In Glasgow’s Kelvingrove Park, the bodies of two youths lie with bullet holes in their heads. Hungover, nicotine-starved and ill-attired, procurator fiscal Maddy Shannon attends the scene, unaware that this grim morning is about to spiral out of control.
The corpses have been carefully disfigured, perhaps signs of gangland revenge or, worse, ritual slayings. Motives and suspects are hard to find. It soon becomes clear that this disturbing case will hold a mirror to the government, the church and society at large.
As the gruesome complexities of the investigation multiply, the fragmented story of Maddy’s immigrant ancestors – her grandfather Nono and his Great Adventure – emerges as a counterpoint to brutality and corruption. As she struggles to prove her worth against the darkest side of human nature, we discover the history and heartbreak that created this strong-willed woman.
This first crime novel by versatile Scottish author Chris Dolan is written with wit and empathy, and he is unafraid to explore literary themes, making Potter’s Field a work concerned as much with home and heritage as it is with violence and intrigue. It is a novel about Glasgow, told in an intimate voice with a profound knowledge of an exuberant, flawed city.