Detective Lou Perlman has become an outcast from police HQ, doomed by a sadistic Chief-Superintendent to a seemingly infinite ‘sick-list’. Deprived of doing battle with Glasgow’s criminal underworld – which he needs the way a junkie needs a fix – he’s barred from participating in the investigation of the bloodbath that has rocked the foundations of the city’s lower depths. A new man has powered and blasted his way to the top of Glasgow’s gangster fraternity, Reuben Chuck, a villain who promotes cruelty and murder even as he pursues an inscrutable religious awakening of his own.
Only a gruesome discovery made in Perlman’s own house invigorates him, and launches him into a simple inquiry that quickly becomes a ganglia of perplexities – the whereabouts of his missing love Miriam, body parts, a seemingly haunted house, dubious part-time surgeons, a mob of dangerous hooded teenagers, a ferret, and his own family’s history – all leading, inexorably, strangely, to the deathly terrain of Reuben Chuck.
What The Critics Said
'Armstrong’s style is witty and exuberant and this funny, sad, novel shows a fine crime writer in top form’
'The novels featuring Lou Perlamn are among the best-kept sectrets in crime fiction…BUTCHER has a manic energy about it.'
‘ A Stomach-churning, roller-coaster of a ride of sheer terror, with great characters, a wonderfully wry sense of humour, and a terrific plot. I read it in two sittings’
'Armstrong is a masterful writer, with a gift for storytelling and pacing, and an eye for detail -- BUTCHER is a must-read if you like tough, gritty crime fiction with a memorable hero…one hell of a good read.'
‘The Glasgow-born master of fast paced thrillers focuses his literary powers on the town of his birth. In the process he paints a brutal yet atmospheric picture of the struggle between the law and the ruthless criminals who lurk among the streets.’
‘A hard-nosed Glasgow crime thriller with enough bodies to overflow a morgue but enlivened by some dry patter and a wicked sense of humour. Dark but dazzling.'
The Northern Echo