Cover Image: February's Son

February's Son

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

I never repeat the blurb. Super to once again catch up with McCoy and his colleagues in 70s Glasgow.  A strange and somewhat alarming plot - couldn't happen today...could it?
Was this review helpful?
Once again I would like to thank the Author publishers and NetGalley for providing me with a Kindle version of this excellent book to read and honestly review.
This is the second book in this series, but while there are several references to previous cases this in no way spoilt my enjoyment of a very good book, and can be read standalone as was the case with me. Set in Glasgow in the seventies this book is at times a grim read, i expect the Author is certainly not popular with Glasgow tourist board. However it's a well written descriptive and entertaining book from first to last page, difficult to put down and I for one will look out for more books from this clever writer.
WARNING : This book features very strong language and there is some graphic violence, which some readers may find disturbing.This
Totally recommended.
Was this review helpful?
Alan Parks continues his dark, tartan noir series only weeks after the end of his debut Bloody January. That book, set in a grimy Glasgow in 1973, introduced detective Harry McCoy, a man with a dark and traumatic past, trying to do the right thing while managing his personal demons.
Harry McCoy is back on the job after the injuries sustained at the end of Bloody January. Before long is on the case – investigating the gruesome murder of a Celtic football star who also happened to be dating the daughter of a local crimelord. At the same time he is brought in to the investigation of a suicide which points him to a senior police officer who was one of the people who abused him as a child. It is not long before he is dangerously having to juggle his professional and personal lives.
Parks is determined to make his noir as dark as possible. There is plenty of violence and mayhem, gang warfare and police brutality. And in case that was not enough, some fairly exploitative interludes from the point of view of the killer. While there are a couple of small twists, there is not much mystery here, the killer is identified early on, making this fairly pure procedural – can the police catch up with him before he kills again. And it is no surprise for readers of this genre when McCoy himself comes into the crosshairs.
February’s Son is an atmospheric, historical crime fiction which deals with some fairly confronting, and still very relevant issues. The procedural format coupled with McCoy’s institutional history of abuse allows this series to deal effectively with notions of trauma, justice and redemption. It will be interesting to see where Parks takes this story next – definitely a series to watch.
Was this review helpful?
No linked review for this one as I only finished this one a few days ago! I described the first book in the series, Bloody January as “feisty, fresh and wonderfully sordid, and a sublime blast of noir” and this was equally powerful taking us back to the mean streets of 1970’s Glasgow. As much as Parks’ protagonist Detective Harry McCoy is no angel, I was incredibly moved by the surprising turn his personal story took in this one, and the very compassionate tone of the book overall, whilst keeping up the pace with nefarious dirty dealings and bursts of violence.
Was this review helpful?
Harry McCoy #2

Harry McCoy has his work cut out. It's 1970 Glasgow and there's a psychopath on the loose. A young man has been found  brutally murdered in a multi storey car park. He was a well known football player and the son-in-law of one of Glasgows crime bosses. But soon the bodies start to mount.

You can tell the author has done his research before writing this book. This is a dark read that covers: drugs, gang warfare and lots of violence. The characters are believable and the storyline is well written. I haven't read the first book in this series but I will  soon!

I would like to thank NetGalley, Cannongate and the author Alan Parks for my ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
I realised that I had read this book before. Here is my review.

Brilliant sequel to Bloody January. Real, gritty and full of action. This is a compelling, page turning read. I hope there is more to come in this series.

Thank you to Netgalley for my copy.
Was this review helpful?
Well, this book takes no prisoners! It taps you on the shoulder and punches you in the face when you turn round! 
Set in Glasgow in the 1970's , this is a harsh tale of violence, very rough language, full of gangland murders, and Police corruption that was endemic then. Women were firmly to be put into their place, no power, and preferably flat on their backs in seedy nightclubs, enticing punters with cheap booze and plentiful illegal drugs, that were just beginning to take a foothold in this society. 
This is the second book in a planned series, about Harry McCoy, a detective, recently returned to duty , who is investigating the murder of a Celtic footballer, who was engaged to the daughter of a well known and feared Glaswegian gang leader. A particularly violent murder is not for delicate stomachs, and there are others to follow. There is also a connection that leads back to McCoys upbringing in a series of children's homes, where there was serious sexual child abuse, and one of the perpetrators is now a big noise in the police hierarchy. 
I found this to be a completely absorbing tale of the dark deeds that occurred in Glasgow, very disturbing noir, yet compelling and believable. I lived near Corby, also known as little Scotland, it was full of Glaswegians who had come south to work in the steel works, and the Accident and Emergency department was one area you never wanted to work, especially the New Year shift!! 
This book is not for the easily offended, or squeamish person. However, it rolls along at a rattling pace, and could be said to be ' more Scottish than Taggart!'. I didn't read the first, but that is an omission that can be rectified! There aren't many nice characters to root for, but you won't get bored!! 
I will leave a review on Goodreads today. Thank you for my advance copy.
Was this review helpful?
To say that I enjoyed this book seems a little weird because it contained a great deal of violence and offensive language. However, the storyline was brilliant and I found the description of child sexual abuse both chilling and sad as we still hear of similar abuse in 2020.  The book is set in the 1970s and I had to keep reminding myself of this fact when it described the behaviour of the police at the time. This was a well written book with flawed but believable characters. I did not realise it was the second in the series so am now going to find the first book.
Thank you Alan Parks, the publishers and Netgalley for the opportunity to give my unbiased opinion.
Was this review helpful?
After reading Alan Parks’ impressive debut novel “Bloody January” and thoroughly enjoying, I was looking forward immensely to joining Detective Inspector Harry McCoy again in the second in the series “February’s Son”.
Wow! Move aside Ian Rankin, there’s a new author in town! For #TartanNoir set in 1970’s Glasgow, this is the best series I’ve ever read with its characters, storylines, narrative and ambience, making it stand out with true distinction. 
I was very pleased to see McCoy’s sidekick Wattie return in this book, being very green and quite naive to the way policing is done in McCoy’s world, he’s a breath of fresh air to the murky world of police brutality and hard living.
When McCoy returns to work after being signed off fit by the police psychiatrist, following the brutal events during ‘Bloody January’, he is soon thrown back into the underworld when a young Celtic footballer is found savagely murdered. Can McCoy keep his head above water when paths cross over to his childhood and the traumatic experiences he endured whilst in care? With a battle for who is going to run the Northside and McCoy’s old criminal pal Stevie Cooper in the running, there’s guaranteed to be bloodshed. Will he be able to keep out of danger and work out where their suspect is hiding out before he brutally kills again?
I was really sad when I’d finished reading this book, for me it was one of those unputdownable stories you just don’t want to finish and want to continue reading forever. The ending had me smiling with satisfaction and I loved the last page with just two words on it. High praise indeed to Alan Parks for a job well done, a fabulously written, plotted and executed novel that is gripping, addictive and utterly convincing.
However, this gutsy series does come with a hardcore warning of heavy drug use, gangland violence, child abuse and frequent swearing which may offend or upset if affected by these such triggers. 
I can’t wait to read the next instalment in Glasgow’s finest, “Bobby March Will Live Forever” and if this hard hitting, gritty genre is for you, you MUST read these books and soon! Highly recommended and I eagerly await the return of Harry again soon.

5 stars and then some....
Was this review helpful?
Thoroughly enjoyed this book.
As someone familiar with the City of Glasgow I could relate to the places where the sotry was set.
To say McCoy is a "maverick" police officer is an under statement.
The sotryline grabbed me early and held me all the way through.
First book I've read by this author so going back to read the first in the series, before tackling the third.
Scotland was a new crime writer in Alan Parks.
Thoroughly recommended.
Was this review helpful?
" Bye, Bye " is carved into the chest of the tortured and mutilated corpse of 22 year old Charley Jackson ....  once promising Glasgow Celtic footballer ....  whose only apparent fault is being the fiance of gangster Jake Scobie's daughter, Elaine. Multiple murders ensue resulting in turmoil on the mean streets of 1973 Glasgow .with rival gangs attempting to slaughter their way to the top.  Suspected immediately as the killer is Jake's enforcer, Kevin Connolly, who had developed an unhealthy obsession with Elaine. Connolly is a rather nondescript , late thirties balding man ..  who you wouldn't remember after passing in the street. However, this dangerous and violent man is actually the essence of evil, and probably a psychopath.  His service is usually reserved for the nastiest of jobs.
   DI  Harry McCoy is recalled early from leave by Chief Inspector Hector Murray to lead the investigation of the gruesome murder of Jackson. The hunt to bring Connolly in is thwarted relentlessly with the police being continuously  foiled and frustrated.  A seemingly unrelated suicide of a homeless man in a church leads McCoy to confront his haunted past and relationship with crime boss, Stevie Cooper.  This ignites their shared past experiences which leads to vengeance and spirals out of control with the possibility of their  personal destruction.
   Alan Parks seamlessly weaves a gritty, mesmerizing and twisted noir narrative, encompassing multiple murders, deception, abductions and a loony psychiatrist., that culminates in an exhilarating and unsuspected denouement.  The gripping plot is enhanced with compelling and believable characters and settings.. Intemittently, insights into the disturbed mind of the killer is presented in Italics and explores his chameleon like persona and his obsession with "dead" food and water accumulating in his body
      Thanks to NetGalley and Cannongate  & Black Thorn for providing an electronic proof in exchange for an honest review.  Stay tuned for further cases of DI Harry McCoy ...  excuse me while I go download his First Case: Bloody January.     ( at:
Was this review helpful?
A cracking read. Scots noir at its finest.

McCoy is an old fashioned detective, working the streets of Glasgow in the early 70s, gangs and knife crime rampant. When a young football star is found mutilated, he and his colleagues must hunt down the killer, an infamous gangster well known to the Glasgow polis.

The bodies begin to pile up and dark events from McCoy's past interrupt and threaten the investigation. Set in a period when men were hard men or victims and women relied on their wits and their good looks, events proceed at a rapid pace and hurtle breakneck to a bloody and satisfying conclusion.

2nd in a series well worth following, with the 3rd due early in 2020.

(I was given a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review)
Was this review helpful?
.This my first book from Alan Parks, I didn't realise that this was the second in what could be a twelve book series but I do wish I had read the first in the series, Bloody January as I feel like I missed out an important event. I was introduced to Detective Harry McKoy, his gaffer Murray, best pal Cooper and Wattie to name but a few and it was nice to meet them.

On a bleak winters night in Glasgow as Taggart would say 'there's been a murder' and a promising young football player is found brutality murdered with a word carved on his chest and that my friends is the start of the madness. It becomes apparent that the victim has close connections to a local gang boss throwing a spanner in the works. Whilst on the hunt for the perpetrator they come across so weird ass items and I do mean weird. 

So with a 'complete heid the baw on the loose McKoy has his work cut out for him, more specifically there's the problem of Uncle Kenny that Harry and Cooper must deal with and he absolutely must be dealt with. What we must remember that there's another story too it's one about three little boys, three little boys that grew up within the care system and it wasn't a happy experience. 

I really don't want to give any more of the plot so what I'll say is that this is a look at the grittier side of Glasgow set in 70s, a time when gangs ruled the streets and the Polis were handy, I'd highly recommend this if you enjoy authors such as Denise Mina, Val McDermid and Liam McIlvanney. None of them are afraid to delve into the delicate subjects, things that make us feel more than a little uncomfortable and that's got to be a good thing, hasn't it?

Read for an honest review. Thank you Mr Parks, Netgalley and Canongate Black Thorn
Was this review helpful?
I struggled with this book. I wasn’t really intrigued enough by the characters, and I tuned out a bit. It had a few gangsters rather than gritty weirdos which is what I like in a crime book. Not my cup of tea, but it was written well and I could see the appeal.
Was this review helpful?
Glasgow 1973 a cold winter and Di Harry McCoy has been called in to solve the murderer of a Celtic footballer who just happens to be the boyfriend of a Glasgow gangleaders daughtet

We learn the name of the suspect from the off a man obsessed with the gangsters daughter but the police are thwarted at every opportunity to arrest him which lends itself to an utterly addictive read as you race through the pages to reach the conclusion
Was this review helpful?
A particularly violent look at the Glasgow crime scene. A backward look at historical child abuse which leads to unusual friendships between a serving police officer and one of Glasgow’s top villains eventually leading to a violent murder.
Was this review helpful?
Thank you NetGalley and Black Thorn for the eARC.
This is the second book featuring DI Harry McCoy and unfortunately I missed the first one which would most probably have made this book even more enjoyable.
Glasgow in the 1970's is a great setting (I got married there) and I was amazed at the gangland world there!  McCoy has been recalled early to investigate the horrifying murder of a footballer.  The investigation causes mental anguish for him, recalling past events he'd rather not delve into.  A gang war and new drugs coming into the city, plus the inner life of the killer, make for grim reading, meaning I couldn't put the book down!
I will definitely read the first book and hopefully there will be a third in the series.  Excellent Scottish noir that I highly recommend.
Was this review helpful?
Set in 1973, this is the second Harry McCoy novel and follows on a few weeks after the end of book 1, "Bloody January". And what an excellent sequel it is! Harry is a detective in the Glasgow police force, quite an achievement for a boy who grew up in various children's homes and with foster parents until enrolling at age sixteen. Part of his survival is due to the protection from his continuing friendship with Stevie Cooper who ended on up on the other side of the law running prostitutes, dealing drugs and dishing out any amount of violence and threats necessary to survive. The story starts with McCoy being called out to the murder of Celtic football star Charlie Watson who is found horribly mutilated on the roof of a half built office block in the city. He was engaged to the daughter of Jake Scobie, a prominent ganglord. Scobie swears he had nothing to do with the killing and leads police in the direction of his former right hand man, a complete psychopath who appears to be spiralling out of control, a fact borne out later as events unfold. Added into the story is more detail of Harry and Stevie's childhoods with shocking revelations and people from the past coming back to haunt them. (I would definitely recommend reading the books in order to make more sense of events.) McCoy is still very much a flawed character and displays questionable judgement at times but he has the faith and loyalty of senior officer Murray and also his colleagues, and this book sees all the characters progressing and becoming more defined. Again there is much in the way of violence and strong language, and some of the settings are certainly a very grim portrayal of life in certain parts of the city. The gripping ending completely took me by surprise and has left me eagerly awaiting more from this series. Dark, atmospheric and totally absorbing!
Was this review helpful?