Glasgow police detective Harry McCoy, the protagonist of Alan Parks's debut novel, Bloody January, returns in February's Son. The story takes place during a freezing winter in the 1970s, and McCoy is still recovering from the events that occurred in the first book when he is assigned a new case involving the brutal murder of a promising young footballer. The victim has been hacked to death and a message has been carved into his chest.
It turns out that the murdered man was engaged to marry Elaine Scobie, the daughter of a major Glasgow drug dealer, and that adds an entirely new perspective to the case. The principal suspect is a man named Connolly, a vicious thug who works for Elaine's father and who apparently had a thing for Elaine himself. Connelly has disappeared, and as more corpses keep turning up, the pressure on Harry McCoy ratchets up as well.
McCoy has his own connection to the underworld in the form of his best friend, Stevie Cooper. The two have a history that dates back to the time when they were both young boys, and in spite of the pressure from his bosses, McCoy is not about to turn his back on Cooper who will play an instrumental role in this case.
This is a very dark, hard-boiled novel, with a cast of creepy and interesting characters. Harry McCoy is one of the most tortured protagonists in modern crime fiction, and watching him work this case is riveting. The plot is compelling; the settings are vividly rendered, and this book suggests that Alan Parks has a very bright future in crime fiction.