The Rotunda Switch
With only a week to go until the launch of Kim Sui’s International Scottish Fashion Week in Glasgow’s Albany Hotel, excitement is growing as the world’s media and famous designers descend on the city from all over the globe.
As the supermodels fly into Glasgow’s International Airport, it is not only the media that is watching their arrival with keen interest though.
Under the radar, The Big Man, Pat Molloy, is playing a dangerous game of cat-and-mouse, as 2 strangers, representing South London’s notorious Doublejoy Brothers, slip in to the city to meet up with The Black Pearl, one of the fashion world’s top models.
Elsewhere, The Mankys are busy in the background, planning to thwart The Big Man’s Party, while preparing for the biggest pay-day of their criminal career, so far.
However, when news reaches The Mankys that a mysterious Frenchman has sneaked into town, Tony Gucci has to decide whether to abandon their original plan or change direction in order to meet the new threat head-on.
Elsewhere in the city, WPC Louise Sinclair is trying to find out what has become of Glasgow’s celebrated young journalist, Pearl Campbell, who suddenly disappeared on a blustery Tuesday night from the Central Hotel in the city centre.
The Rotunda Switch is a fast-moving violent journey into the bowels of one of the most violent cities in Europe. Whilst not for the faint-hearted, book 13 in The Glasgow Chronicles series is interspersed with the filthiest dark humour that readers of the series have come to expect from one of Glasgow’s much-read and favourite authors.
The Black Pearl
On the first of February, 1978, Glasgow city councillor Brian McCann has just finished chairing a licensing committee meeting in the City Chambers, when a shot rings out on George Square and the sixty-six year old elected member for Possil falls to the ground, fatally wounded at point blank range.
Elsewhere in the mankiest city of the empire, things are starting to look up for The Mankys, one of Glasgow’s up-and-coming young organised criminal gangs. The dark days of keeping their heads down, following the unexpected return to the city of Pat Molloy, The Big Man, from Spain, two years previously, appears to have passed and the fruits of their labours continue to pour into Donna The Prima Donna’s illegal company coffers like never before.
Meanwhile, Tony Gucci’s wife, Kim Sui Zhang, with the rest of the lassies, aka The Posse, have been busy planning the first ever International Scottish Fashion Week. After two years of hard graft, hosting the world’s top fashion glitterati in two of the city’s swankiest hotels, The Albany and The Stilton Hotels, is now within their sights.
Life appears to be rosy for Tony Gucci, who has plans that will make The Mankys richer beyond their wildest dreams. However, an unexpected drug bust of one of their key dealers in Springburn, forces The Mankys to take their eye off the ball and to concentrate their energies across on the Red Road, where they believe a ferret is hiding, who could bring all that they’ve worked for down around their ears.
Ian Todd’s The Black Pearl, is the 12th book in The Glasgow Chronicles series of novels that follow in the footsteps of Tony Gucci and The Mankys from the mid 1960s to the late 1970s.
Often described in Amazon reviews as “The best and most authentic street-crime novels to have come out of Glasgow,” The Black Pearl is full of the dodgiest and craziest characters ever to stagger across the pages of a master storyteller.
A young couple escape Glasgow to start a new life on a remote croft in beautiful North West Sutherland in the Scottish Highlands. One is a district nurse and the other a budding author, attempting to reinvent themselves amongst the stunning scenery of Achmelvich Beach and Vestey’s Bay.
In their wake, the police in the second city of the empire are still trying to come to terms with the carnage of gangland violence that suddenly spiralled out of control after two of Glasgow’s most notorious gangsters were assassinated eating breakfast in one of the city’s cafes.
Whilst the couple settle into their idyllic paradise, it’s not long before strange, unexplained events start to occur that leads Johnboy Taylor to suspect that they may be being targeted.
Everything seemed to be going to plan, until a strange bird of omen appears out of nowhere and takes up residence on their shed roof. Senga Jackson believes that it’s the same bird that has been following her around the remote district as she attends to her patients.
Whilst Johnboy suspects he has the answer to the bird’s sudden appearance, life at Little Vestey’s Croft starts to become complicated and relations strained, as the impending showdown between two unholy factions looms, threatening a love that has endured many turbulent trials and tribulations in the past.
With only a month to go before two of the most controversial murder trials in living memory begin at Glasgow’s grim High Court, down in the Saltmarket, Wan-bob Broon continues to spin his dangerous spider’s web across the city from his cell in Barlinnie Prison, in an attempt to influence and control the verdicts.
The question on the lips of those in the know is whether Wan-bob Broon is the only shark that’s entered the murky waters amongst the shadows of the River Clyde, which snakes its way between the territories of two of Glasgow’s most feared organised gangs.
As chaos reigns within the city’s police force and revelations explode from the typewriter of Glasgow’s newest award-winning young journalist, Pearl Campbell, the race is on between the underworld, the police and the procurator fiscal’s service, to see who can control and influence her for their own ends.
Meanwhile, The Mankys, one of the up-and-coming wee criminal teams in the toon, are desperately searching to find a way of keeping their heads down and intact, whilst they plan a comeback on those responsible for wiping out two of their members. However, like everything else in the mankiest city of the empire, things don’t always work out the way they want them to.
If dodgy crackpot characters and the art of the double cross are up your street, then Ian Todd’s new street thriller, Kingston Bridge, is sure to whet your appetite and more.
Two gangsters and three police officers appear in court and are placed on remand to Glasgow’s grim Barlinnie Prison for one hundred and twelve days. All have been charged with various crimes, including corruption and murder.
It isn’t long before well-known gangsters start to turn up dead, whilst others suddenly disappear into thin air.
Elsewhere in the city, off the radar, an off-duty police inspector has been charged with the suspicious death of his wife, in what the authorities believe is just another domestic dispute that took a tragic turn. But was it murder?
Meanwhile, a small group of senior police officers have been meeting to prevent developments spiralling out of control, whilst they try to figure out exactly what’s going on.
Across the city, those in the know, including The Mankys, are either running for cover or sitting waiting, deciding if the time is right to make a move.
Ian Todd’s latest novel, One Hundred And Twelve Days, is a gritty crime thriller, set in Glasgow in 1975 and follows on from his previous eight books in The Glasgow Chronicle series, in this violent, dark tale of power and corruption, on the streets of the mankiest city of the empire.
It is 1975 and Elvis Presley, head of Glasgow Corporation’s sanitation food inspectors for the north of the city, is busy preparing for the Scottish final of the ‘Elvis Is The Main Man Event’ at The Plaza Ballroom at Eglinton Toll.
When Elvis is not dreaming of stardom, he and his unlikely new partner, WPC Collette James, are hot on the trail of Black Pat McVeigh, the Mr Big of the city’s black meat trade, who is based up in Possilpark in the north of the city.
Pushing Elvis to do something about the plight of her constituents, who are being poisoned left, right and centre by one of the city’s most notorious ‘black butcher’ gangs, is Corporation Councillor for Springburn, Barbara Allan.
Unbeknown to the authorities, Barbara Allan is also the mysterious and elusive ‘Purple Dove,’ leader of a secretive underground group of women in the city, who call themselves ‘The Showgirls.’
Whilst struggling to bring the city’s diverse women’s groups together to stand as one, the campaign of taking direct action by The Showgirls continues to publicly ‘out’ senior male managers in businesses, hospitals and The Corporation who sexually harass female employees, by daubing graffiti and photographs of the guilty up on to the advertisement billboards that are scattered across the city.
Meanwhile, the close friends and supporters of Helen Taylor, having set up their own catering business for funerals and weddings, soon fall foul of Elvis The Sani Man and the law, when over a hundred guests fall ill after being served up Springburn’s Larder’s exotic menu.
Never far away from this mental mix, The Mankys, one of Glasgow’s young up-and-coming ‘organised’ gangs, continue on their merry way of mixing business and pleasure, whilst bank-rolling the campaign group that will hopefully lead to one of their members, Johnboy Taylor, having his wrongful conviction of shooting two police officers during a bank robbery in Maryhill back in November 1972 overturned.
Elvis – The Sani Man, is a dark, dangerous and often violent journey through the murky streets of Glasgow and is interspersed with black humour, whilst introducing the reader to Glasgow’s illicit underworld of back-street meat traders in the mid-nineteen-seventies.
Ian Todd once again reacquaints the reader with some familiar faces from previous Glasgow Chronicle books, whilst introducing a whole new batch of the craziest and wackiest characters that were ever launched out of the Rottenrow delivery room back in the day.
The Silver Arrow is Ian Todd’s 7th book and continues on from Dumfries in The Glasgow Chronicles series of books.
Whilst the residents of 1970s Glasgow are captivated by the antics of a mystery driver, who they’ve nicknamed The Silver Arrow, being pursued by police along Great Western Road in his 1930s sports car in the dead of night at weekends, a far more dangerous game of cat-and-mouse is being played out on the streets, below the radar of both the local police and Wan-bob Broon, Glasgow’s number one gangster.
After visiting Johnboy Taylor, Scotland’s longest-serving young offender, in Dumfries Young Offenders Institution, Nurse Senga Jackson heads back to Glasgow, unaware of the mortal danger that she and her flatmate, Lizzie Mathieson are in after Lizzie unwittingly overhears the deathbed confession of a dying gangster to Inspector Paddy ‘The Stalker’ McPhee, who has threatened to expose the sordid sex-life of the doctor on duty, in order to access the intensive care unit of Stobhill General Hospital in the middle of the night.
With half of The Mankys, Glasgow’s most up and coming young criminal gang, serving time in Dumfries, including their charismatic leader, Tony Gucci, responsibility for the safety of Senga Jackson and her flatmate is placed in the hands of nineteen-year-old Simon Epstein, a young entrepreneur from Springburn, who operates Carpet Capers Warehouse in the Cowcaddens district of the city.
Despite the odds being stacked against The Mankys and the two young nurses, Simon joins up with one of Glasgow’s top criminal legal teams in the battle to secure the evidence that could prove that Johnboy Taylor is innocent of shooting two police officers in a bank robbery in Maryhill. At the same time, Simon continues to duck and dive behind the neon lights of the dirty city, in a desperate attempt to keep the two girls alive.
The Silver Arrow is an often-violent thriller, though not without humour, with a high-speed plot that takes more twists, turns and risks than a speeding classic racing car in the night, consistently out-witting and out-manoeuvring its pursuers. The key question being debated amongst The Mankys incarcerated in Dumfries YOI is whether Simon Epstein can keep in pole-position until Tony Gucci can join him in the race against time, even though he doesn’t know who will strike when, where or at whom.
It is January 1973 and the winds of discontent are picking up speed as they gust across the wintry skies of a country in which industrial stoppages and wildcat strikes follow each other on an almost daily basis. Equal pay and equality for women are still pipe-dreams in the second city of the empire, where hospital casualty departments are overflowing, as they welcome the victims of violence and domestic abuse, who, after being patched up, if they are lucky, are spat back out to face a world that is moving at a pace at which only the fittest can hope to survive.
Dumfries is the sixth book in the current series of The Glasgow Chronicles, which has followed a cheeky wee bunch of manky boys from the tenements in 1960’s Toonheid, through adolescence to their coming-of-age as one of Glasgow’s most up-and-coming underworld gangs of the early 70s.
The problem, as usual, is that half the hapless Mankys are currently in jail, with one of them having been sentenced to 14 years for shooting two police officers in the robbery of The Clydeside Bank on Maryhill Road in November 1972…the longest prison sentence ever handed down to a young offender in Scotland.
With Tony, Johnboy, Silent, Snappy and Pat all doing time, the remnants of what was once a thriving money-making outfit, is being managed by Simon Epstein, owner of Carpet Capers Warehouse. When Simon is not plotting the downfall of the legendary Honest John McCaffrey, ‘The Housewife’s Choice,’ and owner of Honest John’s Kitchen Essentials shop by day, but one of the city’s top moneylenders and gangsters by night, Simon is ruthlessly ensuring that The Mankys’ wheel-of-fortune stays firmly on track.
When everything seems to be on a downwards spiral and with no reprieve in sight for those languishing in jail, hope appears on the horizon through the smoke of screeching tyres from a speeding car in Colston, as it ejects the half-dead body of Haufwit Murray, sometime police informer and one of the city’s transient gangland hanger-ons. As he lies close to death in the Intensive Care Unit of Stobhill General Hospital, with little hope of recovery, Haufwit’s dying confession to Inspector Paddy ‘The Stalker’ McPhee triggers a chain reaction that forces Wan-bob Broon, the city’s Mr Big, out into the open, bringing deadly consequences for some and celebration and hope for others.
Dumfries is a dark, often violent, chiller-thriller, that will have followers of The Mankys drawing their curtains and locking their doors, before reaching for the book, as they try to anticipate who will do what to who next. You have been warned.
It is 1971 in Glasgow’s Springburn, and the stormy winds that are howling through the old tenement building closes and streets, leading up to the Christmas and New Year holidays, only adds to the misery that is swirling around the inhabitants of the north of the city.
On the 17th December, Issie McManus’s only son, Joe, is stabbed to death on the steps of The Princes Bingo Hall, on the same evening that her man, Tam, gets lifted by the police and shipped up to Barlinnie for an unpaid fine. As her life crumbles round about her, Issie turns to her neighbour and friend, Helen Taylor, who gathers together a group of local women, who are the scourge of The Corporation’s Sheriff Officers Warrant Sales squad, to take command of the situation.
Meanwhile, all the major newspapers are speculating as to whether Alison Crawford, the wife of a prison governor, will survive the shooting that killed her lover, Tam Simpson, the leader of the notorious Simpsons’ Gang from Possilpark, whilst daily headlining the gory details of her supposed colourful love life as a senior social worker in Possilpark.
Elsewhere in the district, Reverend Donald Flaw, who recently buried the sitting councillor, Dick Mulholland, is dismayed when he is informed that Councillor Mulholland’s election manager, the former disgraced Townhead councillor, JP Donnelly, has decided to throw his hat into the ring at the forthcoming by-election.
As the demonstrations against warrant sales in the area continue over Christmas, bringing Helen Taylor’s gang of motley women back on to the streets, The Reverend Flaw and his wife, Susan, believe they have found the ideal candidate to prevent JP Donnelly’s resurrected political ambitions from bearing fruit. The only problem lies in whether the chosen one can be persuaded to stand against him.
Still smarting from the headline in The Glasgow Echo, announcing that sales of The Laughing Policeman have topped 10,000 copies in Woolworth’s record department in Argyle Street, as a result of the weapon being used to kill Tam Simpson going missing, newly promoted Police Inspector Paddy ‘The Stalker’ McPhee, has been instructed to assist in the campaign to get JP Donnelly elected. Along with Father John, the local priest from St Teresa’s Chapel in Possilpark, an unholy alliance is formed that will go to any lengths to stop the opposition candidate from upsetting their political masters in George Square.
The Wummin is a fast-paced political thriller, set in the north side of Glasgow. It will grip the reader, tear at their emotional heartstrings, whilst at the same time, evoke tears of laughter and shouts at the injustice of it all. It follows this group of Springburn ‘wummin’ in their fight against social injustice and their crusade for change, whilst the odds are stacked against them by an Establishment that will do everything in its power to maintain the status quo.
In this, the fourth book of The Glasgow Chronicles series, dark clouds are gathering over Springburn’s tenements, in the lead up to the Christmas holiday period of 1971. The Mankys, now one of Glasgow’s foremost up and coming young criminal gangs, are in trouble…big trouble…and there doesn’t seem to be anything that their charismatic leader, Tony Gucci, can do about it. For the past year, The Mankys have been under siege from Tam and Toby Simpson, notorious leaders of The Simpson gang from neighbouring Possilpark, who have had enough of The Mankys, and have decided to wipe them out, once and for all.
To make matters worse, Tony’s mentor, Pat Molloy, aka The Big Man and his chief lieutenant, Wan-bob Brown, have disappeared from the Glasgow underworld scene, resulting in Tony having to deal with Shaun Murphy, who has taken charge of The Big Man’s criminal empire in The Big Man’s absence. Everyone knows that Shaun Murphy hates The Mankys even more than The Simpsons do.
As if this isn’t bad enough, Johnboy Taylor and Silent Smith, two of the key Manky players, are currently languishing in solitary confinement in Polmont Borstal. As Johnboy awaits his release on Hogmanay, he has endless hours to contemplate how The Mankys have ended up in their current dilemma, whilst being unable to influence the feared conclusion that is unravelling back in Springburn.
Meanwhile, police sergeants Paddy McPhee, known as ‘The Stalker’ on the streets for reputedly always getting his man and his partner, Finbar ‘Bumper’ O’Callaghan, have been picking up rumours on the streets for some time that The Simpsons have been entering The Big Man’s territory of Springburn, behind Shaun Murphy’s back, in pursuit of The Mankys.
In this dark, gritty, fast-paced thriller of tit-for-tat violence, The Stalker soon realises that the stage is being set for the biggest showdown in Glasgow’s underworld history, when one of The Mankys is brutally stabbed to death outside The Princes Bingo Hall in Springburn’s Gourlay Street.
With time running out, Tony Gucci has to find a way of contacting and luring The Big Man into becoming involved in the fight, without incurring the wrath of Shaun Murphy. To do this, Tony and The Mankys have to come up with a plan that will bring all the key players into the ring, whilst at the same time, allow The Mankys to avenge the murder of a friend.
Once again, some of Glasgow’s most notorious and shadiest ‘duckers and divers’ come together to provide this sometimes humorous, sometimes heart-wrenching and often violent tale of chaos and survival on the streets of 1970s Glasgow.
It is 1969 and 14-year-old Paul McBride is discharged from Lennox Castle Psychiatric Hospital after suffering a nervous breakdown whilst serving a 3-year sentence in St Ninian’s Approved School in Stirling. St Ninians has refused to take Paul back because of his disruptive behaviour. As a last resort, the authorities agree for Paul to recuperate in the foster care of an elderly couple, Innes and Whitey McKay, on a remote croft in the Kyle of Sutherland in the Scottish Highlands. They have also decided that if Paul can stay out of trouble for a few months, until his fifteenth birthday, he will be released from his sentence and can return home to Glasgow.
Unbeknown to the authorities, Innes McKay is one of the most notorious poachers in the Kyle, where his family has, for generations, been in conflict with Lord John MacDonald, the Duke of the Kyle of Sutherland, who resides in nearby Culrain Castle.
Innes is soon teaching his young charge the age-old skills of the Highland poacher. Inevitably, this leads to conflict between the street-wise youth from the tenements in Glasgow and the Duke’s estate keepers, George and Cameron Sellar, who are direct descendants of Patrick Sellar, reviled for his role in The Highland Clearances.
Meanwhile, in New York city, the Duke’s estranged wife orders their 14-year-old wild-child daughter, Lady Saba, back to spend the summer with her father, who Saba hasn’t had contact with since the age of ten. Saba arrives back at Culrain Castle under escort from the American Pinkerton Agency and soon starts plotting her escape, with the help of her old primary school chum and castle maid, Morven Gabriel. Saba plans to run off to her grandmother’s estate in Staffordshire to persuade her Dowager grandmother to help her return to America. After a few failed attempts, Lady Saba finally manages to disappear from the Kyle in the middle of the night and the local police report her disappearance as a routine teenage runaway case.
Meanwhile in Glasgow’s Townhead, Police intelligence reveals that members of a notorious local street gang, The Mankys, have suddenly disappeared off the radar. It also comes to the police’s attention that, Johnboy Taylor, a well-known member of The Mankys, has escaped from Oakbank Approved School in Aberdeen.
Back in Strath Oykel, the local bobby, Swein McTavish, discovers that Paul McBride has disappeared from the Kyle at the same time as Lady Saba.
When new intelligence surfaces in Glasgow that Pat Molloy, The Big Man, one of Glasgow’s top crimelords, has put the word out on the streets that he is offering £500 to whoever can lead him to the missing girl, the race is on and a nationwide manhunt is launched across Scotland’s police forces to catch Paul McBride before The Big Man’s henchmen do.
The Lost Boy and The Gardener’s Daughter is the third book in The Glasgow Chronicles series. True to form, the story introduces readers to some of the most outrageous and dodgy characters that 1960s Glasgow and the Highlands can come up with, as it follows in the footsteps of the most unlikely pair of road–trippers that the reader will ever come across. Fast-paced and with more twists and turns than a Highland poacher’s bootlace, The Lost Boy and The Gardener’s Daughter will have the readers laughing and crying from start to finish.
It is 1968 and The Mankys are back with a vengeance after thirteen-year-old Johnboy Taylor is confronted by a ghost from his past. The only problem is, he’s just been sentenced to 3 years at Thistle Park Approved School, which houses Scotland’s wildest teen tearaways. Without his liberty, Johnboy is in no position to determine whether the devastating revelation is a figment of his vivid imagination or whether dark forces are conspiring against him.
Elsewhere in the city, Glasgow crime lord, Pat Molloy, aka The Big Man, is plotting to topple those who he believes were responsible for putting him out of the city’s thriving ‘Doo’ business three years earlier. Unfortunately for him, The Irish Brigade, a group of corrupt police inspectors, who rule the city with an iron fist, are not about to stand by and allow anyone to dip their fingers into their honey pot, without a fight.
Meanwhile, Helen Taylor, Johnboy’s mother, has come up with a dangerous plan that she believes will finally overturn The City Corporation’s policy of selling their tenants’ household goods through humiliating public warrant sales. Reluctantly, she is forced to join forces with The Glasgow Echo’s sleazy top crime reporter, Sammy ‘The Rat’ Elliot, whose shadowy reputation of having more than one master makes him feared and reviled by the underworld and the establishment in equal measure.
Run Johnboy Run is an explosive tale of city crime in 1960s Glasgow, involving a heady mix of establishment leaders and gangsters, who will use anyone to keep control of the city’s lucrative underworld. The only problem is, can anyone really be trusted?
With more faces than the town clock, Run Johnboy Run dredges up the best scum the city has to offer and throws them into the wackiest free-for-all double-crossing battle that Glasgow has witnessed in a generation and The Mankys are never far from where the action is.