A blackly comic heist novel set in Glasgow’s famed underworld, reminiscent of early Christopher Brookmyre.
Boddice, a crime lord looking over his shoulder for good reason, has assembled an unlikely band of misfit crooks. Their job is to steal a famous diamond worth millions, known as The Dark Side of the Moon. Despite the odds, the crew’s self-serving squabbles and natural incompetence, the plan progresses.
As events build to an explosive climax no one really knows who is playing who. Full of twists and turns and laugh-out-loud moments, this is a hugely enjoyable romp from entirely the criminal’s point-of-view, with not a single cop in sight.
Praise for Dark Side of the Moon
‘…with imaginative insults, juicy back chat and wild expletives, no one is going to mistake Dark Side of the Moon for the Glasgow outpost of the Number One Ladies Detective Agency.’ Daily Record
‘Extremely funny… Wood has a knack for making the words skip across the page. ****’ Scottish Field
‘Scottish author Wood’s outstanding first novel focuses on a bumbling group of petty Glasgow criminals, who undertake the improbable theft of the Dark Side of the Moon, a rare purple diamond worth perhaps £30 million… The entertaining journey includes some wonderfully funny interludes, some cruelty that rebounds unexpectedly, and clever surprises.’ Publishers Weekly
‘This splendid offering is tagged “a caper novel,” but watch out. Anyone expecting a romp, like Donald E. Westlake’s Dortmunder novels, is in for a surprise. The thieves are a collection of maladroits, and the dialogue zings, as in Westlake and numerous other caper crafters, but there’s also something much darker lurking below the immensely readable surface of this powerhouse of a novel. Glasgow crime boss Boddice is out to steal a diamond from its display, where it sits “like a drop of blood on a dagger point.” His crew includes a weary collector of drug money from “assorted schemie-scum”; an ex-con hoping to steal enough to escape his life on the streets; and twins who own a tattoo parlor but have trouble getting the words right in their creations (“Sex Stud” becomes “Sex Dud” on a client’s groin). Slapstick aside, things can turn vicious in a moment. An infant dies, or a man is killed with paint in a scene one would like to turn away from but can’t. The revelations in the twisty finale are backdropped by a conflagration that is a magnificent piece of writing purely on its own. In all, a fiercely beautiful novel’ Booklist (US)
‘Neds, drug dealers, gangsters, molls, jakes, crazy old bag ladies, racketeering, and the biggest jewel heist ever seen in the UK. Welcome to Glasgow. No Mean City meets The Italian Job in this hilarious comic noir debut, as the dark underbelly of the city’s crimeland is spewed onto the page. With razor-sharp dialogue, superbly venal characters and a finely-tuned plot, Dark Side of the Moon builds to an explosive firecracker of an ending.’ Douglas Lindsay, author of The Legend of Barney Thomson and Song of the Dead
‘Wood’s creation of this underworld is brilliantly insidious. Whether hardened, hapless, or both, these men are memorable and vivid, caught up in spirals of greed, fear, violence, or just numb confusion… at the base of these various misadventures is often a surprising humanity: lost chords of compassion, remorse, and dim flickers of hope… Full of jaggedly poetic charm and twisted humor, Les Wood’s Dark Side of the Moon is a fine novel about an unforgettable Scottish demimonde.’ ForeWord
‘Mix Irvine Welsh with Ocean’s Eleven. Set in Glasgow and BANG! Dark Side of the Moon is a fun and thrilling read with moments that will have you reflecting on life, and moments when you will be giving it LOLs. A boom-bastic read. Loved it.’ Michael Malone, author of Beyond the Rage and Bad Samaritan
‘Deliciously dark and hugely entertaining, Dark Side of the Moon is a great novel and I’m very surprised that this is Les Wood’s first.’ Mumblingabout.com
‘There are more twists than in a challah… the story is amusing and the Glaswegian criminals convincingly portrayed… worth reading and is a worthy debut novel.’ Valerie Penny’s Book Reviews