Lennox by Craig Russell

Finished Lennox by Craig Russell last night. I liked it.

In a nutshell, the book follows Lennox (duh), who is a private investigator in Glasgow with has some serious demons he’s working through. The book begins with a mid-level crime boss getting killed and the Three Kings – who are the main crime lords of Glasgow – want Lennox to investigate. Standard stuff, right? Not so fast. Every time you think this book is going to use a standard thriller trope, Russell throws a curve or uses the trope in such an original way that you can’t help but nod your head in appreciation.

As an aside, while I am fully aware that Glasgow is a major city in Scotland, I had a mental issue with the book taking place there. Why? Because I have grandparents in Glasgow, Missouri. So every once in awhile it would take me a moment to switch from the tiny, rural farming town I knew as a kid to the bustling city in Scotland. Is it just me or does stuff like that happen to anybody else. Probably just me. Anyway…

Lennox has a scope that is far more broad than what you find in most crime fiction. While 90% of the action takes place in Glasgow, there is a heckuva lot going on elsewhere as well. It was also interesting seeing how World War II changed many of the main characters in the book, for better and worse.

Since this is a crime novel there are of course many twists and turns in the plot, but that isn’t what kept me turning the pages. Russell’s characters, mainly thanks to his excellent dialogue, all feel like actual people and not just plot movers and Lennox’s point of view had me chuckling on one page and shaking my head in sympathy at his underlying sadness the next.

I’d love to discuss the plot further, but doing so would spoil half the fun for a reader coming fresh to the story. Overall this is an easy book to recommend.

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