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How a Gunman Says Goodbye (The Glasgow Trilogy)
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How a Gunman Says Goodbye

(Glasgow Underworld Trilogy #2)

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  984 ratings  ·  116 reviews
WINNER OF THE DEANSTON SCOTTISH CRIME BOOK OF THE YEAR AWARD How does a gunman retire? Frank MacLeod was the best at what he does. Thoughtful. Efficient. Ruthless. But is he still the best? A new job. A target. But something is about to go horribly wrong. Someone is going to end up dead. Most gunmen say goodbye to the world with a bang. Frank's still here. He's lasted long ...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published August 27th 2015 by Pan Books (first published 2013)
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4.04  · 
Rating details
 ·  984 ratings  ·  116 reviews


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Col
Jan 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013, m
Synopsis/blurb/review.........
Review
’How a Gunman Says Goodbye is even better than its remarkable predecessor . . . The author is already being hailed as a new star of tartan noir and if the third book in this trilogy can maintain the impetus of the first two the existing clan of Scottish writers may have to look to their laurels’ Daily Express

'You know how among all the kids acting tough at school there is one that stands out, the only one who convinces? Malcolm Mackay is that man. His characte
...more
Stephen
Nov 19, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very much a continuation of the first book with the added benefit of a love interest for the gunman and an ageing other gunman who is getting too old for the job. Think you do need to read them in order but if you like the first one, you'll love this one. Eagerly await the third instalment which is published in January.
Scott Rhee
Jun 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mafia, crime
Malcolm Mackay's writing talent isn't in his amazing ability to get inside the minds of the most hardened criminals, it's his wonderful ability to make us actually sympathize with them and, in some cases, even like them.

"How a Gunman Says Goodbye" is, I discovered, book two in a three-book series set in the underbelly of Glasgow, Scotland. I did not read the first book in this Glasgow Underworld Trilogy, "The Necessary Death of Lewis Winter", (an oversight I will correct soon), but I was somehow
...more
Michael Martz
Dec 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I can't get over how much I've enjoyed Malcolm Mackay's Glasgow Trilogy. Mackay's 'hook', if you want to call it that, is his writing style (short, direct sentences), ability to articulate what's in the heads of his mostly criminal characters, and focus on singular events and their aftermaths. It works well, as the reader is propelled through a story that from the outside (or from the perspective of law enforcement, for example) is comprised of happenings which may seem unrelated but, if you fol ...more
Ian Mapp
Jun 17, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
Book two in the Trilogy.

Same Characters, Same Setup, Same Style.

I was interested to see the average rating on this site. This book is nudging slightly ahead of the first book, which is interesting.

I got a lot of enjoyment from the first book. It had a unique style, got into the heads of the underworld characters, explained a lot about the way crime works that seemed real.

This is very much in the same vein but I felt it was treading water a touch. There is one event in this book. Frank, the agein
...more
Woody Chandler
Oct 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A little background on this & the others in the series - I had them all on my "Want to Read" list with no real sense of urgency until a recent foray to Jim Thorpe, PA & a visit to a local used bookstore. They had the 2nd & 3rd installments for sale, so I purchased them & then immersed myself.

The gangland machinations that began in "The Necessary Death of Lewis Winter" now really begin to gear up, but not in any kind of positive way. Frank MacLeod is the titular Gunman, but age i
...more
Gloria Feit
Jan 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the second book in The Glasgow Trilogy, following The Necessary Death of Lewis Winter. That title character, Lewis Winter, was a necessary sacrifice two months before the present action, in what would be only the first step in an all-out war between crime syndicates the likes of which hadn’t been seen for decades.

From the publisher: Frank MacLeod is one of the best at what he does. Thoughtful. Efficient. Ruthless. But with his health failing him, how long before he’s no longer of use to
...more
Christie
Jan 24, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book, but I must agree with a criticism I have heard about this author. He is Scottish, lives in Scotland, books are set in Scotland but he makes errors in using English law when it should obviously be Scottish law. One example is he talks abouta Coroner but there is no Coroner in Scotland. Sloppy. Apart from this it is a good story
Theodore Kinni
Mar 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Book 2 in the Glasgow Trilogy is terrific. Answers the question: Where do you end up when your life is your work?
J
May 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Jesus fucking Christ. What a gut punch of an ending. On to book three with a quickness.
Tony
Nov 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I suppose you could read this book without reading its predecessor (The Necessary Death of Lewis Winter), but why would you? This second in a trilogy picks up a few months after the events in that book with the same protagonists and supporting cast. One of those referenced in the first book is Frank MacLeod, the dean of Glasgow hitmen, the most professional of the pros. After being out of action for a few months recovering from surgery, he's back on the job for rising crime boss Peter Jamieson. ...more
Plum-crazy
"The Necessary Death of Lewis Winter" was a sure fire 5 star read for me but this one didn't enthral me from the off. Initially I struggled with keeping track of who everyone was - thank goodness for the character listing which I could - & so often did - refer to!

What I liked once again though, was that it felt, to me at least, that things were happening over a short time period & also getting the sense of knowing what was going through the characters minds, of seeing how they reacted a
...more
Charles Moore
Mar 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I forgot that I had started the first of this trilogy and gave it up before realizing I had purchased the second, this one.
It didn't have the ending I wanted but I was glued to this book from the get-go. Mackay has developed a writing style that draws the reader in without imposing itself on the reader. I liked this novel. You don't have to buy into the correctness (or not) of his details. Suffice to say details are plenty and read true if only because they seem plausible.
The story is slow goi
...more
Matthew Eisenberg
Aug 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is going to be a brief review, because I have to get started on book 3 of the Glasgow Trilogy. Suffice to say that How a Gunman Says Goodbye is a worthy follow up to The Necessary Death of Lewis Winter. A fast-paced and gripping continuation of the story of Calum MacClean and the criminal underground of Glasgow. Two-thirds through, this trilogy is proving to be the perfect summertime reading choice. Strongly recommended.
D
Aug 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, read-in-africa
Very enjoyable sequel to "The necessary death of Lewis Winter". Only issue is its a two slow. Author dangles a cliff hanger then pauses to check-in with every character some of whom are doing nothing. The plot climaxes around 1/3 of the way through then drifts. Still Mackay creates a interesting criminal world and expertly creates a cascade of unintended consequences. I will finish the trilogy.
Moirad
May 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This follows on directly from the first in the trilogy, with the same setting and individuals/gangs. Wonderful creation of suspense, and overriding theme of trust, or more likely, the lack of trust. So many twists and turns in the plot - definition of a page-turner, with crisp writing, and believable, however unpleasant, characters.
Alan Kearns
Jan 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I had read this first time some years ago. This second reading was as enthralling as the first. Yes I knew what was happening but, the quality of the characterisation pulls you deep into their lives. I found myself having strong feelings, positive and negative depending on the character. It definitely is a book which makes you ponder humanity and will satisfy the curious reader.
Don
Aug 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For decades Frank Macleod was the best killer in the business, but now he's getting old. Once a legend, a botched job changes everything. This is noir at it's finest. The staccato style of writing tales a bit of getting used to, but the more I read the more engrossed I became. A fun, dark read. Four and a half stars.
Eric
Jun 22, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
There just seems to be something morally abhorant about rooting for a professional killer (much less two of them), but I find myself doing just that. Again. Two thirds of the way through the trilogy and there's no turning back now. I have to find out what path Calum ends up following. Oops! I've said too much...
Joseph C. Cohen, Jr.
Good Enough

Continued excellent character development, painting sharp pictures of the professional acts of Glasgow. Mackay's deft style kept me going, but it was a slog: too much distracting detail left me impatient for the plot to move along.
j andrews
Mar 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
These books are really interesting. Plot-wise there's not a lot going on - interesting for a crime trilogy (!) - but the author's ability to bring to life the characters, and have us care what's going on in their minds is tremendous.
C
Aug 23, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was reluctant to read this book. I know the author's style, and didn't feel like it at the time. But I wanted the resolution of the loose ends in the first book. The author took advantage of my curiosity and delivered a bang of action and plot twist. No turning back now. I was hooked.

Alas, the pace slowed to a crawl. The aftermath of the story arc took the remainder of the book. Not much action then. In addition I found the sub-plots irritating. I suppose they set up the third book and cannot
...more
Michael Baranowski
Every once in a while I find a book that pushes everything else into the background as I feverishly race to finish it. How a Gunman Says Goodbye was that sort of book. I can't wait to go back and read the first book in the series.
Tom Shapira
Jul 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
A fine, fun, multi-angled crime story as different characters react to a hit gone wrong; scrambling to stay on top of things as one small mistake screws up their lives (both personal and professional)
Witty and clever without forgetting the humanity of the characters.
David
Jun 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Turns out Tartan Noir is really a thing and Malcolm Mackay nails it. The second of his "Glasgow Trilogy" is even better than the first. A hard boiled dive into the criminal organizations and individuals who are in the "industry" in Glasgow. Like most of the genre it's not especially mind expanding, thought provoking, or the like but is a fine diversion and plenty fun to leave your everyday world and enter the life of Scottish gunman for hire for a few hundred pages. Will definitely be back for t ...more
Neil
Jan 25, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Picking up the pace from book 1
Paul
Aug 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Janet S
Jan 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good but took a long time to reach the inevitable ending which you knew practically from page one.
Scott
Dec 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of the best book titles I ever read.
Susan Kinnevy
Jul 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another great noir from this author. Can't wait for the third in the trilogy. I can't believe I become so invested in the characters.
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Malcolm Mackay was born and grew up in Stornoway where he still lives. The Necessary Death of Lewis Winter, his debut, is the first of a trilogy set in the Glasgow underworld.

Other books in the series

Glasgow Underworld Trilogy (3 books)
  • The Necessary Death of Lewis Winter
  • The Sudden Arrival of Violence