Bloody Scotland September special crime author of the month interview with Graeme Macrae Burnet

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1. How did you get started writing?

I started writing short stories when I was a student, experimenting with a lot of styles, mostly imitative of whatever writers I was into at the time. A few years ago I wrote a pretty generic crime novel, which I’m now happy didn’t get published. So The Disappearance of Adèle Bedeau was really my second attempt.

2. What drew you to write a crime novel?

I didn’t set out to write a crime novel as such. The book started with the characters and the setting. The element of mystery – The Disappearance – was just something that happening in writing process, but it turned out to be a good way of placing the central character in a position of jeopardy and, hopefully, introducing an element of tension for the reader.

3. Which writers past or present have influenced your style of writing?

The biggest influence on my work is the Belgian author, Georges Simenon. To me, he is the master craftsman, brilliant at evoking setting and painstakingly delving into the psychology of his characters. He also writes in a very sparse, economical way, which is the kind of prose I aspire to write.

4. When you first started writing did you find it hard to get publisher interest?

It was quite a long road to find a publisher for The Disappearance of Adèle Bedeau. I got taken on by an agent who was very helpful in developing the manuscript, but they weren’t able to find a publisher. I then sent it to some independent publishers and feel very lucky to have been picked up by Saraband. The book maybe doesn’t fit comfortably into the mainstream crime genre, but I think independent publishers are perhaps more open-minded about the books they take on, and more willing to look at the quality of an individual manuscript, rather than just looking for things they think will fit their list.

5. There are many interesting characters in your novel, do you have a particular favourite one?

The central character, Manfred Baumann, is a twitchy, ill-at-ease outsider, a bit creepy I’ve been told. I think when you’re writing something it’s important to strongly identify with your characters, however fucked up they are. I also love my detective, Georges Gorski, a similarly flawed figure, but Manfred is my favourite and I suspect always will be.

6. What kind of research have you have to undertake for your Novels?

The Disappearance of Adèle Bedeau was initially inspired by a chance visit to a traditional bistro in the small French town of Saint-Louis where the novel is set. I didn’t do a huge amount of research,  but I did return to the town towards the end of the writing of the first draft, mainly to find locations for certain scenes. On the other hand, my new book, His Bloody Project, is set in a crofting community in Wester Ross in 1869, so I had to carry out a fair amount of research into the way of life at the time, as well as into nineteenth century psychiatry and the legal system.

7. Are the characters in your books based on any real life?

A couple of characters in His Bloody Project are based on real historical figures (albeit very obscure ones), but I don’t base characters on people I’ve met. At least not consciously. I’m not sure I’d feel very comfortable doing that.

8. What do you think makes your novels stand out from all the other Crime Fiction Novels out there?

I don’t actually read that much contemporary crime fiction, so it’s hard to say. But my books are maybe less focussed on the solving of the crime than on exploring the impact of that crime on the characters involved.

9. Do you see any of your characters personality in yourself and vice versa?

Manfred Baumann is a rather paranoid character, constantly over-analysing the most trivial events. He finds himself in a few situations I’ve never been in, but he probably reacts to them as I would. He’s basically an exaggerated version of myself.

10. If you can, would you give us a sneaky peak into any future novels you have planned.

My second novel, His Bloody Project: Documents Relating to the Case of Roderick Macrae (to give its full name) will be published by Saraband on 5 November 2015. As I mentioned, it’s set in the Scottish Highlands in nineteenth century, and it concerns a brutal triple murder carried out by a seventeen-year-old crofter. The story is told through a series of ‘found documents’ – memoirs, newspaper reports, police statements, and the like. It’s pretty different from my first book, so it’ll be interesting to see what people make of it.

11.What was your favourite scene to write in your novel and why?

It’s always a great feeling when you get in a bit of a groove and feel that you’ve more or less nailed a scene at the first attempt. There’s a chapter in The Disappearance of Adèle Bedeau describing how Gorski met his wife, which I wrote long-hand, on a sunny afternoon in a park in Berlin, quaffing bottles of beer. Maybe it was the beer, but it flowed out with rare ease and remains one of my favourite parts of the book.

12. As a up and coming crime writer do you have words of advice you can share

The internet is awash with advice, but I think if you get over-concerned about following too much of it, you could end up writing something formulaic and lifeless. So I would say, write what you would like to read yourself, not what you think someone else would like to read.

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Documents relating to the case of Roderick Macrae. A brutal triple murder in a remote northwestern crofting community in 1869 leads to the arrest of a young man by the name of Roderick Macrae. There’s no question that Macrae is guilty, but the police and courts must uncover what drove him to murder the local village constable. And who were the other two victims? Ultimately, Macrae’s fate hinges on one key question: is he insane? A story ingeniously recounted through the accused’s memoir, trial transcripts and newspaper reports, His Bloody Project is a riveting literary thriller that will appeal to fans of Hannah Kent’s Burial Rites.

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Manfred Baumann is a loner. Socially awkward and perpetually ill at ease, he spends his evenings quietly drinking and surreptitiously observing Adèle Bedeau, the sullen but alluring waitress at a drab bistro in the unremarkable small French town of Saint-Louis. But one day, she simply vanishes into thin air. When Georges Gorski, a detective haunted by his failure to solve one of his first murder cases, is called in to investigate the girl’s disappearance, Manfred’s repressed world is shaken to its core and he is forced to confront the dark secrets of his past. ‘The Disappearance of Adèle Bedeau’ is a literary mystery novel that is, at heart, an engrossing psychological portrayal of an outsider pushed to the limit by his own feverish imagination.

https://graememacraeburnet.wordpress.com/

Amazon Author Page

http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=dp_byline_sr_book_1?ie=UTF8&text=Graeme+Macrae+Burnet&search-alias=books-uk&field-author=Graeme+Macrae+Burnet&sort=relevancerank

Bloody Scotland September Special Crime Author of the month interview with Jackie McLean

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1. How did you get started writing?

I’ve always written (which is probably what every writer says!), and I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t clacking away on my wee typewriter or binding my “books” with wool.  Being a child of the 70s, my earliest creative writing was by hand or on a typewriter, and to this day I can’t write creatively directly onto screen, which is really annoying, since it takes twice as long as it should!  My partner recently bought me a proper old fashioned typewriter, which I am delighted with.  But being me, when I want to write a new scene, I now end up trying it out by hand and on the typewriter before it goes onto the PC, so now taking me three times longer to write things…..

2. What drew you to write a crime novel

I’d written four full length novels (including Toxic), but hadn’t thought about them in terms of genre until I decided to try and get one of them published.  When I studied the market and realised the books had to fit into a category, I re-drafted Toxic to make the police investigation more central to the storyline (originally it was the criminal activity that was central).  So, really I set out to write the stories that I wanted to tell, and then thought about what sort of novels they would be.  (As for the other three, two are kind of crimey and one is a tongue-in-cheek post-apocalyptic).

3. Which writers past or present have influenced your style of writing?

I have a really diverse reading interest – when I was wee I’d read anything from Enid Blyton to Dostoevsky!  As for writing influences, when I sat down and thought seriously about completing one of my novels as a marketable book, I studied the writing styles of John Grisham, Stephen King, and Dean Koontz, because I always admired the way they could draw you into their worlds with deceptively simple prose.  I’m a big fan of plain English.  

4. When you first started writing did you find it hard to get publisher interest?

I did all the things you’re supposed to do by way of research and sent my book off to a few select literary agents that worked with the sort of material I’d written.  But I realised pretty quickly that unless you’ve written The Most Amazing Book EVER, it wasn’t going to happen that way.  For new writers, it seems the most likely route to publication, unless you plan to self-publish, is with a small independent publisher.  I read about ThunderPoint Publishing Ltd, who’d just begun, and thought that the kind of books they were looking to publish sounded like what I was after, too. 

5. There are many interesting characters in your Novel, do you have a particular favourite one?

Donna and Natesh have to be my favourites, and they weren’t even in the original draft.  There’s a part of the story where one of the characters is up on a roof, and I wondered how it would go if the police negotiator on the loudspeaker just lost the plot and told him to jump.  Donna was created for that role, and she was such a strong character that it didn’t seem right just to have her appear near the end, so I wrote her into earlier parts of the book.  As re-drafting went on, she became the central character.  At another point in the story, Donna gets into a taxi, and she starts to banter with the driver; I then got to like his character so much, that I wrote him up as a main character, too – Donna’s best pal, Natesh.

6. What kind of research have you have to undertake for your Novel?

For Toxic, there were several key aspects to the research: the chemistry of MIC; police procedures; the geographical area; and Bipolar disorder.  For the chemistry part, my nephew is a toxicologist, so I bombarded him with lots of questions, and stayed up lots of late nights calculating volumes of MIC and how it would react with certain quantities of water or how it could be transported by various means.  I also read a lot about the Bhopal disaster, and watched lots of footage from the aftermath.  For police procedures, my friend is an experienced police officer and gave me lots of handy information.  The geographical area (Arbroath and surrounds) is where I went to school, so I knew it, although I made a few visits to photograph familiar areas, because they’ve changed a lot (or my memory of them is hazy).  As for the Bipolar disorder, I read a lot of factual information and health advice, but also lots of blogs, journals and forums where people living with Bipolar described their experiences.  I was keen to avoid clichés, and wanted it to be a genuine aspect of Donna’s character, not a source of “light entertainment” in the book, as I’ve seen in some crime series.

7. Are the characters in your books based on any real life?

They’re not (well, I don’t think they are, anyway, but sometimes the subconscious can trick you!).  I spent some time developing in-depth “CVs” for each of the characters to get to know them, as I didn’t have a real person in mind for any of them.  However, I have to say, if ever Toxic becomes a film or TV programme, I’d love to see Ruta Gedmintas play Donna…

8. What do you think makes your novels stand out from all the other Crime Fiction Novels out there

I’d like to think some key messages will stay with the reader.  For example, the toxin in Toxic is real, and there are all sorts of incentives for producers to cut corners, and for this stuff to be treated carelessly.  It’s something that could actually happen.  When @CriFiLover wrote that Toxic was “as realistic as it is frightening”, I was chuffed to bits.  Also, I’m keen to develop characters that readers can get to know and like.  Donna’s Bipolar disorder is an attempt to show that people with mental health problems are ordinary people who have to go to extraordinary lengths to deal not only with an illness, but with other people’s attitudes towards them.  And of course, above all else, I’d love for people to find Toxic a fascinating, thrilling and satisfying read.

9. Do you see any of your characters personality in yourself and vice versa?

Not really, although the character most like myself is probably Libby (quiet academic type).  What I loved about writing characters like Donna, Natesh and Evanton was that I could push all the boundaries and have them behave and speak in ways that I never would myself. 

10. If you can, would you give us a sneaky peak into any future novels you have planned.

Toxic is planned as the first in a set of three books.  The second one is called Catching the Shadows, and I’ve finished a first draft.  The re-draft is about to begin.  It opens with a body being washed up on Arbroath beach, bearing the hallmarks of a previous murder.  The investigation goes pear-shaped when it turns out to be more complex than a mere serial killer.  Part of it is set in Cuba, which I’ve had lots of fun researching.  The third book, called Reformed, begins with a train derailing at Perth.  There are fatalities, but a post mortem reveals one of the victims was already dead before the train set off.  This one picks up on the gang warfare themes in the background of Toxic.  Without giving too much away about the ending of Toxic, the other two books feature many of its central characters, with Reformed culminating in Donna having to make the agonising decision to seek Evanton’s help to resolve matters.

11.What was your favourite scene to write in your Novel and why

There are several scenes that stand out for me, such as Gorak and Iksan struggling on the beach, Professor Chisholm’s speech, Donna waking up in Natesh’s house, or the evacuation.  But it was the last chapter that affected me the most, as it reflects back on what happened, and I was actually crying when I wrote it.

12. As a up and coming crime writer do you have words of advice you can share

It’s really important to write what you enjoy writing in the way you enjoy writing it, but you’d be kidding yourself if you thought you could dazzle your way to a publishing deal (although, some writers are really that good).  In reality, take what you’ve written, and compare it with what’s being published at the moment.  Try to imagine which books it would sit alongside on the shelves, study what it is about them that got them noticed, and see if there is something you can learn from them to sell your own work.  Also, practice eavesdropping wherever you go.  It’s a great source of storylines!

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In the Scottish university city of Dundee, life and all its complications are proceeding much the same as usual.

The recklessly brilliant DI Donna Davenport, struggling to hide a secret from police colleagues and get over the break-up with her partner, is in trouble with her boss for a fiery and inappropriate outburst to the press.

DI Evanton, an old-fashioned, hard-living misogynistic copper has been newly demoted for thumping a suspect, and transferred to Dundee with a final warning ringing in his ears and a reputation that precedes him.

And in the peaceful, rolling Tayside farmland a deadly store of MIC, the toxin that devastated Bhopal, is being illegally stored by a criminal gang smuggling the valuable substance necessary for making cheap pesticides.

An anonymous tip-off starts a desperate search for the MIC that is complicated by the uneasy partnership between Davenport and Evanton and their growing mistrust of each other’s actions.

Twitter @JackieJamxx

Amazon Author Page

http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=ntt_athr_dp_sr_1?_encoding=UTF8&field-author=Jackie%20McLean&search-alias=digital-text&sort=relevancerank

Book to Check Out

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If you are looking for a good e book to buy and you don’t want to spend to much money and you love crime fiction, then this is the book for you and it’s only 98p on Amazon Kindle special promotion before it’s release on the 24 September.

Following the harrowing case that nearly finished him off, DI Bob Valentine returns to normal duties in the heart of Burns Country on Scotland’s wind-scarred west coast. But all is not well in the town of Ayr, a place ravaged by austerity and slipping closer to the abyss every day. As the near eviscerated corpse of a man is discovered on his kitchen table, fear grips the area and a murder investigation, probing a series of new lows for the town, gets underway.

To add to Valentine’s woes, the victim’s partner is missing – as is her daughter. When a son with a violent past is added to the mix, and the crime tally mounts, a tragic family drama starts to unfold. Drawn to uncover the truth, and haunted by his own nagging doubts about the case, the detective pushed himself ever harder, stretching his own fragile health and delicate home life. Valentine is still battling a post-traumatic stress that initially led to terrifying visions but now threatens to reveal the horrors of the victim’s last moments and an afterlife that seems to be calling to him with increasing regularity. Amidst a frenzied media storm, and a ticking clock adding fears for the missing, the investigator must work fast to piece together the illicit secrets of the family’s past before the body count increases.

To pre order this book for yourself, you can go to the Amazon link below

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Taste-Ashes-DI-Bob-Valentine-ebook/dp/B014JABR0S/ref=sr_1_9?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1440699381&sr=1-9&keywords=tony+black

Free Book

If you are looking for a good read for your kindle that won’t break the bank and you like Scottish crime fiction then this is the novel for you

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When Scottish mystery writer Frank McAlpine is found murdered in his luxury villa, all the evidence points to notorious local criminal Peacock Johnson. Peacock’s wife thinks he did it, the police think he did it, even Frank McAlpine said he did it, moments before he died. But Peacock knows he’s innocent, and he knows he’s going to work out who really killed Frank to clear his name.

But commiting crimes are more in Peacock’s line of work, he doesn’t have the first clue about how to solve one. Luckily, though, he knows a man who does, a man who owes him a favour.

A second Scottish noir writer, Ian Rankin, has featured Peacock as the main villain in one of his bestselling Rebus novels- A Question of Blood. And Peacock feels he was somewhat misrepresented, made out to be much more of a hardened criminal than he actually is. He’d been planning to seek compensation from Rankin, on a massive scale, but now he sees an opportunity for Ian to make things good. If Rankin can use his detective skills to work out who actually killed Frank McAlpine then Peacock is willing to drop the action for libel.

The only questions are, will Rankin agree. And is he up to the job.

To buy this book for yourself, you can go to the Amazon Kindle link below

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B014AY37YW?keywords=stuart%20david&qid=1440698858&ref_=sr_1_2&s=digital-text&sr=1-2

Book to Check Out

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If you are looking for a good e book to buy and you don’t want to spend to much money and you love crime fiction, then this is the book for you and it’s only 99p on Amazon Kindle Daily Deal for One Day Only.

A little boy was found dead in a children’s playground…

Daniel Hunter has spent years defending lost causes as a solicitor in London. But his life changes when he is introduced to Sebastian, an eleven-year-old accused of murdering an innocent young boy.

As he plunges into the muddy depths of Sebastian’s troubled home life, Daniel thinks back to his own childhood in foster care – and to Minnie, the woman whose love saved him, until she, too, betrayed him so badly that he cut her out of his life.

But what crime did Minnie commit that made Daniel disregard her for fifteen years? And will Daniel’s identification with a child on trial for murder make him question everything he ever believed in?

To buy this book for yourself, you can go to the Amazon link below

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0089YGXD2/ref=s9_hps_bw_g351_i1?pf_rd_m=A3P5ROKL5A1OLE&pf_rd_s=merchandised-search-2&pf_rd_r=0WC9SYGHEMD23SD6PHFP&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=590674847&pf_rd_i=5400977031

Lin Anderson The Special Dead Promotion

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When Mark is invited back to Leila’s flat and ordered to strip, he thinks he’s about to have the experience of his life. Waking later he finds Leila gone from his side. Keen to leave, he opens the wrong door and finds he’s entered a nightmare; behind the swaying Barbie dolls that hang from the ceiling is the body of the girl he just had sex with. Rhona Macleod’s forensic investigation of the scene reveals the red plaited silk cord used to hang Leila to be a cingulum, a Wiccan artefact used in sex magick. Sketches of sexual partners hidden in the dolls provide a link to nine powerful men, but who are they? As the investigation continues, it looks increasingly likely that other witches will be targeted too. Working the investigation is the newly demoted DS Michael McNab, who is keen to stay sober and redeem himself with Rhona, but an encounter with Leila’s colleague and fellow Wiccan Freya Devine threatens his resolve. Soon McNab realizes Freya may hold the key to identifying the men linked to the dolls, but the Nine will do anything to keep their identities a secret.

BACK GROUND TO THE SPECIAL DEAD

My lecturer in astronomy at Glasgow University was Professor Archie Roy. He really was ambidextrous and could draw two circles and fill them in with diagrams at the same time. I met him again many years later when he had become the foremost authority on the paranormal in Scotland, while also Emeritus Professor of Astronomy, with an asteroid named after him: (5806) Archieroy. I called him up one day to discuss a speculative piece for television that I was writing and we met in the university common room where he told me many tales about his work with the Scottish Society for

Later I attended a series of lectures run by the SSPR at the university in which he told the story of the old library and what it contained and how this had sparked his interest in investigating the paranormal. So that much is true. I merely substituted Freya at Newcastle University for my own experience at Glasgow. The Ferguson collection does exist and details about it can be found on the university library’s website, some of which I used. As far as I am aware, it is still intact, and is still as valuable in terms of its contribution to our understanding of such matters. When I tried to locate the exact position of the old library as described by Professor Roy, I was unsuccessful, so I chose my own location in the tower, mainly because I used to have lectures in moral philosophy in one of the tower lecture theatres. I particularly remember the cooing sound of the pigeons directly above us as we tackled Plato’s Republic

As to Wicca, I found during my research much to commend it as a way of worship, including the Wiccan Rede, often quoted in the text. Witchcraft is not merely legendary; it was, and is, still real. Some would say its doctrine is far more relevant to the times than the majority of established church texts, insofar as it acknowledges a holistic universe,equal rights, feminism, ecology, attunement, brotherly and sisterly love, planetary care – all part and parcel of Witchcraft, the old, yet new, religion. However, misconceptions still abound and my knowledge is not great enough to prove them all wrong. Suffice to say that every religion has its dark and bright side. And every for good can be changed into one for evil. You only have to recall the Inquisition to know that. Torturing and killing women by naming them as Witches was a job perfectly designed for those who delighted in the sexual torture of the female of the species. As Magnus says in the book, there were psychopaths back then too. I couldn’t help but think as I did my research that Rhona’s knowledge of forensics and the science of DNA would have been seen as a type of Witchcraft not so long ago. In fact in some parts of the world, Rhona, the forensic scientist, would be regarded as a Witch at this very moment.

THE SPECIAL DEAD BOOK TOUR

Saturday 12 September from 10:00 am – 11:00 am

Forensics with Lin Anderson & Val McDermid Two fantastic authors and a whole lot of fascinating science – a must for CSI fans.

To Buy from the Publishers Panmacmillan, go to the link below

http://www.panmacmillan.com/author/linanderson

To Buy The Special Dead from Amazon, go to the link below

http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Special-Dead-Lin-Anderson/dp/1447298314/ref=tmm_hrd_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1440348097&sr=1-1

Amazon Author Page 

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Lin-Anderson/e/B001K87X92

Find out more about Lin on her website

http://www.lin-anderson.coM

Follow her on twitter @Lin_Anderson

For further information, contact Becky Fincham becky.fincham@macmillan.com / 0207 843 4859

book review the special dead lin anderson

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***** 5 STARS

When Mark is invited back to Leila’s flat and ordered to strip, he thinks he’s about to have the experience of his life. Waking later he finds Leila gone from his side. Keen to leave, he opens the wrong door and finds he’s entered a nightmare; behind the swaying Barbie dolls that hang from the ceiling is the body of the girl he just had sex with. Rhona Macleod’s forensic investigation of the scene reveals the red plaited silk cord used to hang Leila to be a cingulum, a Wiccan artefact used in sex magick. Sketches of sexual partners hidden in the dolls provide a link to nine powerful men, but who are they? As the investigation continues, it looks increasingly likely that other witches will be targeted to. Working the investigation is the newly demoted DS Michael McNab, who is keen to stay sober and redeem himself with Rhona, but an encounter with Leila’s colleague and fellow Wiccan Freya Devine threatens his resolve. Soon McNab realizes Freya may hold the key to identifying the men linked to the dolls, but the Nine will do anything to keep their identities a secret.

In the Special Dead, Lin Anderson tenth novel to feature forensic investigator Rhona Macleod has you hooked right from the first page and all the way through to the final chapter and this is because Lin Anderson knows how to mix the grizzly and the gruesome with high paced action, interesting characters, believable storylines and a understanding of what makes a good story. This is seen in the Special Dead, where Mark Howitt, son of a local QC, finds himself in a horrific situation when he picks up a red-haired girl on a night out, he is just looking for easy sex, but having a cat jump on your back as well as being tied to your new lover by a red cord isn’t most people’s idea of a normal hook-up. And when he wakes up the next morning to find a bunch of creepy Barbie dolls in the next room suspended over the corpse of the girl you slept with. Afraid of what people will think, he leaves the scene, hoping he can deny any knowledge of ever having been there. He’s not guilty, but he knows that he’ll look it if anyone realises what he was up to. Rhona and McNab are called in to work this weird case and put aside their differences and work together to bring the killer to justice.

What it is also evident in any Lin Anderson novel is that she researchers the subjects that she is writing about really well and this is what i think makes her novels so realistic and very popular. In the Special Dead it is very evident that a lot of time has went into finding out about the Wiccan traditions and practises and their long history in Scotland,this is also the same about the way in which Lin Anderson writes about the work of a forensic scientist and the police force and making it read easily for a person with no knowledge of these fields of work but also able to to do these jobs justice and present them well. The city of Glasgow is also treated in the same manner and becomes not just a backdrop from the action to take place, but instead becomes a main focus and character like Rhona, Chrissy, Bill and Michael are, her characters are also believable and you feel yourself celebrating their success, upset when their down and scared when they are in a dangerous situation, this is what makes these novels unique, you can see how each individual stand of the book is woven and how it all works together to produce a novel that takes you on a journey of relationships, emotions, leaning and excitement. After ten Rhona Macleod novels that have captured our imagination and entertained us, it will be interesting to see what happens next in the series and how the characters are taken forward.

Hardcover: 448 pages
Publisher: Macmillan; Main Market Ed. edition (13 Aug. 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1447298314
ISBN-13: 978-1447298311

book to check out

If you are looking for a good e book to buy and you don’t want to spend to much money and you love crime fiction, then this is the book for you and it’s only 99p on Amazon Kindle Daily Deal for One Day Only.

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DCI Jim Daley is sent from the city to investigate a murder after the body of a woman is washed up on an idyllic beach on the West Coast of Scotland. Far away from urban resources, he finds himself a stranger in a close-knit community. Love, betrayal, fear and death stalk the small town, as Daley investigates a case that becomes more deadly than he could possibly imagine, in this compelling Scottish crime novel infused with intrigue and dark humour.

To buy this book for yourself, you can go to the Amazon link below

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Whisky-Small-Glasses-Daley-Thriller-ebook/dp/B00SQLM396/ref=sr_1_3?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1440333555&sr=1-3&keywords=denzil+meyrick

Crime Author in the Spotlight with Doug Johnstone

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Doug Johnstone is a writer, musician and journalist based in Edinburgh. His sixth novel, The Dead Beat, was published by Faber and Faber in May 2014. Gone Again (2013) was an Amazon bestseller and Hit & Run (2012) and was an Amazon #1 as well as being selected as a prestigious Fiction Uncovered winner. Smokeheads (2011) was nominated for the Crimefest Last Laugh Award. Before that Doug published two novels with Penguin, Tombstoning (2006) and The Ossians (2008). His work has received praise from the likes of Irvine Welsh, Ian Rankin, William McIlvanney, Megan Abbott and Christopher Brookmyre. His seventh novel, The Jump was realised in August 2015

1. What have you been up to with your writing since we last spoke?
Well, I’ve been working on The Jump, getting that to the point where it was as good as I could make it, and now I’m working on the next book. The Jump went so well, that in comparison I’ve struggled to get into the next one a little bit, but it’s slowly coming together. It’s set in Orkney in winter and starts with a plane crash, so good fun all round. I’ve also got a short story coming out soon in Gutter magazine called Beyond the Heliopause. I’m not even sure if that’s crime or not, but I like writing the occasional short story as a kind of fun release.

2. So far what was your favourite book to write in terms of characters and plot?
I know all writers probably say the most recent one, but it really ha been The Jump. Everything seemed to fall into place with the plot, once I had the characters sorted out in my head. Ellie, the main character, I just love her, although she is deeply flawed, suffering terribly, and she does some terrible things, I suppose. But hopefully the reader understands why she does what she does. I felt as I was writing it that it couldn’t really go any other way, you understand what I mean? Like fate was intervening or something. Inescapable fate.

3. You were recently a part of an event that pitted East Coast Scottish Crime Writers against West Coast Scottish Crime Writers. How do you get involved in that?
I think author Douglas Skelton put that together with Waterstone’s where we held it, and he asked me to come along. We’ve actually done two of them now, one in Glasgow and one in Edinburgh, and us east coasters have lost both times! Of course, I don’t believe there’s really any difference between east and west coast writing, it’s all good crime writing, really, but these events are a great laugh with lots of banter on stage. It’s all in fun, and the audience seems to get a kick out of it too!

4. Have you any events coming up that you can share with us?
Yes! I’m on at the Edinburgh International Book Festival with the amazing Norwegian writer Gunnar Staalesen on the 26th of August, then I’m at Toppings book shop in St Andrews the next night. Then I’m taking part in the Literary Death Match in Edinburgh on the 30th August, then I’ll be back at Bloody Scotland in Stirling in September too. Busy, busy!

5. Have you had any ideas about what you would like to write about next?
I wonder if it’s time to set something completely outside of Scotland for once. I fancy a road trip novel, like Thelma and Louise, but I’m not thinking too much about it at the moment until I get this Orkney book finished and out the way.

6. What has been your stand out moment so far as a Scottish crime fiction writer?
Scoring a double hat-trick for Scotland Crime Writers FC against the England Crime Writers team at Bloody Scotland last year. We won 13-1, I think. There’s a rematch this year, though of course we’ll never win like that again, surely.

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***** 5 STARS

Struggling to come to terms with the suicide of her teenage son, Ellie lives in the shadows of the Forth Road Bridge, lingering on its footpaths and swimming in the waters below. One day she talks down another suicidal teenager, Sam, and sees for herself a shot at redemption, the chance to atone for her son’s death. But even with the best intentions, she can’t foresee the situation she’s falling headlong into – a troubled family, with some very dark secrets of their own and that soon puts her dangerously out of her depth.

Doug Johnstone in recent times, has become the master of writing gripping thrillers that include Gone Again, Hit & Run and The Dead Beat. In his latest novel The Jump, he again returns to his home territory of Edinburgh in a pulsating psychological page-turner which blends edge-of-the-seat suspense with a searing exploration of love, loss and parenthood. He combines his trademark gift for combining superb plotting with sizzling action, that will keep you glued to your seat, take you on a roller coaster of a ride of action and emotions and keep you up all night reading, as you wont want to put the book down.

In the Jump, Doug Johnstone does what he does best in his novels and he brings his characters to life and making them so realistic, that it seem as the characters are playing out their lives in front of your eyes. This is achieved by the way in which the backstory of the characters and main storyline is weaved together, in The Jump Ellie Napier and her husband Ben have still not come to terms with the death of their 15-year-old son Logan six months ago. He left no suicide note, had made no previous attempts to kill himself and had never made a cry for help. Ben fills the void by chasing bizarre conspiracy theories as to why Logan killed himself while Ellie ransacks her memories for glimpses of her lost child and makes daily trips to the bridge to linger on its footpaths and swim in the waters below. And the way the author Like to play with the emotions, past memories and and experiences of the main character. In The Jump, Doug Johnstone uses guilt,emotional paralysis, obsession, isolation, despair and recklessness that combine together as a lost and bereaved mother decides that you can do anything… if you have nothing left to lose. It will be exciting to see what Doug Johnstone produces with his next novel, and I for one look forward to reading it.

Publisher: Faber & Faber; Main edition (6 Aug. 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0571321577
ISBN-13: 978-0571321575

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