Whereas most writers wax lyrical about the bleak tenement surroundings of 70's Glasgow schemes, Harbison allows his dialogue to do the talking, and what rich dialogue this is! Written in a thick Scottish broge it takes a few pages to get used to the alien (to me) patois but once you've sorted this out in your head this is a difficult book to put down. The book is set over a period of around 8 years in both Scotland and South Africa.
The two lead characters Liam & Jimmy are very real and although they sometimes come across as loveable rogues there is something very deep and dark within the both of them. All of us at one time have known a Liam or a Jimmy so they are easy to relate to.
The transition between Scotland and South Africa is handled very well as is the sense of loyalty between the rival gangs and although the book is steeped in violence it doesn't come across as gratuitous at any time. Worth reading for the dialogue alone I can throughly recommend this book and I look forward to reading more of Harbison's work in the near future.