The Long Midnight of Barney Thomson: Douglas Lindsay


Barney has never had the knack of talking drivel to complete strangers, and it irks him. Certainly, he can talk about the weather with the best of them, but when it comes to uncompromising, asinine bollocks, he just doesn’t have it…Barney Thomson’s success as a barber is limited. It’s not just that he’s crap at cutting hair (and he is); it’s because he has not blather. He hates football for one thing. He hates most people. He hates his colleagues most of all, and the glib confidence with which they can discuss Florence Nightingale’s sexuality or the ongoing plight of Partick Thistle. But a serial killer is spreading terror throughout the city. The police are baffled. And for one sad little Glasgow barber, life is about to get seriously strange…

‘Gleefully Macabre,’ what a brilliant way to review a book and it was that quote that made me pick up this book and give it a read. And is it worth it? YES. I read this in one sitting, absolutely loved it and couldn’t put it down! So grab a copy and settle down to this thriller of a book!

A serial killer is lose in Glasgow; not only do they kill their victims but they then post a body part through the post to the victim’s relatives. The case has the police stumped with no leads. Whilst this is occurring, Barney Thomson is resentfully cutting hair in the local barbershop. He is vexed at his colleague’s lack of support, as he grudgingly cuts hair in the chair furthest from the window. Many of the customers that come into the shop would rather wait to have their haircut than be seen by Barney and he is seriously hurt. To make matters worse Barney’s wife is a soap addict that barely remembers that he exists and his mother is losing her hold on the world, and becoming more and more unstable. Barney fantasises about how much he would like to kill Henderson (his colleague) and rightfully reclaim his seat by the window. But what of the Glasgow serial killer? Could Barney Thomson, the gentle and dull barber really pull off a murder?

The writing is full of black humour and stinks of macabre and chilling thoughts. The story is simple and keeps a strong pace, which means the story doesn’t lack impact or dwindle at any point. The story is not particularly complicated and it has a number of strong twists that leave the reader in a dither. The dialogue of the barbers chatting is witty and brilliantly written like a running commentary much like you would find in a regular barbers. I also laughed a number of times through the book, which doesn’t happen to often. The characters were well written and were gleefully dark and salacious at times, which made the plot line even more exciting. I honestly can’t describe how brilliant the writing style is! It’s hilarious but ghastly and so well written! Overall, this is a brilliant read! I am about to start reading the next in the series so stay tuned to read my review of the other books in the series! (Also, looks like this is going to be made into a film! So get on it!)

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