HarperCollins – £9.99stg

New York cop Eddie Mallon has a happy, if mundane, life in the US until, after nearly 30 years, he returns to Glasgow for his father's funeral. However, things are not as they should be. Jackie Mallon, small time criminal, has been murdered, his warm hearted common-law wife Senga hides a terrible secret and even Eddie's sister, Joyce, has skeletons in her closet. And just what is it about the ever-present Glasgow policeman Chris Caskie that irks Eddie? Unable to resist his investigative instinct, Eddie is determined to solve his father's murder and in doing so is drawn into the Glasgow underworld.

Campbell Armstrong's 'The Bad Fire' is a complex thriller of crime, police corruption and secrets better left untold. Painting a very bleak picture of life in Glasgow, Armstrong also delves into politics including the Northern Ireland situation as well as the religious divide in Scotland. Unfortunately, he does not take the time to properly develop all his characters – take notes to avoid complete confusion. Though slow to start, 'The Bad Fire' is an enjoyable read.

Joanne Ahern