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Alan Parks

Alan Parks

Before beginning his writing career, Alan Parks was Creative Director at London Records and Warner Music, where he marketed and managed artists including All Saints, New Order, The Streets, Gnarls Barkley, and Cee Lo Green. His love of music, musician lore, and even the industry, comes through in his prize-winning mysteries, which are saturated with the atmosphere of the 1970s music scene, grubby and drug-addled as it often was. Parks’ debut novel, Bloody January, propelled him onto the international literary crime fiction circuit and won him praise, prizes, and success with readers. The second book in the Harry McCoy series, February’s Son, was a finalist for a MWA Edgar Award. Parks was born in Scotland, earned an M.A. in Moral Philosophy from the University of Glasgow, and still lives and works in the city he so vividly depicts in his Harry McCoy thrillers.

All Alan Parks's books

Latest reviews

  • To Die in June pulls no punches—nor stabbings nor mutilations . .  . Mr. Parks’s hero is a spiritually damaged man, albeit one who perceives a wee spark of light glistening in the gloom.”

    — Wall Street Journal, Jun 13 2024
  • “A fine sense of wordplay and the Scots dialect furnishes a mild, dark comic aspect to what is a surprisingly pleasant read, given the grim background and action. Parks is a master of the genre and always provides a good story.”

    — Reading the West, May 23 2024
  • “A provocative, disturbing read that will lead readers to consider...whether there’s a difference between doing what’s right and doing what’s good.”
    — Booklist, May 1 2024
  • “Sharp and bracing Scottish noir, with a streak of dark nostalgia.”
    — Kirkus Reviews, Apr 5 2024
  • “Parks manages to find a deeper shade of black, only slightly attenuated by Harry's willingness to go far off the grid to extract a wee bit of justice.”
    — Booklist, Jun 1 2022
  • “The plot brings in many fine things and others that are suitably grisly, and for a long novel it moves with a satisfying speed.”
    — The Scotsman, Apr 27 2022
  • “This is a real page-turner, especially if you enjoy conflicted protagonists, gritty crime fiction and atmospheric landscapes.”
    — Reading the West, Apr 19 2022
  • “Parks provides a crisp, authentic look and feel to the back alleys, rough neighborhoods, and ramshackle tenements of his hometown.”
    — Publishers Weekly, Feb 25 2022
  • “Parks is less well known than other Scottish noir masters (Val McDermid, Ian Rankin, Denise Mina), but he deserves a seat at their table.”
    — Booklist, Aug 12 2021
  • “With non-stop action, constant surprises, deaths and near-deaths, torture, torment, and evil involving virtually all the ‘good’ institutions civilization counts on for its existence, Alan Parks raises some thought-provoking issues on many levels.”
    — Mary Whipple Reviews, Aug 10 2021
  • “The pace is deliberate, but the lean, muscular prose is matched by a deep dive into character and the seamy side of the city...A full-bodied immersion into Glasgow’s gritty past.”
    — Kirkus Reviews, May 19 2021
  • “[Parks] captures the buzz of playing in clubs and the grind of touring, with its cheap hotels, hangers-on, and obliging drug dealers, who keep reality at bay for another night and then, inevitably, forever.”
    — Air Mail, Apr 17 2021
  • “Parks’s description never fails him, be it description of the horrors of some of the places where the action takes place, or the action itself.”
    — Seeing the world through books, Mar 2 2021
  • “The meticulously described setting is so suggestive readers may even catch whiffs of stale cigarette smoke and patchouli. Fans of Scottish noir will be satisfied.”
    — Publishers Weekly, Jan 18 2021
  • “Parks’ sprawling plot offers not tidy whodunit puzzles but a wide-angle view of a gritty city in the grip of crime, home to an entertaining cross section of characters [ . . . ] Brisk Scottish noir with an appealingly hard edge.”
    — Kirkus Reviews, Jan 13 2021
  • “This creepy, absorbing, well-paced tale covers numerous wide-ranging subjects including mental illness, lobotomy, suicide and sexual deviance.”
    — The Lansing State Journal, Mar 8 2019
  • “‘February’s Son’ startles readers with surprises as its story strands pull together.”
    — Wall Street Journal, Feb 15 2019
  • ”. . . a town and setting that should get the noir fan sitting up straight in anticipation of some of the most brutal and beautiful prose around.”
    — CrimeReads, Jan 8 2019
  • "Bloody January has all the gritty bells and whistles expected of noir, but at the same time its main character, Detective Harry McCoy of the Glasgow Police Force, grapples with the contradictions of morality on a multitude of levels."
    — Los Angeles Review of Books, May 30 2018
  • "Parks’ debut is filled with the sights and sounds of Edinburgh in the 70s. [ . . . ] This book would make an excellent companion to The French Connection, mainly because while reading it, I had an image of a Scottish Gene Hackman in my head the whole time."
    — CrimeReads, May 7 2018


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