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McGregor, Alexander - 'Lawless'
Hardback: 256 pages (Oct. 2006) Publisher: Black and White Publishing ISBN: 1845021096

Alexander McGregor is a Scottish journalist and author of the best selling THE LAW KILLERS a non-fiction work about true crime in Dundee, which includes a number of cases that he's reported on.

Following the mantra of 'write what you know', LAWLESS is about a journalist, Campbell McBride, who has just published 'The Law Town Killers' about true crime in Dundee.

Now based in London, McBride is visiting his home of Dundee to promote his book in the local Waterstone's. The signings are going well until he is accosted by a customer who accuses him of failing in his research and believing the local police. It soon turns out that the crazy customer's son has been imprisoned for the murder of his girlfriend even though the father gave him an alibi for the night.

Already unsettled by this, more strange occurrences, such as someone slicing sentences out of the newspaper in the library archive and anonymous notes telling him that he's got the wrong man, push McBride into re-opening his journalistic case. So convinced is he, that there's been a miscarriage of justice, he decides to move back to Dundee.

He gets help from the daughter of an old policeman friend, who has herself joined the police and been fast tracked to Inspector. McBride tries to convince her that they have the wrong man in prison and that, in fact, there's a serial killer on the loose.

LAWLESS is a solid story, which kept me entertained, but one of final twists won't be much of a surprise to viewers of a certain Hollywood legal thriller of the 1990s. There is a good sense of place of Dundee and its local countryside and LAWLESS is a good choice for winter reading as it opens just before Christmas. This was a quick read and I probably would have been more enthusiastic about it if I'd liked McBride more. I found him arrogant and the type who thinks he's 'god's gift to women' even to those a lot, lot, younger. I was also a bit bemused that one of the journalist characters would wrongly use 'inferred', when 'implied' was the correct term.

Karen Meek, England
December 2006

Karen blogs at
Euro Crime.

Details of the author's other books with links to reviews can be found on the Books page.
More European crime fiction reviews can be found on the Reviews page.

last updated 12/04/2008 14:42