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o Good Deed begins with what most thrillers would have as their climax--undercover cop Orla McLeod talks a young boy into cutting her free to fight back as drugs race catastrophically through her system and a colleague is tortured to death in another room. Orla is a woman who keeps her promises, and she promised the child that she would look after him, forever--and this she does, though Hell stands in her way. In this radical break with the intense, but comparably gentle, detective stories with which she started her career, Manda Scott gives us a full range of thriller experiences--brutal noir as the police try to persuade Glasgow's criminals to give up a torturer gang boss of whom everybody is afraid, Buchanesque wanderings through the snow-covered foothills of a remote mountain district and a sense of growing dread as we struggle to understand what made Tord Svensen the vicious killer he is, what Orla will have to learn to defeat him. No Good Deed is a meditation on vengeance and violence and their costs, and what it means to walk away and make other choices; it is one of the most remarkable thrillers of the year.