Locke
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Oct 01, 2019
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