Tuesday, March 10, 2015

The Glasgow Grin / Martin Stanley

Reviewed by: Keith Nixon

Genre: Crime Fiction

Approximate word count: 110-115,000 words

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Martin Stanley studied to be a graphic designer. A love of crime fiction at an early age led Martin to start writing. He has previously released two novels and a short story collection. He lives and works in London.

You can learn more about the author at his website.


The Stantons are in hiding. They have a pile of money that doesn’t belong to them, and a lot of dead bodies to show for it. They’ve never had a problem with doling out violence to Middlesbrough’s villains, but now the stakes are different: A mother and her innocent daughter have been savagely mutilated in a revenge attack by a twisted maniac. An attack for which the Stantons are being blamed…

Bob Owden, feared local crimelord and businessman, wants to know exactly what happened at the Hollis Haulage Massacre. As Bob’s investigation progresses, and victims mount up, he comes to realise that the Stanton brothers might just know a thing or two about it. And anyone who comes to the attention of Bob Owden is not likely to have a long and happy future.

In order to survive, the brothers are going on the warpath. Bringing their own brand of street justice to the scum who cross them, while - of course - making sure that they still make a profit at the end of it. They’ll use blackmail and intimidation to flush out the culprits, all the while dodging hitmen, gangsters, and the ever-increasing bounty on their heads. But even they might have bitten off more than they can chew this time….


The Glasgow Grin, a reference to a particularly brutal treatment meted out to two characters, follows on directly from The Hunters. As a result it is a benefit to read this first, but it is not essential and neither is it a hardship.

Despite the high word count this is a belter of novel with a crashing narrative, bloody and sweary from the first page and doesn’t let up until the final pages.

I am a big fan of the Stanton brothers, they’re a version of Robin Hood, stealing from other criminals, but keeping the cash for themselves. However they have a degree of ethics – they look after friends, leave innocents alone and only take from the undeserving.

Their enemy – bad Bob Owden – is the polar opposite, he doesn’t care who gets hurt as a result of his dodgy practices. He has the Stantons in his sights, again. But they’ve been set up. What results is a clever parallel story line which eventually converges in a blood spattered finale. There’s plenty of fun within too and several laugh out loud moments.

Martin Stanley is a high quality writer who self publishes his work, one easily good enough to have a contract with a publisher. The Glasgow Grin is his best work yet. If you like hard-hitting crime, this is the book for you.


Lots of violence and swearing.

Format/Typo Issues:


Rating:  ***** Five Stars

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