by Callum McSorley
Publication date: February 16, 2023
It’s my stop on the “Squeaky Clean” blog tour! Thanks very much to Pushkin Press who have kindly provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
The author, Callum McSorley, graduated from the University of Strathclyde in 2013 and in 2014 was selected for the Hermann Kesten Writing Scholarship in Nuremberg. Since then, his short stories have appears in Gutter Magazine, Monstrous Regiment, and New Writing Scotland. Squeaky Clean is his debut novel.
If you’d like to learn more about this book, check out the other blogs on the tour and see what people have to say on Goodreads. If this sounds like your kind of thing, you’ll find the book on audiobook, hardback & Kindle on Amazon UK and I’m sure in all good book shops!
Half the Glasgow polis think DI Alison McCoist is bent. The other half just think she’s a fuck-up.
No one thinks very much at all about carwash employee Davey Burnet, until one day he takes the wrong customer’s motor for a ride.
One kidnapping later, he and the carwash are officially part of Glasgow’s criminal underworld, working for a psychopath who enjoys playing games like ‘Keep Yer Kneecaps’ with any poor bastard who crosses him.
Can Davey escape from the gang’s clutches with his kneecaps and life intact? Perhaps this polis Ally McCoist who keeps nosing around the carwash could help. That’s if she doesn’t get herself killed first.
More information: Goodreads
“A manic tale of blood and suds told with laconic humour and warmly engaging characterisation. Callum McSorley is definitely a talent to watch. I knew within a page that I was in good hands.”Chris Brookmyre
I love a fast paced thriller, so I was so pleased to find myself immersed in “Squeaky Clean” as soon as it started and I binged a good number of chapters in one sitting. Set in Glasgow, this is a gritty thriller following DI Alison McCoist as she investigates (as messes up) a murder case.
The tone of the story is dark and quite frightening at times, but I loved that there were also comedic elements in this story, which I find quite rare in this genre, with stories often being super serious. All of the staff at the car wash are a loveable group, dodging the law but in a somehow charming way. Characters Paulo and Davey had some great interactions and I really enjoyed the two of them… surprising really, as I can’t say I’d ever have thought I’d use the word ‘enjoy’ to describe a story about Glasgow’s criminal underworld!
I have to say that I found it a little hard going at times, as the characters speech is written phonetically in a Scottish accent which meant I had to read each word slowly to work out what they were trying to say, sometimes I had to go back and read a few lines again once I’d worked out what each word meant. If you’re Scottish yourself, or know a lot of Scots and are familiar with the accent, you’ll probably speed through with ease, but being from down south means my accent is quite a lot different from the characters you’ll meet in this book! Thinking about it now, I imagine the audiobook of this is absolutely fantastic!
This was a great read and I was on the edge of my seat in all of the right places. There is violence, brutality and tragedy, ticking all of the boxes for a fantastic thriller, but there is also some fun and I think this makes the book really unique and I’d certainly recommend it. I’ve heard that this is going to be the first in a series, so it sounds like there’s more to come from this debut author!
Overall rating: “Squeaky Clean” by Callum McSorley is a gritty, fast paced thriller that’ll keep you gripped but it’s full of comedic moments too, making for a really unique read – 4 stars!
Don’t forget to check out the reviews of other blogs on the tour and if this sounds like your kind of book, support the author by picking up a copy!
One thought on “Blog Tour: Squeaky Clean by Callum McSorley”
[…] Stop Fifteen: Review from What Rebecca’s Read (@rebeccasread). “The tone of the story is dark and quite frightening at times, but I loved that there were also comedic elements in this story, which I find quite rare in this genre, with stories often being super serious.” […]