The Judge and His Hangman could be devoured in a single sitting, its haunting contents continuing to unspool for days after the backcover folds over.
Reading The Executioner Weeps is reminder of how direct and well-paced a crime novel can be.
Wonderfully adept at weaving in new characters, Mcdonald takes a simple melody and orchestrates it into a cacophony of noise. It demands your attention.
What really happens to a policeman who can’t solve his most important case? What becomes of a pillar of society whose foundations are crumbling?
They read, they write, they drink, they have affairs, they probe, they hide, they hurtle towards their own oblivion, their lives “lived out, in order to be described”.
Half a century in the making, Sinner Man is one of crime fiction’s most exhilarating rediscoveries.