Publication Date: October 16, 2014
In Blue Wicked by Alan Jones, Eddie Henderson is a veterinarian investigating the brutal deaths of cats. When people start dying in the same way, Eddie tries to take his suspicions of connection to the animals to the police only to be laughed off. Only Detective Catherine Douglas believes Eddie and together they try to crack a dangerous case in the backstreets of Glasgow’s worst area.
The author, Alan Jones, gave me a copy of this novel in exchange for my review.
In December 2013 I reviewed The Cabinetmaker by Alan Jones (click here to read the review). I called it gritty and raw and said that the narrative grates at times. Blue Wicked tells the tale of an author much evolved. Any awkwardness of the former piece is undetectable in his newest outing. Readers are left with a story in Blue Wicked that is downright fascinating and while still raw and gritty flows with the elegance of the modern classic. Jones brings poetry to the darkest streets of Glasgow.
We meet Henderson investigating the brutal death of a cat. In short form with maximum impact, Jones describes a scene attended by people have seen too much. The spectacle of the cat is a fleeting interest to these Glaswegians and one that gets old quick. Henderson himself is somewhat jaded though he’s trying his best to work for the good of the animals. Henderson isn’t a cop but once the human bodies start to appear he’s convinced he can help. In typical thriller fashion — though he’s a very different kind of thriller character — Henderson is a man who simply cannot walk away.
D.C., Catherine Douglas is a pretty and serious young detective looking to prove herself. She and Henderson have a strong rapport and she has an unshakable belief in him. There’s a great scene in which Henderson is arguing with other detectives about the case and while Douglas knows he right, we see her struggle. Should Douglas speak up and risk her image in the department for the sake of the truth? Jones’s characters are well written and well rounded with clear motivations laid out within the action.
The Glaswegian slang may be a bit difficult for some readers to follow. Jones includes an extensive glossary at the end of the novel that I would suggest readers unfamiliar browse before starting the book. Blue Wicked is a story with an edge. It is brutal; it is graphic; it is downright frightening at times and it is life. Every piece fits together perfectly. The narrative shows a cynicism befitting the setting and the characters are the embodiment of hope in a world struggling to care.
Readers of this blog may get the impression that I really enjoyed Blue Wicked and they are right. We can all agree that I read a lot and I’ve never read anything like this story. It’s a rare book where I can’t see where the story is going but was just shocked at the ending of Blue Wicked.
If you’re a person who reads to escape the awfulness of life, Blue Wicked is likely not the story for you. Blue Wicked is graphic, profane, raw and simply brilliant. If you’re looking for a fast-paced thriller with unique characters and a story that will keep you coming back to see what happens next, pick this one up today.
Read an excerpt and buy Blue Wicked by Alan Jones on