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Publisher's Summary

It is 1969 and Glasgow is in the grip of the worst winter in decades, yet it is something else that has Glaswegians on edge: a serial killer whose name alone is enough to make them tremble with fear. The Quaker has killed another victim, snatching a young woman from a nightclub and dumping her body like trash in the back of a cold-water tenement. He leaves no clues, and the investigation has led police down one blind alley after another. 

DI McCormack has few friends in his adopted city and a lot to prove. A talented young detective from the Highlands, an outsider with troubling secrets of his own, Duncan McCormick is brought into the investigation to identify where, exactly, it's gone wrong. His arrival is met with anger and distrust by cops who are desperate to nail a suspect. When they identify a petty thief as the man seen leaving the building where the Quaker's last victim was found, they decide they've found their serial killer. But McCormack isn't convinced. 

From ruined backstreets, to deserted public parks, and down into the dark heart of Glasgow, McCormack follows a trail of secrets that will change the city - and his life - forever.

©2018 Liam McIlvanney (P)2019 HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books

What listeners say about The Quaker

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A Great Listen!

Ive been listening to some blah books in this genre, so am very enthused that this was such fun. The plot was more complex than most, so that was refreshing. The narrator is my favorite on Audible so far. There wasnt any/much of the filler that annoys me the most in books about crime, so I was never tempted to fast forward. Will definitely try some more of this author, if available, and if not will find his books elsewhere. Edit: just listened to this a second time. The narrator is so great to listen to that I think I re-listened to this book just to hear his lovely Scottish accented voice again.

8 people found this helpful

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Highly recommended!

DI Duncan McCormack is assigned to review the unsuccessful fifteen-month investigation into a serial killer known as The Quaker terrorizing Glasgow in the late 1960's. He's an outsider in more ways than one, a Highlander in the city, a cop from the another squad, resented by the other detectives. His dilemma is to play politics or seek justice for the murdered women and stop the carnage.

From the first page, the reader knows s/he is in the hands of a master storyteller. The story moves along at a steady pace, is filled with distinctive characters, and details so specific, you feel as if you are inside the story.

The audible is a particularly good performance. Highly recommended.

8 people found this helpful

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A deeply satisfying novel

I have not enjoyed a book so much in a while. The protagonist is a real good guy, and his intelligence and integrity are presented in a perfectly paced narrative that ends in a most satisfying way. I very much look forward to the next novel about McCormack. Write fast, Mr. King!

5 people found this helpful

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4

This is good murder in Scotland, a favorite genre of mine right now. Police Procedural from the 60s -- Good. PO- liss,
Scottish for police, lots of infighting .... not of interest to me
but others may enjoy department politics. I had minor difficulty
understanding some English with Scottish accent. I had major probs keeping so many names
straight- so many "mac....."s that I
lost track of who said what. I'm still not sure who went to prison
:-) Audible needs to add some more of author's books.

5 people found this helpful

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  • S.
  • 09-11-20

C+

I bought this book because of Angus King - who is fantastic - but even he couldn't save this book. I agree with some reviews that it needlessly jumps around too much - a complication that doesn't add to the story. But 11 hours of Angus King is a treat - I could listen to him read the phone book.

4 people found this helpful

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What an Annoying Book

Interesting premise; terrible execution.

I loved the idea of a story based on the unsolved case of Bible John, which is just creepy. I loved the idea of the 1960s setting. I loved the idea of the main character detective. That is why I slogged through as much as I did, before I just had to give up. Where to begin:

--The writing could be OK, but it plunges into horrible. So much of it is just stupid, tedious filler. Constant descriptions of shrugs, sighs, scratches, throat clearing, can opening, elbows on table, lighting up a cig. Always a sign of a bad writer.
--The promising main character never coheres into a fully realized person.
--The main narrative is broken up with a second story which is so boring and tedious. Back and forth you flip not knowing why. Also a sign of a bad writer.
--You never get a sense this is actually the 1960s. If you're going to do a historical thriller then do some research.

Also: the narrator is fine with exposition, but his voices are absolutely horrible!

2 people found this helpful

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Accents

The Scottish was hard to understand, especially the colloquial expressions. The historical aspect was interesting.

2 people found this helpful

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Difficult But Interesting Plot

First time read, main character lacked depth, minor characters were boorish and ‘wee’ was the only word I recognized at times. Might try another but...

2 people found this helpful

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Sublime Tartan Noir

I had a hard copy of the book, but I like to read long passages of accented English in my best impersonation of that regional dialect. (Reading Shakespeare aloud was my entry into this particular fancy.) But I couldnae do a respectable Scottish brogue...and I bored myself (and had to look up a load of Scottishisms to boot. Raise your hand if you know what a teuchter is...) So I got this audiobook with the astonishing Angus King as voice-actor and narrator. The great murder mystery Liam McIlvanney has written so colorfully (with, okay, a lot of dreary greys and blacks) is enhanced by King's flawless narration, which walked me, book in hand, through a deeply plotted, slowly unfolding sequence of serial murders and relatrd dark occurances (said to be based on a true-crime story also set in noir Glasgow c. 1969). I haven't read many straight up mystery-thrillers in recent years and won't read any at all except on high recommendation from reliable authorities. I had the recommendation, and from someone who knows my literary DNA. This more than a bit literary novel is special--ingeneous and beautifully written--and Detective Inspector Duncan McCormack a finely detailed and realized character. A good Teuchter. Looking forward to more from Liam McIlvanney. And Angus King...perhaps Rob Roy?

2 people found this helpful

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Scottish noir at its best

Terrific serial killer procedural. It was nearly put off early on with the hackneyed theme of a detective thwarted by the bumbling co-workers and departmental politics, but my perseverance paid off. The narrator was excellent, although some of the Scottish brogue required a bit of rewinding . I'm looking forward to a sequel.

2 people found this helpful