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The April Dead

(Harry McCoy #4)

4.67  ·  Rating details ·  55 ratings  ·  34 reviews
When an American sailor from the Holy Loch Base goes missing, Harry McCoy is determined to find him. But as he investigates, a wave of bombings hits Glasgow – with the threat of more to come. Soon McCoy realises that the sailor may be part of a shadowy organisation committed to a very different kind of Scotland. One they are prepared to kill for.

Meanwhile Cooper, McCoy’s l
Kindle Edition, 352 pages
Published March 25th 2021 by Canongate Books
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Average rating 4.67  · 
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Once again Alan Parks knocks it out of the park in the 4th of his hard boiled historical Scottish Noir series set in the dark, dangerous, violent, sectarian, mean and gang ridden streets of 1970s Glasgow, featuring DI Harry McCoy. His friendship with volatile crime boss Stevie Cooper goes back to their childhood days where Stevie protected him, makes him few friends amongst fellow police officers, but that doesn't stop him picking him up at Peterhead prison in Aberdeen after Stevie's 6 month sti ...more
Feb 17, 2021 rated it really liked it
thanks to netgalley and the publishers for a free copy in return for an open and honest review.

This is becoming a favourite series of mine based in 1970's Glasgow it is a dark and gritty crime thriller with main character Harry McCoy dealing with a spate of bombings and a missing American and his relationship with thug Stevie Cooper. Parks keeps you wanting more with a page turner with many twists and turns and learn more about the relationship between Cooper and McCoy .
Sid Nuncius
Jan 29, 2021 rated it really liked it
I have enjoyed this series and I think The April Dead is the best so far.

It is April 1974 and Harry McCoy is investigating some bombings in Glasgow which seem to be the work of an amateur. He is also approached by an American who is concerned about his son, based with the US Navy at Holy Loch, who has disappeared. A connection seems to appear and some very dark secrets begin to be revealed involving secret militias, rogue elements of the British Army in Northern Ireland and elsewhere and, of cou
Feb 08, 2021 rated it it was amazing
There are a small number of authors whose books I will buy without reading reviews because I know I am in for a great experience. I have just added Alan Parks to that select group. Having now followed his deeply-flawed cop, Harry McCoy, from January to April, I am completely hooked on the author's particular take on Scottish noir. His taciturn, stripped down style of writing only serves to render shocking events even more so. And there are shocks a-plenty in The April Dead, the best offering by ...more
Alex Jones
Mar 13, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Alan Parks and Harry McCoy return for a 4th book , entitled The April Dead.

In a series that has fast become one of my most hotly anticipated series of the Year, Parks again writes an absolutely superb thriller dripping with the dark and gritty prose he has established.

Back on the streets of Glasgow in the 70s and McCoy and wet behind the ears partner “Wattie” find themselves hunting for a bomber when an accident in a flat seemingly kills the bomb-maker, when he detonates his homemade explosive.

Justin Sarginson
Jan 31, 2021 rated it really liked it
Another instalment of this period Scottish detective and it remains as entertaining and authentic as ever. This time the plot is slightly more expansive and the pace quicker, but the same grit, dirt and rawness of Glasgow in the 1970s remain and I for one are very happy for that.
The era and the terrain is as detailed and real as ever and the strong characters fade in and out with the same sense of vivaciousness and vividness. Visceral, dirty and as entertaining as ever. Here's to more and more o
Mar 27, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Having read the first three books in this series, Bloody January, February’s Son, and Bobby March Will Live Forever, with all three earning a well deserved place in my top 10s of the year, now the indomitable Harry McCoy returns in The April Dead.

There is always the danger when you keep reviewing an established series that you will run out of ways to get across how good the series is. Yep. Think I’m now rapidly approaching that point. But seriously, Parks once again immerses us completely in the
Alyson Read
Mar 31, 2021 rated it it was amazing
The fourth book in this outstanding series is set in April 1974, nearly a year on from the previous one, and Harry is pretty much in the same place, living in a small flat on his own, no girlfriend and he’s even got an ulcer now! On the brighter side, Harry's boss Chief Inspector Murray is back at Stewart Street and content in his new relationship with Phyllis Gilroy, the local pathologist. Raeburn is gone, now a private detective, and Wattie is on the up, now having baby wee Duggie with girlfri ...more
Pile By the Bed
Feb 21, 2021 rated it really liked it
Detective Harry McCoy is back on the mean streets of Glasgow for the fourth time in Alan Parks’ latest Tartan Noir thriller The April Dead. Those who started with Parks’ debut Bloody January and followed McCoy through February’s Son and Bobby March Will Live Forever, will notice a distinct pattern in the titles. But hey, if it worked for Sue Grafton it can work for Alan Parks.
It is 1974, and McCoy is called to the site of an explosion and the death of a bombmaker, caught by his own device in the
Mar 24, 2021 rated it it was amazing
The April Dead is the fourth instalment in the Detective Inspector Harry McCoy Thriller series, set in Glasgow. It's April 1974 and when an American sailor from the Holy Loch Base goes missing, Harry McCoy is determined to find him. Having been approached by US Navy Captain Andrew Stewart, he had been roped into helping him find his son, Donny, who has been missing from the US Naval base for two days now. But as he investigates, a wave of bombings, not unlike the one's that we're part of an IRA ...more
miss.mesmerized mesmerized
Mar 25, 2021 rated it it was amazing
1974 and Glasgow is shaken by homemade bombs. What so far was only known to happen in Northern Ireland, now also seems to have reached Scotland. Detective Harry McCoy is assigned the investigation, but first, he needs to head to the prison where his oldest friends Stevie Cooper is released. Harry tells him to keep his head down for a couple of days, despite knowing Stevie’s character only too well. Thus, he starts a series of gang feuds in Glasgow’s underworld which adds to the mysterious bombin ...more
Elaine Tomasso
Mar 03, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I would like to thank Netgalley and Cannongate Books for an advance copy of The April Dead, the fourth novel to feature DI Harry McCoy, set in Glasgow in 1974.

A homemade bomb goes off in a flat in Glasgow and nobody can understand why. In the meantime McCoy is approached by an American asking for help in finding his son, a sailor who has apparently gone AWOL. Then a gangland figured is murdered and McCoy’s friend Stevie Cooper comes under suspicion. When McCoy links the missing sailor, Donny Ste
The April Dead- Alan Parks

This is the fourth novel in the Harry McCoy thriller series set in 1970’s Glasgow. I hadn’t read the others prior to this, but I think I might just have found a great new series for me to get my teeth into!

‘𝑯𝒆 𝒘𝒂𝒔 𝒈𝒐𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒕𝒐 𝒃𝒆 𝒐𝒏𝒆 𝒐𝒇 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝑨𝒑𝒓𝒊𝒍 𝒅𝒆𝒂𝒅....’

I absolutely loved this fast paced, gritty thriller set in Glasgow’s 70’s underbelly.
It is explosive right from the start with the aftermath of a bomb. It doesn’t shy away from the details, there is plenty of blood and vio
Apr 14, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2021
Another blistering outing in the McCoy series! ‘The April Dead’ was compelling from start to finish, with its gritty realism, captivating narrative and flawed protagonist it is bound to fly off the shelves. This is the 4th book in the series and although this can be read as a standalone I think it's wise to read the proceeding books to get a handle on the continuing storylines.

This time McCoy finds himself involved in a bombing in the Woodlands area of Glasgow. But who would target there - it's
Nicole Sweeney
Apr 13, 2021 rated it really liked it
The April Dead is the fourth heart-pounding instalment in Alan Parks’ Harry McCoy series. This time we’re following Harry as he investigates bomb explosions in Glasgow. When Harry learns there might be more bombs on the way, he knows he’s running out of time to find out who’s behind it. As Harry digs deeper he finds way more than he bargained for.

Just like the previous books in this series, The April Dead is a dark and gritty read. It really brings to life the violent criminal underworld of Glas
Mar 20, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: crime-thriller
What a fabulously gritty crime thriller book The April Dead is. I haven't read the first two books in the series but I did read the third and loved it.

Set in 1974 Glasgow, the author transports the reader back to a time where not all police are on the right side of the law. Some are corrupt and some walk a very fine line. One fine line walker is Harry McCoy, he isn't exactly a dirty copper taking backhanders, but he does stray into grey areas.

A missing American man and bombs exploding is just t
Apr 03, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This is one of my top books for this year, impossible to stop thinking about it!
I’ll admit that this is not my first read from the Harry McCoy series, this is the fourth, but you can read it as standalone, the characters are well detailed and even if there are some references from the past, they are not a part of the story, just a little! 😉
As always, Harry McCoy doesn’t have only one case in his hands, expect multiple plots, menaces and dangerous people that threaten his life. He is not a bad pe
Mar 04, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
*4.5 stars *

4th in the Detective Harry McCoy series, and ‘The April Dead’ is another sure fire winner for author Alan Parks.

It’s 1974, and Glasgow has an ongoing reputation for violence, with opposing gangs using extreme methods in order to be top dog. The local polis aren’t beyond reproach either, with their own form of violence - heavy handed certainly, truncheons, boots and fists always at the ready.

It’s against this backdrop that an American sailor goes awol from the Holy Loch submarine bas
Lynsay Tervit
Harry McCoy is back and it’s now 1974 in Glasgow. When a bomb goes off, he is part of the investigation team, which soon spirals into a dark, complex problem. On top of the investigation, McCoy still has friends in low places and is trying to avoid being sucked into a vicious gangland feud which has potential to end very badly.

This is the fourth in the Harry McCoy series and it’s a strong addition! This can be read as a stand-alone but it links in well with the previous stories, as there is good
Lel Budge
Mar 28, 2021 rated it really liked it
The April Dead is #4 in the Harry McCoy series, it can also be read as a stand-alone.

Set in the ‘70s Glasgow, DI Harry McCoy has picked up his old friend Stevie, after his stint in jail. But Stevie has hardened in jail and is searching for a traitor amongst his crew.

All the while Harry is investigating a bombing, the only casualty appears to be the bomb maker. But who would set a bomb in this area of the city?

Then a second bomb explodes in the city's cathedral.

Harry’s friend, Wattie is investiga
Feb 08, 2021 rated it it was amazing
After reading Parks' last novel Bobby March Will Live Forever, I had a suspicion he was becoming my favourite Scottish crime author. The April Dead confirms this. Parks' novels are clearly influenced by similar authors in the genre but they have something extra special. Set in 1970's Glasgow, the Harry McCoy series is gripping, dark, full of violence and perfectly written.

Harry McCoy is one of the best characters I've read in a long time. Flawed yet with a good heart, he is continually torn bet
Loraine Philliban
Mar 01, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Alan Parks is fast becoming one of my favourite authors I was hooked from the first page.
Set in Glasgow the main character is a Glasgow detective called Harry McCoy who had a harrowing childhood along with the now criminal Stevie Cooper who has just been released from prison and believes there is a traitor in his crew and he seeks out Harry’s help even though it would be illegal he plays on the loyalty card.
At the same time Harry meets an American who is looking for his son who has disappeared
Paul Gormley
Feb 04, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Another superb addition to the Harry McCoy series.

This time, Harry is faced with a mounting number of problems: a bombing campaign, a missing US sailor and Cooper is back on the scene. If that wasn’t enough to cope with, Watty is having a crisis of confidence and the gnawing pain in McCoy’s stomach turns out to be a peptic ulcer.

The story moves at a cracking pace. McCoy is as dogged as ever, pursuing every lead whilst keeping his boss Murray, Cooper and even Special Branch happy. Plotting is tig
Alison Cairns
Mar 29, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Another great story about life in the 70s Glasgow police force. The mean streets are still mean. While on a night out in Greenock celebrating Wattie's baby son, McCoy meets American Andy Stewart, over looking for his son, Donny, who has disappeared from his US naval ship in the Holy Loch. McCoy agrees to help look for Donny, and the next thing Andy is accompanying him on a journey to Peterhead Prison to pick up Stevie Cooper on his release. The American and the Glasgow hard man form an unlikely ...more
Karen King
Mar 03, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Set in Glasgow in April 1974, Alan Parks has given us his 4th Harry McCoy book - his best yet in my opinion.
Harry McCoy is a DI who has links throughout the dark and seedy criminal underworld. This time Harry is racing against the clock to solve a spate of bombings, whilst also trying to locate a missing American Navy officer and helping a young colleague with a murder case.
The atmosphere in these books is terrific. You can almost smell and taste the grim settings.
On first discovering Alan Par
D Jackson
Apr 15, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this Harry McCoy thriller just as much as ‘Bobby March Will Live Forever’ and perhaps even more as it was less confusing for me. That is not to say less intriguing or interesting as the plot keeps the reader baffled just enough to be compelling.
1970s Glasgow is still portrayed in a dismal light but realistic too and I like Park’s inclusions of descriptive details from that era (‘the bamboo-effect wallpaper’ and ‘not easy to squash a six-foot-four frame into the back of a Viva’, for exa
Angi Plant
Apr 13, 2021 rated it really liked it
This is the fourth in the series and unlike some series at this point, it has not lost its steam. The characters are getting more and more fleshed out and you care, which is essential for a series like this.

It’s a dark, dangerous and compelling book and brings in real events of the time and it draws you in with realistic storylines.

Alan Parks is fast becoming a new favourite and if you love police procedurals with heart, passion and characters you want to know about, then read this series and pu
Apr 05, 2021 rated it really liked it
This was the 1st time I've read a book by Alan Parks and I thoroughly enjoyed it!
I find the style easy to read and the storyline grips you till the end!

Poor Harry McCoy has his hands full. Who is turning Glasgow into a Belfast? Why are there bombs going off? Who is behind it and what's the objective? He is also asked to look into the disappearance of an American naval officer whose father is desperate to find him and is not happy with the help or lack of he's been receiving from the local polic
Feb 01, 2021 rated it really liked it
I loved this book. A gripping cold case story with a thrilling present day connection. A real page turner and great characters. Looking forward to see what they do next. Really well written book that I couldn't put down ...more
Stephen Gourlay
Feb 26, 2021 rated it it was amazing
No 4 in this series and they are just getting better.
Set in a dark, dirty and gritty 70's Glasgow, our hero is a troubled rough diamond with an absolute heart of gold - and a best friend who's a gangster.
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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)
  • Bloody January
  • February's Son
  • Bobby March Will Live Forever (Harry McCoy, #3)

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