Book review: Runaway

In 1965, 17-year-old wannabe pop star Jack Mackay gets expelled from school in Glasgow, and persuades four of his friends to run away to London in search of musical stardom.

Runaway

Peter May

Quercus, £16.99 HB;

ebook £9.02

In 1965, 17-year-old wannabe pop star Jack Mackay gets expelled from school in Glasgow, and persuades four of his friends to run away to London in search of musical stardom.

They soon find, however, that the streets of London are paved with delusion rather than gold.

A series of shocking events pushes their friendships to the limits, and within a month, three of them have returned home.

Now 67, Jack is looking back on a life of failure and regret when news of a murder forces the three friends to go back to London and confront the truth they’ve been running away from for 50 years.

The clever dual narrative highlights the contrasts between the Sixties and now, Glasgow and London, youth and old age, but this is not vintage May.

It’s a poignant study of the fragility and fickleness of friendship, but works less well as a crime thriller.


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