Tuesday, August 2, 2016

A Great New Tale from Jay Stringer

One of my favorite characters in Jay Stringer’s Ways to Die in Glasgow was Sam Ireland. Sam is a young female detective who also operates a messenger service in Glasgow along with her brother, Phil. Phil basically spends his time in the office managing both concerns while Sam cycles around Glasgow, detecting and delivering packages. Sam returns in Stringer’s new book, How to Kill Friends and Implicate People, which is subtitled “A Love Story.”


It’s a very entertaining novel with a cast of great characters. The other main protagonist is a hit man named Fergus, and he and Sam both get caught up in what amounts to a gang war to see which criminal elements will control the city. As one might expect, Fergus becomes involved when certain of the parties hire him to do some work on their behalf. Sam gets caught up in this rolling disaster when she innocently accepts a package for delivery from someone who’s mixed up in this contest. It doesn’t help that some of the city’s cops are also involved the battle and the end result is that a girl doesn’t know who she can trust.

Fergus is also hired not to kill someone which opens up a very funny subplot involving the dissolution of a marriage. Suffice it to say that no sensible person would want to be married to either party in this domestic Armageddon.

In their spare time (not like they have a lot of it), Sam and Fergus have both reluctantly signed up for an on-line dating site. The results are amusing and interesting; mostly they make those of us who are not out on these sites very grateful.

To say much more about the plot would be to give too much away. But this is a great ride—violent, funny and sexy—and it will keep readers turning the pages quickly, while at the same time hoping that Jay Stringer is not wasting too much time riding his own bike around Glasgow rather than working on his next novel.

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