A huge publicity campaign commenced when Pan Macmillan acquired a noir debut by author Malcolm Mackay, pre-empting the title as part of a three-book deal. Mantle publisher Maria Rejt bought UK and Commonwealth rights, including Canada, in the three titles through Peter Robinson at Rogers, Coleridge and White, and the first novel, The Necessary Death of Lewis Winter, has been published as a lead title in early 2013.
The book tells the story of a "very modern, very unusual hit-man whose world begins to spin out of his control". Rejt said: "It is a totally gripping novel of dark relationships and even darker moralities."
Mackay was born and still lives on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides and he has signed, lined, dated, numbered and doodled exclusive first editions for Doodled Books collectors!
In this confident, gritty noir thriller based in gangland Glasgow, Callum is a hitman and has been hired to kill Lewis Winter.
All Callum knows is that the murder will 'send out a message' to someone, but the problem is that the people who have hired Callum also don’t know what the message is, or who it is for. Poor Lewis Winter is simply the first shot across the bows to persons unknown who are trying to muscle in on territory not their own. The story unfolds simply and quickly; MacKay’s writing style is sparse, fluid and fresh, giving us little more than pencil sketches of personalities and plot. But it all starts to interweave, building up a story far greater than simple stereotypes suggest.
‘Cool, laconic and very enjoyable. I look forward eagerly to the second novel in the trilogy’ Allan Massie
‘I finished it almost in a sitting. The prose is spare and taut and pulls the reader into the minds of the disparate characters . . . beautifully and truthfully written with the deceptive simplicity of a fine short story’ Ann Cleeves, creator of VERA
‘A remarkably original debut . . . this is a book that it would be hard not to finish in one sitting . . . a wholly believable and unnerving portrait of organised crime’ Observer
‘The debut writer who is being hailed as tartan noir’s most authoritative and authentic new voice . . . Mackay writes in a tough-guy style that is reminiscent of Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett at their most hard-boiled’ Scotsman
‘Brutal, witty and well-written . . . a brilliant debut’ Sunday Telegraph
‘On the evidence of his impressive debut Malcolm Mackay will no doubt be hailed as the newest member of the Tartan Noir community. Yet the feel and style of The Necessary Death of Lewis Winter is more American than Scottish . . . a quietly absorbing gangland tale, full of moral ambiguities’ Marcel Berlins, The Times
‘The remarkable first book of a trilogy about Glasgow hit-man Calum MacLean, which will be published over the next year, this marks the debut of 31-year-old Mackay from Stornoway in the Outer Hebrides . . . His achievement is all the more stunning because drawing on his sublime imagination and innate empathy he has created a cast of characters so vivid - especially MacLean, who knows how hard it is to kill a man - that they live on in the memory long after the final page. There are Glasgow villains, bent policemen, a gangster’s moll with smarts to die for, not to mention the shabby drug-dealer Lewis Winter who has to die . . . ‘tartan noir’ will have a new star’ Daily Mail
‘From the outset Mackay's debut makes it clear he has ambitions for this work that don't fit the mould . . . The first of a trilogy, The Necessary Death Of Lewis Winter would seem to take its inspiration less from Scottish noir antecedents, and more from American TV series such as Dexter, The Sopranos or Breaking Bad . . . impressively controlled and confident debut . . . The Necessary Death Of Lewis Winter is unexpectedly compelling. Mackay knows how to pace a story related in a matter-of-fact manner that, in less assured hands, would become suffocatingly slow. Measuring out its excitement more like a morphine drip than a hit, the author insidiously builds up to a powerful conclusion. Whether he's describing Calum's last meal before the job and that of his prey or evoking the deceptively polite manners of his sinister employers, Mackay never deviates from the stony, heartless, dangerously restrained style he has set himself. It's an audacious and risky tactic, but he pulls off his first hit with the same strong nerve and cool head his hero brings to his work’ Herald
‘Equally original is The Necessary Death of Lewis Winter…if all this tradecraft has come straight out of Mackay’s head, he's doing a damn good impression of someone who knows what he’ talking about. This is frills-free storytelling: the prose is clinical and unadorned, the moralising minimal, the narrative linear with no mystery element and nothing kept secret from the reader. Yet Mackay ratchets up the tension like a master, and his ability to create rounded characters makes his book, despite its dark subject matter, a breath of fresh air’ Daily Telegraph
A twenty-nine-year-old man lives alone in his Glasgow flat. The telephone rings; a casual conversation, but behind this a job offer. The clues are there if you know to look for them. He is an expert. A loner. Freelance. Another job is another job, but what if this organisation wants more? A meeting at a club. An offer. A brief. A target: Lewis Winter. It’s hard to kill a man well. People who do it well know this. People who do it badly find out the hard way. The hard way has consequences. An arresting, gripping novel of dark relationships and even darker moralities, The Necessary Death of Lewis Winter introduces a remarkable new voice in crime fiction. The second book in the Glasgow Trilogy How A Gunman Says Goodbye will follow soon . . .
About the Author
Malcolm Mackay was born and grew up in Stornoway where he still lives. The Necessary Death of Lewis Winter, his much lauded debut, is the first in the Glasgow Trilogy, set in the city’s underworld.
- First Edition First Printing
- Hardcover: 256 pages
- Publisher: Mantle (17 Jan 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 023076620X
- ISBN-13: 978-0230766204
- Product Dimensions: 21.8 x 13.6 x 3.6 cm