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Bloody January

(Harry McCoy #1)

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  1,362 ratings  ·  239 reviews
When a teenage boy shoots a young woman dead in the middle of a busy Glasgow street and then commits suicide, Detective Harry McCoy is sure of one thing. It wasn't a random act of violence.

With his new partner in tow, McCoy uses his underworld network to lead the investigation but soon runs up against a secret society led by Glasgow's wealthiest family, the Dunlops.

McCoy's
...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published December 28th 2017 by Canongate Books
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Average rating 3.89  · 
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Maureen
Nov 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
**4.5 STARS**

I seem to be saying this a lot just recently, but for fear of repeating myself, I have to say what an excellent debut novel this is! Alan Parks brings 70's Glasgow brilliantly to life, with this raw and gritty Scottish crime novel.

It's January 1973, it's snowing, it's freezing cold, but it's not going to keep this particular killer from increasing the body count.

A young man shoots a young woman dead in a busy Glasgow street, he makes no attempt to conceal what he's done, on the co
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Paromjit
Absolutely Brilliant! This bleak and atmospheric debut Scottish Noir places Alan Parks firmly in the top league of crime writers. It is set in a 1970s Glasgow of hard men, crime gangsters and corrupt cops, with all the plethora of the cruelty and brutality of the time. It is a dark tale where there could never be enough snow to cover the filth, vice, the rising body count, the misogyny and the beginnings of the toll that heroin starts to take on the people of Glasgow. Detective Harry McCoy finds ...more
Sandy
Detective Harry McCoy should have listened to his snitch. Now he’s sitting beside the body of a teenager who just killed himself after shooting a waitress in the middle of a busy Glasgow street. Harry doesn’t now it yet but things are about to get much worse. So much so that years from now they’ll still refer to it as Bloody January.

This is a dark police procedural that takes us back to 1973. Glasgow is a gritty, violent place with territorial crime bosses, bent cops & an established class syste
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Brenda
Mar 06, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a very well written debut! Gritty, full of sexual violence, and drug abuse, so beware. Detective Harry McCoy is tough and smart, but also easily controlled by others and vulnerable to the vices of the times. His rookie partner, Watson, aka Wattie, is not easily rattled, but is sometimes dismayed at McCoy’s antics. Wattie also surprises McCoy on occasion.

I loved the chapter headings. They were consecutive dates starting on January 1, 1973. The author did a great job following that regimen
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Christine
Nov 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Bloody January. Bloody fantastic.

Noir fans look no further for a superb read. Bloody January is the debut from Scottish author Alan Parks. It oozes atmosphere. It is dark. It is powerful. 

We go back in time to the 1970s. To Glasgow, Scotland. To the dark underbelly of the city, with its poverty and sidelines in creative criminality. We follow Detective Harry McCoy and his young sidekick, Wattie. They navigate the harsh landscape; with its corruption, dirty dealings and petty criminals. The story
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Helga
Dec 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Outside, the snow was gently falling, covering Glasgow in a fresh white layer, hiding the dirt beneath…”

This intense, dark and impressive debut crime thriller by talented Alan Parks is set in Scotland in the 1970’s and centers around corruption, violence, prostitution and drugs.
The characters are well defined and one can imagine the bleak and cold atmosphere and feel the destitution, pain and the helplessness emanating from the unforgiving streets.
Mandy White (mandylovestoread)
The language in this book really put me off. I know that it fits with Glasgow in the 70s but it was a bit excessive. I enjoyed the story and the writing but the swearing was too much.

Thank you to Netgalley and Cannongate Books for the chance to read and review this book
Marianne
Dec 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
4.5★s
Bloody January is the first book in the Harry McCoy series by British author, Alan Parks. It’s January 1973, and thirty-year-old Harry McCoy is a detective with the Glasgow Police Force. Later, they’ll call it Bloody January, but on the first, it’s a visit to the jail for a (rather vague) tip-off to a killing. Next morning, when Harry and his (very green) sidekick, Wattie follow up, they find themselves in the middle of a murder-suicide. The murder is indeed as predicted. The suicide, event
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Dave
From cover to cover, Alan Parks has filled his debut novel, "Bloody January," with frighteningly realistic dark crime fiction. This novel is just everything you want out of crime fiction. Yes, it's got a lot of classic noir plotlines but it feels fresh and new.

It's set in early 1970's Glasgow, which doesn't exactly sound like a tourist mecca here. Its not the Scotland of castles, lochs, and fabulous golf courses. It's a city filled not just with bars, but with slums, drug addicts, vicious crime
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Wanda
Wow, this is down and dirty Tartan noir! Harry McCoy is not your typical main character detective. Harry grew up in care, in a church run institution and his best buddy from those days is now one of the major crime bosses in Glasgow. This, obviously, is going to cause some issues for McCoy. Talk about conflict of interest!

I generally prefer noir mysteries to the cozies. And I did like this one, but I found some of the over-the-top violence and a lot of the language off-putting. It’s not like I h
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Linda Strong
This Scottish Noir takes the reader back to the 1970's in Glasgow.

Detective Harry McCoy and his new partner don't just happen to be on the street when a woman is gunned down. McCoy was tipped off by a prisoner that this particular woman was going to be eliminated. He said no more, not a motive, not who the killer would be. The shooter then turned the gun on himself and committed suicide.

Most police think this was just a random act of violence, but McCoy doesn't believe it for a moment. Called u
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Tiger
Aug 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
First book in what I anticipate (hope) will be a new series. This very gritty, very realistic crime novel set in 1973 Glasgow was excellent. Detective Harry McCoy is summoned to Barlinnie prison by an inmate who has information about an upcoming hit. When that hit shortly occurs right in front of him, the trail leads to some pretty powerful people in Glasgow and McCoy is warned off the case multiple times.

Detective Harry McCoy at first glance seemed a little cliche-ish as he has a troubled past,
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Rachel Hall
Jan 15, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Uncompromising 1970s Tartan noir - full of cliches but so compelling!

The first in a series of Glasgow noir set in the 1970s introduces thirty-year-old protagonist, Detective Harry McCoy, who fits every cliche in the book. Deeply flawed and inured to the casual violence around him, McCoy has a taste for booze, drugs and prostitutes and a childhood history with a very shady character from within the underbelly of Glasgow. Fittingly the book kicks off with the bleak statistic of six bodies in one w
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Nigel
Aug 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, netgalley
In brief - Very 70s, very Glaswegian. Bleak, dark and unpleasant at times. I found it a very good read.

From the start this book is highly atmospheric. It says that those who were not around for the events of Bloody January say it "can't have been that bad - but they were wrong". Effectively the whole story takes place in the early part of January 1973 although reference is made to earlier events too. Harry McCoy, a cop who may be one of the "good guys" gets a tip off from an inmate in Barlinnie
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Eric
Dec 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bloody January by Alan Parks follows Glasgow detective Harry McCoy as he tries to solve crimes in January 1973.

Parks is summoned to a nearby prison to meet with an aging gangster he does know not and is given an order to protect a young woman. The violent gangster is spare with details and sends Parks on his way with more questions than answers.

McCoy then carries on in his investigation.

Bloody January is a down and dirty police procedural where no one seems to be sparkly clean. McCoy is thoug
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Tracy Shephard
Oct 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Detective Harry McCoy knows something, told to him by an informant currently residing in Barlinnie prison.

Now a young has killed himself after shooting dead a waitress.

Glasgow 1973 is not a good place, it is a violent place with crime bosses, bent cops and people know their place.

This debut novel is seriously brilliant and for me it was like watching one of those old cop TV shows come to life between the pages.

A fast paced and dramatic read, the setting really takes you their. The music, the s
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Miriam Smith (A Mother’s Musings)
4.5 stars

A very impressive start to what looks to be an incredibly entertaining series. Alan Parks has created a fabulous detective in Harry McCoy and I look forward to following him further in ‘February’s Son’, the next in this gritty, packs a punch, thrilling series.
Lisa
Jul 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: top-author, audio
This book is set in the world of crime in 1970's Glasgow and it is hard as nails.

The main protagonist Detective Harry McCoy is raw and angry and quite frankly he shocked the hell out of me!
I did not expect his behaviour and I had to remind myself that times were different back then. I have read bad boy detective characters before but this reached a whole new level of baaaaaadddddd!

Enjoyable is not the word for this book as it is so bleak and dark but the writing is excellent and all the characte
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Stephen
Jan 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
really enjoyed this crime thriller based in 1973 Glasgow there you can feel the underworld of the city with sex trade and drugs and few deaths which look unconnected its a dark and gritty Scottish crime thriller which would appeal to a lot of people
Raven
Jan 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Gritty, unflinching, perfectly non- politically correct, and with echoes of the grandmasters of black-hearted noir, Lewis, McIlvanney, Raymond, Bruen et al, this was an absolute corker.
From the outset I was heartily entertained by the exploits of Detective Harry McCoy, with his nefarious relationships and more hands-on methods, and his wet-behind-the-ears sidekick, Wattie as we find ourselves firmly rooted in 1970's Glasgow. The book is peppered with cultural and political references familiar to
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Roman Clodia
Bleak Tartan Noir set in the 1970s - in fact, so gritty, violent and hopeless that it almost tips into pastiche. Every form of cruelty and abuse is here: bullying, sexual molestation, drugs, sadistic prostitution, pornography... The cops are dirty, a gangster has a hidden heart of gold, the titled aristocrats are pantomime villains, and our hero/anti-hero is beaten, battered, bloody, but just gets up and carries on doggedly.

I'd have liked to have seen a bit more finesse in the writing and story
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RG
Mar 12, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5*

Dark, brutal, cruel Scottish crime noir. Harry is a protagonist where you develop that love/hate relationship. We get exposed to Glasgow 70s and it seedy underbelly, murder, deceit, prostitution, drugs it has it all, and all wrapped amongst a city like Glasgow. Harry has his secrets too and so does the town. A little predictable for me but the writing is elegant for those that love that noir/literary type crime. For some reason didnt grab me, but I still managed to read over a couple of day
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Rob Kitchin
Mar 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Detective Harry McCoy is an anti-hero cop cut from a familiar set of tropes – a man who grew up in institutional care, who’s boyhood friend is a major criminal, who’s own child died young, who has a drink and authority problem, is a Catholic in a sectarian institution, and who regularly strays beyond the bounds of acceptable policing practice. He has a moral compass of sorts and believes in justice, even if it’s occasionally rough in nature. In this first book in the series he’s investigating th ...more
Linda Strong
review under the kindle edition
Col
Aug 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: p, 2018
Synopsis/blurb....

When a teenage boy shoots a young woman dead in the middle of a busy Glasgow street and then commits suicide, Detective Harry McCoy is sure of one thing. It wasn't a random act of violence.

With his new partner in tow, McCoy uses his underworld network to lead the investigation but soon runs up against a secret society led by Glasgow's wealthiest family, the Dunlops.

McCoy's boss doesn't want him to investigate. The Dunlops seem untouchable. But McCoy has other ideas . . .

In a he
...more
Colette Lamberth
It was a refreshing change to read a book set in the 1970s when policing was not just about DNA. My memories of Glasgow at that time are of going there to be bought a winter coat but the descriptions felt authentic enough and tally with my later experience of the city. I’m not adverse to a gritty, violent story but I don’t like reading about drug taking so I did struggle a bit here. To be honest ‘Detective’ McCoy’s behaviour was such that I feel he should be sacked immediately and probably jaile ...more
Jo
Jan 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyed this book, the characters where interesting. Hope there will be more stories of Harry MaCoy
t a m a r a
Dec 12, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Intresting crime case in 70s Glasgow atmosphere leading to complex subject of solving. Harry McCoy is not exactly your perfect figure of detective and his character brings more structure to the storytelling.
This debut piece of Alan Parks turned out to be pretty great start.
Elaine Tomasso
Aug 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I would like to thank Netgalley and Canongate Books for an advance copy of Bloody January, the first in a projected series of police procedurals set in 1970s Glasgow to feature detective Harry McCoy.

Harry gets a call to go to Barlinnie prison where violent inmate, Howie Nairn, tells him that a young girl called Lorna who works in a posh restaurant is going to be killed soon. It's not a lot to go on and Harry doesn't think much of the information but eventually decides to look in to it. He locate
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Joanne Hurley
Aug 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thank you Net Galley and the Publisher for allowing me to read and review "Bloody January" by Alan Parks.

The book is what I describe as Scottish noir crime (think Rebus in the '70s), and centers around the seeming random killings of a young woman, the boy who killed her and the con who tipped off the police to the crime-to-be. At times it seems as though not one of the characters has any redeeming qualities (cops taking drugs, drinking to excess, frequenting 'ladies of the evening' and still try
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Alan Parks has worked in the music industry for over twenty years. His debut novel Bloody January was one of the top crime debuts of 2018 and was shortlisted for the prestigious international crime prize the Grand Prix de Littérature Policière. He lives and works in Glasgow.

Other books in the series

Harry McCoy (4 books)
  • February's Son
  • Bobby March Will Live Forever (Harry McCoy, #3)
  • The April Dead (Harry McCoy #4)

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