Murderers Anonymous

by Douglas Lindsay

“Silver bells, grey clouds, Christmas-time in the city. Sleigh rides on snow. Santa Claus and bright-eyed children. Mulled wine and mince pies. Tinsel on pine trees, snow falling on oaks. Mistletoe and indiscretions. Peace on Earth, goodwill to men. The baby Jesus, shepherds, the Three Wise Men, Bing Crosby and Perry Como. Ding dong merrily on high, hark! the herald angels sing, good Christian men rejoice. Turkey, sage & onion stuffing and roast tatties. Cold and frosty mornings, sledging on hills of thick snow. School’s out, work’s closed, cold feet roasting by an open fire. In the air there’s the feeling of Christmas.”

Of course, it was still only October.”

So begins the third Barney Thomson novel, in which we find the most infamous barber in the world back behind the chair. Having handed himself in to the police and been rejected as ‘just another Barney Thomson amongst many thousands’, Barney returns to what he does best: handing out the finest haircuts ever seen in the western hemisphere.

However, in trying to come to terms with his murder-ridden past, he joins the local branch of Murderers Anonymous, bringing him once more into contact with the deranged, the criminally insane and the out-and-out sadistically naughty. In no time at all there’s a killer reducing the population of Glasgow on a daily basis, and the hapless Barney is soon caught up in this tangled web of death, butchery and Elvis.

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