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Published by Canongate today in hardback and ebook, Alan Parks’ debut is Tartan Noir at its best. BLOODY JANUARY is the first in a new crime series set in 1970s Glasgow, revealing the dark underbelly of the city and the people who control it. Fans of Ian Rankin, Louise Welsh and William McIlvanney will be riveted by this gritty crime novel and its hard-edged detective.

When a teenage boy shoots a young woman dead in the middle of a busy Glasgow street and then commits suicide, Detective Harry McCoy is sure of one thing. It wasn’t a random act of violence.

With his new partner in tow, McCoy uses his underworld network to lead the investigation but soon runs up against a secret society led by Glasgow’s wealthiest family, the Dunlops.

McCoy’s boss doesn’t want him to investigate. The Dunlops seem untouchable. But McCoy has other ideas …

In the lead up to its publication, an extraordinary amount of praise has flooded in for BLOODY JANUARY from the likes of Ian Rankin, Peter May, Louise Welsh, Alex Gray and many more. Lesley Kelly (author of THE HEALTH OF STRANGERS) pronounced it as ‘a deliciously dark read’ and Ian Rankin described it as ‘an old-school cop novel written with wit and economy . . . Think McIlvanney or Get Carter.’

After a packed out event at Edinburgh literary festival, Alan was featured in a Bookseller double-page interview, with BLOODY JANUARY a pick of the month for the December Fiction preview. The novel also featured on Netgalley’s Cream of Crime newsletter, and Pigeonhole began to serialise the book in the two weeks leading to its official release.

There will be more appearances from Alan in 2018, with panels booked for several writing festivals, a Glasgow book launch, and several national radio interviews planned.

The excitement surrounding this phenomenal debut has led to deals with Euromedia in Czech, Ikar in Slovakia and Nemesis in Turkey. In the US, Europa Editions will publish BLOODY JANUARY as a lead title for their crime-list relaunch.

Alan was born in Scotland and attended The University of Glasgow where he was awarded a M.A. in Moral Philosophy. He still lives and works in the city as well as spending time in London.

Follow Alan on Twitter



An old-school cop novel written with wit and economy… Think McIlvanney or Get Carter’ – Ian Rankin

‘Vivid and evocative. 1970s Glasgow hewn from flesh and drawn in blood.’ – Peter May

Bloody and brilliant. This smasher from Alan Parks is a reminder of how dark Glasgow used to be’ – Louise Welsh

‘BLOODY JANUARY firmly sets Alan Parks in the same league as
Ian Rankin and Louise Welsh’ – Sarah Pinborough

‘A brilliant debut. Taut, violent and as close as you'll get to 1970s Glasgow without a TARDIS. Parks is a natural successor to William McIIvanney’ – John Niven

‘A deliciously dark read. One to be read with the lights on and the doors locked, this book is a must-have for lovers of McIlvanney and all things noir’ – Lesley Kelly

‘An authentic freefall through Glasgow’s criminal underworld from a great, intriguing new Scottish voice’ – Jenni Fagan

‘BLOODY JANUARY is seriously good’ – Alex Gray

‘So well written I couldn’t believe it was a debut’ – Russel McLean

‘A gripping and well crafted debut’ – Quintin Jardine

Debut 'moral thriller' BLOODY JANUARY to Canongate at auction...and more!

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Alan Parks' phenomenal debut, BLOODY JANUARY, which Francis Bickmore at Canongate won at auction (from agent Tom Witcomb), swept up a host of fantastic rights deals at London Book Fair 2017. Michael Reynolds at Europa will publish in the US as a lead title for their crime-list relaunch.  

There has also been an auction for Czech rights (Euromedia), with Slovak (Ikar) & Turkish (Nemesis) rights sold. Payot Rivages pre-empted for French rights before the fair. And after a very positive fair – more to come!

Described as a ‘moral thriller’, the first in a new crime series set in Glasgow is Tartan Noir at its best, for fans of Ian Rankin, Louise Welsh, and William McIlvanney’s LAIDLAW trilogy. John Niven, author of KILL YOUR FRIENDS, described the book as: ‘A brilliant debut. Taut, violent and as close as you'll get to 1970s Glasgow without a Tardis. Parks is a natural successor to William McIIvanney.’

18-year-old Tommy Malone shoots a young woman dead on a busy Glasgow street, and then commits suicide, hard-drinking, salt-of-the-earth cop, Harry McCoy knows it can’t be a random act of violence. With a new partner in tow, McCoy uses his underworld network to build a picture of a secret society run by Glasgow’s wealthiest family. The son, Teddy, drugged young Tommy, and convinced him it was his God-given task to kill the woman. Drugs, sex, incest; every nefarious predilection is catered for, at the expense of the lower echelon of society, an underclass that includes McCoy’s best friend — drug-Tsar Stevie Cooper — and his on-off girlfriend, a prostitute, Janey. But with McCoy’s boss, Murray, calling off the hounds, and Murray’s boss threatening to scupper the entire investigation, the Dunlops are apparently untouchable. McCoy has other ideas.