The Necessary Death of Lewis Winter
Author: Malcolm Mackay
Narrated by: Angus King
Run time: 8 Hrs and 12 mins
Unabridged – released on audiobook 06/06/2013
What the blurb says: “An arresting, gripping novel of dark relationships and even darker moralities: introducing a remarkable new voice in crime fiction.
A 29-year-old man lives alone in his Glasgow flat. The telephone rings; a casual conversation, but behind this a job offer. The clues are there if you know to look for them. He is an expert. A loner. Freelance. Another job is another job, but what if this organisation wants more? A meeting at a club. An offer. A brief. A target: Lewis Winter. It’s hard to kill a man well. People who do it well know this. People who do it badly find out the hard way. The hard way has consequences.”
Ok – full disclosure – when I started this audiobook, I just didn’t like it at all! The style felt like head-hopping and when other reviewers said it was ‘different’ they weren’t kidding. BUT, boy am I glad I stuck with it. This debut novel by Malcolm Mackay follows a young freelance gunman as he is drawn deeper into working for a gangland organisation. The novel is written in a way that zooms out from the actions and dialogue and takes you into the mind and thought processes of the characters – I think, dredging up memories of my MA, that it actually verges on meta-fiction in parts.
Callum is a freelance gunman and is asked by Peter Jameson, the head of an ambitious criminal gang, to kill Lewis Winter; the man’s death is necessary. We follow Callum on the job, see him prepare and watch him interact with the characters that will assist him to complete the job, and those that will hunt him afterwards.
This novel is really well written. Any misgivings that I had in the beginning were only due to the fact that this is a genuinely different type of novel to those I normally read (or listen to). Mackay openly discusses the thought processes of the characters and this draws you into them even more as the story goes on. At a little over 8 hours, the length was good, although, as is often the case, I would have happily listened for longer. Angus King is a solid narrator.
I have already bought the next audiobook in the series, ‘How a Gunman says Goodbye,’ and that alone is testament to just how good this book is.
[AudioBook Addict bought his own copy of The Necessary Death of Lewis Winter]