Anna Scavolini Book 2

Cruel Summer

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 long shadow of the Kelvingrove Park Murders – which, three years ago, upended the lives of both her and her best friend, Anna Scavolini – continues to exert its hold on her.

When a prostitute is brutally assaulted by Dominic Ryland, a rising political star, Zoe leaps at the chance to take on a noble cause, vowing to bring him to justice. But she soon finds herself on the wrong side of some seriously dangerous people: men who have no qualms about silencing her by any means necessary.

As Glasgow simmers under a sweltering heatwave and tensions rise throughout the city, Zoe and Anna are once again drawn into a web of secrets and shocking revelations, with a heavy price to pay for everyone involved – not least Zoe, who’s about to realise she’s got far more to lose than she ever thought.

A powerful, character-driven thriller with twists and turns a-plenty, Cruel Summer is the sequel to M.R. Mackenzie’s McIlvanney Prize-nominated debut, In the Silence, and the second instalment in the Anna Scavolini series.

NOTE: This new edition has been revised to include material not present in the initial publication.

More Books in the Series

Bonus Goodies


Get a sneak peek at Cruel Summer by reading the prologue and first three chapters.

Notes on the Second Edition

Notes on the previously deleted material reinstated for this new release.

Zoe Callahan

Find out all about Cruel Summer's protagonist in this exclusive character dossier.

Mood Board

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

Locations Guide

Discover the novel's key locations in this handy guided tour.


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 ★★★★