How A Guman Says Goodbye is a very different crime novel. Malcolm Mackay delivers a procedural from the criminal point of view and does so through the story of sixty-something hitman Frank MacLeod. It makes for a very interesting read.
Frank MacLeod has been the hitman for Glasgow crime boss Peter Jamieson for more years than he can remember. He is back from Spain where he recovered from hip surgery at Jamieson's villa. Jamieson needs a small-time dealer taken care of and Frank is the designated hitter.
Things do not quite go as planned and Jamieson has to send his back-up gunman to get Frank out of trouble. This very much weakens MacLeod's position in the organization. How a Gunman Says Goodbye is about what happens when a hitman is due to retire.
Malcolm Mackay knows how to tell a good story and create interesting and very believable characters. He also presents the point of view of various characters, covering the story from many different angles.
This novel is the second in Mackay's Glasgow Trilogy. You do not have to be familiar with the first novel, The Necessary Death of Lewis Winter, to appreciate this one. There are references to events in the first book but not in a way that gives the reader the impression important information is missing.
A welcome touch to How a Gunman Says Goodbye is the character list at the end of the book. It allows a reader unfamiliar with the first book in the trilogy to quickly figure out who's who.