Zoe Callahan is having the summer from hell… and it’s about to get a whole lot worse.

She’s stuck in a dead-end job, her relationship is going nowhere and the memory of the Kelvingrove Park Murders three years ago continues to cast a long shadow over every aspect of her life.

When a prostitute is brutally assaulted by Dominic Ryland, a rising political star with a suspiciously spotless personal reputation, Zoe leaps at the chance to embroil herself in a noble cause and sets out on a one-woman crusade to bring Ryland to justice.

But in doing so, she quickly finds herself on the wrong side of some very dangerous people – people who have reputations to protect and who would think nothing of silencing Zoe by any means necessary.

An explosive thriller set against the backdrop of a sweltering heatwave, Cruel Summer is the sequel to M.R. Mackenzie’s critically acclaimed McIlvanney Prize-nominated debut, In the Silence, and the second instalment in the Kelvingrove Park Trilogy.

Cruel Summer
  • Publisher:
    Mad House
  • Release date:
    28 May 2019
  • Word count:
    96,000 (approx.)
  • ASIN (Kindle):
  • ISBN (paperback):
  • Pages (paperback):

Bonus Goodies


Get a sneak peek at Cruel Summer by reading the prologue and an extract from Chapter 3.

Mood Board

View a selection of images chosen to evoke the atmosphere of Cruel Summer.


A fast-moving thrillerevery bit as accomplished as its predecessor. … If Mackenzie can only bring off the third part of the trilogy with the panache of the first two, this will be a particularly memorable sequence of books – and hopefully will bring a talented novelist the recognition he deserves.”

— Barry Forshaw, Crime Time

Cruel Summer takes no prisoners in its examination of the social and political implications of crime and justice, but it does so in a manner that it is rich in humour, character observations and location detail and totally compelling as a crime thriller.”

— Noel Megahey, The Digital Fix ★★★★

In the Silence was a fine addition to the Tartan Noir genre. Cruel Summer sees [Mackenzie] ahead of the field.”

— Mark Cunliffe, The Geek Show

Skilfully crafted and beautifully written, this is a gripping read full of suspense and tension.”

Grace J Reviewerlady ★★★★★

“I’m interested to see where the story goes from here and will definitely be looking out for the next books in the series. If this book is any indication, it’s only going to get better and better!”

(e)Book Nerd ★★★★★

“A very strong follow up to (the hopefully award winning) In the Silence. The shift of emphasis of protagonist from In the Silence kept the book very fresh. Highly recommended.”

Goodreads reviewer ★★★★★

Excellent writing, in-depth, adept character portrayal and skilful blending in of current social issues, all making for a real page-turner.”

Amazon reviewer ★★★★★

“I finished this last night and I can’t get it out of my head... BRILLIANT!”

Amazon reviewer ★★★★★

“A superb second novel from one of the best new crime writers in Scotland today. A must read.”

Amazon reviewer ★★★★★

“A worthy sequel novel that challenges, thrills, and engrosses the reader throughout.”

Amazon reviewer ★★★★

“A great follow-up to the first novel in the series.”

Amazon reviewer ★★★★

“Well written second novel. Enjoyed it very much.”

Goodreads reviewer ★★★★

Help Spread the Word

Cruel Summer doesn’t have the weight of a major publisher behind it, so I’m going to need your help to get the word out. Yes, you! That means you. Here’s how you can help:

Buy a Copy!

Goes without saying! Every copy sold helps increase the book’s visibility, and in so doing helps it reach a bigger audience. And, naturally, the money that comes to me will help ensure that I can keep writing more books.

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