Friday 1 March 2024

Deadline - Bill Knox forward by J.D. Kirk - Thane and Moss Book 1

Thane and Moss Book 1
Bill Knox
J.D. Kirk (Forward)
ISBN 9781912767793

Deadline - Bill Knox  forward by J.D. Kirk - Thane and Moss Book 1

I picked this up because J.D Kirk was plugging it. I became even more interested in reading the book and series after reading the forward by Kirk. I highlighted a few passages in Kirk’s introductory note, they are:

“I had been expertly drawn into the world that Bill had created, and was right there alongside detectives Thane and Moss as they carried out their investigations. I had identified with the detectives right away–the imposing Chief Inspector Colin Thane, with his no-nonsense attitude and dogged determination, and his trusty Inspector, Phil Moss, whose loyalty to his friend was second only to his worries about his grumbling ulcer. They immediately felt like real people. More than that, they felt like real Scottish men, whose evident care for one another was masked beneath gruff exchanges and barbed banter.”

“Yes, some of the terminology was different, and there was a lot less swearing in Bill’s book, but down below the surface, down where it mattered, we were both writing about good but complicated men doing their best to bring killers to justice.”

“Aside from the slight change to the title, and a few ten-thousand-word chapters being broken into shorter segments, the book you are about to read is the same one first published in 1957.”

The fact that Kirk though these books were good enough to spend some time and effort tracking down the rights and bringing them back into print indicates the quality of the writing and the power of the stories. This novel was originally published as Deadline for a Dream and was also previously published as In at the Kill. The description of the new edition is:

“There are two sides to every story.

Revisit the mean streets and smoke-filled back-alleyways of 1950s Glasgow in this thrilling reissue of New York Times Bestselling author Bill Knox's first Thane & Moss novel.

A classic from one of the godfathers of Tartan Noir, this edge-of-your-seat thriller tells a tense tale of a crime reporter turned criminal. Armed with a gun, driven by desperation, and possessing insider knowledge of a potential big score, he daringly executes a factory payroll hold-up.

And that’s when his whole world begins to fall apart.

Detectives Thane and Moss embark on a manhunt, and a gripping game of cat and mouse unfolds in a dual narrative that plunges readers into the heart of a bygone era in Scottish crime, with every twist leading the detectives towards a pulse-pounding showdown with a criminal who has nothing left to lose.

Rediscover a pivotal piece of Tartan Noir history and experience the raw reality of a crime gone wrong in this thrilling reissue of the first Thane & Moss novel, originally published as 'Deadline for a Dream'. Includes an all-new foreword by multi-million selling Scottish crime fiction author, JD Kirk.”

So it was with great interest that I dove into this story after reading all of Kirk’s Scottish crime novels that are available to date; and having read Alex Smith’s DCI Kett novels and J.E. Mayhew’s DCI Will Blake Series. It was fascinating to read this story set nearly a hundred years earlier. It was intriguing reading a story before cell phones, and technology that so many modern crime books and shows rely on. But back to the work at hand.

I really enjoyed the characters of Thane and Moss. They are very reminiscent of DCI Logan and DI Ben Forde. The language is not as extreme as in Kirk’s books. But the team, and working to solve the case, especially after the loss on one of their own is a well written story. The characters are fascinating. And while reading it, it is like being transported back in time. The story moves at a brisk pace. And the small details and clues that are worked on open up the case. 

The story leaves you wanting more. Kirk has already announced a date for book 2. And I sincerely home he sees this series and maybe other series by Know through to publication. Reading this was in some was like watching Mike Hammer with my dad, or reading his old Ian Fleming or Robert B. Parker books. I have already recommended it to my dad, my manager at work and a few friends. I can easily recommend this story for fans of crime fiction, historical fiction or to be honest anyone who loves a good story. But be warned it leaves you wanting more.

Books by Bill Knox:
Thane and Moss:
  aka In at the Kill
2 Death Department (1959)
3 Leave It to the Hangman (1960)
4 Little Drops of Blood (1962)
5 Sanctuary Isle (1962)
  aka The Gray Sentinels
6 The Man in the Bottle (1963)
7 The Taste of Proof (1965)
8 The Deep Fall (1966)
  aka The Ghost Car
9 Justice On the Rocks (1967)
10 The Tallyman (1969)
11 Children of the Mist (1970)
  aka Who Shot the Bull?
12 To Kill a Witch (1971)
13 Penalty Shootout (1973)
  aka Draw Batons
14 Children of the Water (1974)
15 Rally to Kill (1975)
16 Pilot Error (1977)
17 Live Bait (1978)
18 A Killing in Antiques (1981)
19 The Hanging Tree (1983)
20 The Crossfire Killings (1986)
21 The Interface Man (1989)
22 The Counterfeit Killers (1996)
23 Blood Proof (1997)
24 Death Bytes (1998)
25 The Lazarus Widow (1999)

Webb Carrick Series:
1. The Scavengers (1964)
2. Devilweed (1966)
3. Blacklight (1967)
4. The Klondyker (1968)
  aka A Figurehead
5. Blueback (1969)
6. Seafire (1970)
7. Stormtide (1972)
8. Whitewater (1974)
9. Hellspout (1976)
10. Witchrock (1977)
11. Bombship (1980)
12. Bloodtide (1982)
13. Wavecrest (1985)
14. Dead Man's Mooring (1987)
15. The Drowning Nets (1991)
Talos Cord Series (as by Robert MacLeod)
Cave of Bats (1964)
Lake of Fury (1966)
  aka The Iron Sanctuary
Isle of Dragons (1967)
Place of Mists (1969)
Path of Ghosts (1971)
Nest of Vultures (1972)

Jonathan Gaunt Series: (as by Robert MacLeod)
1. A Property in Cyprus (1970)
  aka A Flickering Death
2. A Killing in Malta (1972)
3. A Burial in Portugal (1973)
4. A Witchdance in Bavaria (1975)
5. A Pay-off in Switzerland (1977)
6. An Incident in Iceland (1979)
7. A Problem in Prague (1981)
8. Mayday from Malaga (1983)
9. A Legacy from Tenerife (1984)
10. The Money Mountain (1987)
  aka A Flight from Paris
11. The Spanish Maze Game (1990)
Andrew Laird Series (as by Robert MacLeod)
All Other Perils (1974)
Dragonship (1976)
Salvage Job (1978)
Cargo Risk (1980)
Witchline (1980)
The Cockatoo Crime (1958)
Death calls the shots (1961)
Die for Big Betsy (1961)
Court of murder: Famous trials at Glasgow High Court (1968)
The View from Daniel Pike (1974) (with Edward Boyd)
Storyland Wall Frieze (1981)
Country Club Wives (1997)
A Cut in Diamonds (1997)
Drum of Power (1998)

Deadline - Bill Knox  forward by J.D. Kirk - Thane and Moss Book 1

Department of Death - Bill Knox  forward by J.D. Kirk - Thane and Moss Book 2

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