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Written by Andrew Mann

The second installment in the the Harry McCoy detective series, this incredibly dark novel twists the lines between good and bad in a fascinating manner. Parks delves deeper into the already fascinating characters from the first book. He does so with a fine sprinkling of humorous dialogue to keep the reader entertained throughout. Twists and unexpected turns occur as well as mystery element to who has committed the heinous crimes and why.

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February’s Son Plot

A young Celtic football player is found dead in a gruesome fashion at the start of the story. He has a grim message carved into his chest. We soon learn that he was the fiancee of Elaine Scobie, daughter of one of the most infamous gang leaders in Glasgow. McCoy investigates and finds soon after that Mr Scobie himself is washed up in a river, despite the heroic efforts of McCoys partner Wattie he too dies.

February's Son by Alan Parks, reviewed by Andrew Mann on The Table Read
February’s Son by Alan Parks

The main suspect is a man named Connoly, long time associate of the Scobie family with a violent background and rumoured obsession with Elaine. However soon McCoy questions if all is as it seems. Is Connoly secretly in partnership with Elaine carrying out a plan to gain power by killing her father and fiancee?

February’s Son Characters

As with the first book the story is as much about McCoy as it is the crime. We learn more about his troubled life in care as a child. He uncovers a disturbing connection between the police force and one of his main abusers. Despite being a caring detective, McCoy has questionable morals. He takes justice into his own hands when he feels it is necessary, especially when acting alongside Stevie Cooper. Stevie is a man who protected McCoy as a child from his abusers but now is a big time criminal in Glasgow. McCoy feels he owes him a lot and regularly crosses moral boundaries to assist him.

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February’s Son Review

Not many crime novels have characters as unique as this one. McCoys relationships with his partner Wattie, his boss Murray and childhood friend Cooper to name just a few are very dynamic. It is thought provoking seeing the way he deals with situations; what he is and isn’t willing to share with people, and the way he is willing to engage with criminals at times to attempt to help a greater good.

I’m not exaggerating when I say this book is by far one of my favourite detective stories I’ve ever read. The characters are believable and deep. The Glasgow setting is very atmospheric and authentic plus the dialogue is fantastic. As with the previous book some people may find the swearing excessive, but for me it makes the story seem more believable and not as unrealistically dumbed down as some detective fiction. I highly recommend this book and have instantly ordered the next installment after finishing it!

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