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All the Colours of the Town

(Conway Trilogy #1)

3.53  ·  Rating details ·  146 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
When Glasgow journalist Gerry Conway receives a phone call promising unsavoury information about Scottish Justice Minister Peter Lyons, his instinct is that this apparent scoop won't warrant space in The Tribune . But as Conway's curiosity grows and his leads proliferate, his investigation takes him from Scotland to Belfast. Shocked by the sectarian violence of the past, a ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 329 pages
Published October 1st 2009 by Faber & Faber (first published January 1st 2009)
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C.X. Wood
Sep 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lots of character, an unusual detective POV, nicely drawn characters. I'm not sure I quite kept track of the plot but that didn't really seem to be the point.
Mavis Duncanson
Sep 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A great read Engaging Hard to put down
Pep Bonet
Jul 13, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: noir, novel-la, anglesa-sc
I must confess that I started this book with a somehow negative a priori. I had read that the author is a key author of tartan noir and I had already read three books by Malcolm Mackay. I had really enjoyed them and my tendency was to compare, something you should never do.

Fortunately, McIlvanney plays a different game. His style is very much descriptive, taking his time to describe even minutia, it's personal, written in the first person, with sentences of standard length, compared to the short
Ian Mapp
Oct 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime
When I look back at 2014, McIlvanney will be the most read author. I read Liam's other book out of sequence and this led me to his father, who I have also read.

This is book one in a Trilogy and I do recommend getting them in the correct order.

There is some seriously good writing going on here. Its unusual (for me) in that its a crime novel but written from the perspective of a journalist, rather than a maverick cop - known to break the rules if needed for a case.

Gerry Conway is wonderfully round
Rob Kitchin
Aug 12, 2012 rated it liked it
All the Colours of the Town is what I would call an ‘okay read’. It wiled away a few hours pleasantly enough, but it didn’t bowl me over. In part, I think my ambivalence is partly a matter of taste. I prefer relatively fast paced stories, strong on dialogue and action, rather than introspective tales that devote a fair chunk of the narrative to the inner thoughts of the lead voice. All the Colours of the Town has a good sized chunk of introspection, but for me it also has issues with padding and ...more
Kathleen Dixon
Gerry Conway is an investigative journalist who hasn't done that much investigating lately. He'd banked on his backing of Peter Lyons, who is the Scottish Justice Minister, and with whom he has an agreement over news releases, to advance his career, but recently he has stagnated. In a state of minor dissatisfaction, added to by his divorce, he initially ignores a lead - after all, he gets so many rubbish leads from the public. However, a vague presentiment then causes him to follow it up.

This bo
Brian Stoddart
Apr 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
Written by the Professor of Scottish Studies at the University of Otago, and the son of the great Scottish "father of Tartan Noir, Willie McIlvanney, this is an excellent addition to the genre. It captures Glasgow in its "hard man" mode, has an ear to the argot, and traces the story of a struggle for survival in that context: hard-bitten journalist comes up against the system, gets belted but survives. The storyline is strong, the "hero" evokes empathy, the characters ring true, and the city liv ...more
May 11, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having so disliked the first person narrative of the previous book I read I was surprised at how far I'd got into this one before noticing this was the same, so deftly was it handled. And with such lovely language too, the sort that you just read and enjoy, and only belatedly realise its skill, so taken up by the tale.
Scotland on Sunday praised its 'dextrous sensitivity and ballsy swagger' and I can do no better. Menace told deep and dirty, and from an unusual perspective.
Blue Mountains Library
first in a series of thrillers featuring journalist Gerry Conway who is Political Editor for Glaswegian newspaper, The Tribune on Sunday. In this first one Gerry goes across the watter to Northern Ireland to follow a lead on a Scottish Nationalist Party politician accused of a murder during Northern Ireland’s Troubles. In the years leading up to the Referendum on Scottish Independence this has the potential to be an explosive story. Tense, gripping and real

Apr 01, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: cime-thriller
Enjoyable,captures the times ,personal and political pressures and the inescapable past with a scabs off style.
Would have given it 4* but I felt the book was laying down broad brushstrokes in the earlier chapters to hopefully provide body for a series
Sep 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
Liked this one. Expected a mystery which this isn't exactly. What I really liked was the introspective journalist-main character and the language of Glasgow and Belfast. The kindle dictionary had almost every localism too which made it especially interesting linguistically.
Aug 09, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Found this hard to get into but a friend raved about it so lent it to me to try. Slow and didn't make it to the end.
Jan 06, 2014 rated it it was ok
Skrivestilen er god og lett, men historien om en journalist som graver i fortiden til den skotske justisministeren, er tinn og langtrukken.
Jan 07, 2011 rated it did not like it
Gave up on this about one third in...didn't like it at all.
Sep 15, 2011 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed reading this book. Looking forward to see what the future has for Gerry Conway next1
Dec 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
Gritty realism, but a poor ending.
Jun 15, 2011 rated it liked it
Reminded me of Bateman/Brookmyre - no bad thing in my book and I enjoyed it. Good plot and characters with some nice humour.
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Professor Liam McIlvanney, the son of novelist William McIlvanney, was born in Kilmarnock in Ayrshire, and studied at Glasgow and Oxford Universities. After ten years lecturing in Scottish and Irish literature at the University of Aberdeen, he moved to Dunedin in New Zealand to teach at the University of Otago. He lectures in Scottish literature, culture and history, and on Irish-Scottish literary ...more

Other books in the series

Conway Trilogy (2 books)
  • Where the Dead Men Go