Bitter Water (Douglas Brodie 2) by Gordon Ferris

Bitter WaterMurderin’ bampots…

😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

This is the second in Ferris’ Douglas Brodie series which started as a Kindle sensation with The Hanging Shed. Tartan Noir at its finest, putting Brodie’s Glasgow right up beside Rebus’ Edinburgh.

Brodie is now working as a crime journalist in Glasgow when a spate of vigilante attacks hits the city. At the same time, his colleague, senior reporter Wullie McAllister is covering the murder of a councillor and suspects corruption at the heart of Glasgow Corporation. Brodie’s relationship with Sam Campbell is still on-off as she struggles to get over the after-effects of their last adventure.

Gordon Ferris
Gordon Ferris

Ferris doesn’t stint on violence and gore as the attacks and murders mount up and in true thriller style the climax is explosive. But along the way we are treated to some great humour, much of it very black. However the thing that makes these books really stand out is Ferris’ descriptions of post-war Glasgow (Brodie has only recently returned to Glasgow after serving as a major in the Second World War) and his completely authentic use of Glasgow slang. No psychopathic killers here – these men are murderin’ bampots. I’m not old enough to remember Glasgow in the forties, but the language and attitudes of the characters chime in with my own memories of how people of my parents’ generation talked and felt.

Horseshoe Bar, Glasgow
Horseshoe Bar, Glasgow

The locations are so accurately described they whisk me back in time, though some of the places still exist today. The Horseshoe Bar, for instance, is still a thriving institution. Ferris writes so well that you never get the impression he’s researched the period – you feel certain he must actually have lived in it.

In my view, Ferris is the most exciting new Scottish crime writer on the scene and in Brodie he has developed an attractive, compelling lead character whose second outing is even better than the first. Highly recommended.

Amazon UK Link
Amazon US Link

8 thoughts on “Bitter Water (Douglas Brodie 2) by Gordon Ferris

  1. Just finished The Hanging Shed, and am about to start this one. What a good book – and a special mention for Townhead library, where I spent some of the happiest hours of my childhood. Only one mild gripe – why Samantha? – NOBODY was called Samantha in Glasgow when I was young, and I doubt if anybody was as early as this! 🙂

    • Glad you enjoyed it! And they get better as they go along. I loved all the Glasgow stuff – not so much before my time to stop it from all feeling very familiar and the dialect is brilliant. I suppose it was to show that Samantha was from a different class – all those posh folk and their fancy names! I think you’ll enjoy Bitter Water, and I’m sure you’ll find Pilgrim Soul as powerful as I did… 😀

      • Just finished Bitter Water – excellent! Starting Pilgrim Soul tomorrow – don’t know why I took so long to read these.

        • You might…might…want to read his other series before you read Pilgrim Soul. The ones with Danny McRae in them – Truth, Dare, Kill and An Unquiet Heart. They’re not quite as good as the Brodie ones, but Danny shows up as a major character in Pilgrim Soul. It’s not essential to have read them though if you just want to crack on with the Brodie ones.

            • Goodness, slow down! You’ll run out of books at this rate! Glad you loved it though – I think it’s the book that really makes the whole series something special. Only one left…

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