One to Watch April 2014 crime author of the month Campbell hart

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1. How did you get started writing?
As a former journalist (commercial radio and BBC Scotland) and currently working in PR I write all day every day. That includes everything from press releases, statements, and blogs. But I’d never written anything specifically for myself. I tried (once) about 14 years ago but didn’t get far and gave up. My ‘big break’ came three years ago. Between jobs and with nothing to do I decided to realise my long held ambition and write the book I’d always talked about.

2. What drew you to write a crime novel?
I love reading crime novels and having worked as a journalist I had plenty of experience to draw from for ideas. The inspiration came when I was reading Jo Nesbo’s Redbreast – I thought ‘you know I could do something like this’ and I did. Some people look down on the genre but I think it’s a great medium for commenting on the world around us. Why wouldn’t you want to write a crime novel?

3. Which writers past or present have influenced your style of writing?
My old favourite has to be Raymond Chandler. I love the ordinary man in extraordinary situations that make up Marlowe’s world. That strand continues with Jo Nesbo’s Harry Hole books, while perhaps an under-appreciated talent is Iceland’s Arnaldur Indridason – his sparse descriptions leave a lot to the imagination and I love the barren landscapes and disconnected characters he plays with – if you haven’t read the Reykjavík murder mysteries – get to the shops!

4 .Did you find it hard to get publisher interest for your first novel Wilderness?
Like most people I thought I had to have an agent to get a publisher. I tried a few different avenues at first but wasn’t having much joy. I wasn’t really writing to make the fortune people seem to assume writers are paid and really just wanted to get my work out in print. In the end I decided to pursue the DIY option and went for self publishing via KDP and Createspace and I’m really happy with the results.

5. When you first starting writing wilderness, what was your inspirations for it?
Primarily it was my experience working as a journalist in Lanarkshire. The story was inspired by a blizzard which engulfed Lanarkshire in 2001. A bus had got stuck in a snowdrift near Shotts prison. Two guards used a snowplough and shovels to rescue three people on board. When they arrived the driver had given his jacket to a young girl who was travelling with her mother. After 10 hours stuck on a freezing bus the story had a happy ending. But the circumstances inspired a ‘what if’ starting point for the book, where the rescuers find the woman alone and handcuffed while the girl and the driver are missing. The public’s reaction to a suspected paedophile on the run opens out to up to include the international sex trafficking trade and organised crime.

6. There are many interesting characters in your Novels, do you have a particular favourite one?
I suppose I’d have to go for my protagonist, DI John J Arbogast. I chose the name as one that was not typically Scottish – to fit someone that would stand out as a bit of a loner. We meet him when he’s living in his own wilderness. With a mother with dementia, he’s lost in his own world with few friends and no great direction. Over the course of three books I want to restore him to life, with the first novel ‘Wilderness’ really only setting the scene for the next two.

7. Why did you decide to set your novel in Glasgow?
The novel’s based in Glasgow but it’s not tied to the city. Arbogast is a DI with the Major Crime and Terrorist Squad at Strathclyde Police meaning he is free to work cases across the Strathclyde force area. Wilderness is based in Lanarkshire, Renfrewshire, and Glasgow so he’s able to get out of the big smoked. With the advent of Police Scotland this will change again, allowing the character to become further travelled in future.

8. Wilderness is an action packed novel, do you have a favourite scene that you wrote?
Ah well my favourite scene is probably towards the end of the book and I wouldn’t want to give anything away. You’ll just have to read it.

9. What kind of research have you had to undertake for your Novel?
Early on I managed to get in touch with a retired DCI who helped me with some of the detail used in the book which was a great start. Other than that Google was my friend. You’d be amazed the amount of information you can get – from autopsies on YouTube through to street scenes on Google Earth (which I used to write several sections based in Istanbul). The kind of insight you can get from simple desk research was invaluable in helping shape my narrative.

10. Are the characters in your books based on any real life? It’s probably inevitable that the characteristics of some of the people you know will seep into your novel’s ensemble cast (although none of my characters are entirely based on a single person).

11. Since you have started writing have any well known authors given you any advice?
Only one and that was my favourite author, Jo Nesbo. He appeared at Aye Write a couple of years ago and I was lucky enough to get the chance to speak to him. I told him he’d inspired me to write my first book and asked him for tips. As a former footballer he said this reminded him of the press conference where the journalist asks the star striker to assess the performance of the rookie substitute. He said this was like asking someone to recommend their own replacement and told me to ‘stay out of crime fiction’. I didn’t listen.

12. Do you see any of your characters personality in yourself and vice versa?
Arbogast is roughly the same age as me so in some respects we have a similar world view. However I haven’t written him as a version of myself so wouldn’t want you to read too much into that!

13. If you can, would you give us a sneaky peak into any future novels you have planned?
I’m planning a trilogy with this character and I’m about to start on book two. ‘The Nationalist’ will explore different points of view around nationalism, terrorism, political wrangling, and the internal strife that the creation of a new national police force has on my main characters. I would hope to have this ready towards the end of the year.

14. Your first novel Wilderness has already been compared to some of the well known crime author, how does that make you feel?
Surprised I’d say given the book has just been released but any kind comparisons would be most welcome.

15. As an up and coming crime writer do you have words of advice you can share?
If you want to write then just do it. One of the big fears to overcome is getting people to read what you do. Inevitably not everyone will like your style but if you’re willing to listen to constructive criticism and keep going you’ll end up producing work that you’re happy with and hopefully an audience will follow.

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The bus is stranded, stuck fast in a snowdrift. The driver is missing along with a young girl. A half naked woman is left behind, handcuffed and freezing on board. Who she is and where the girl has gone unravels into a web of sexual abuse, mental torture and deeply laid family rivalries, spanning from Istanbul to Glasgow.

Newly appointed to the Major Crime and Terrorism Squad at Strathclyde Police, DI John J. Arbogast is tasked with tracking down a suspected paedophile as part of a national manhunt. Haunted by a failed case in the past he’s determined to find the girl before it’s too late. But as the case unravels to unveil an international sex trafficking ring it becomes clear that all is not what it seems.

Secrets will surface.

https://www.campbellhart.co.uk
https://www.crimewriter2000@wordpress.com

Amazon Author Page

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Campbell-Hart/e/B00IW888JW/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

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April 2014 crime author of the month – catriona mcpherson

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1. How did you get started writing
I always made up stories, from when I was wee. But if you write them down you get paid instead of getting sent to sit on the naughty step. Seriously? I was so bad and unhappy doing what I trained to do – university lecturer – that this most precarious of trades looked like a good idea in comparison.

2. What drew you to write a crime novel
Hmm. I’m a big fan of stories. People can get quite antsy about stories – sneering at the idea of plotting and neat endings and talking about an exploration of theme and lyrical prose. (I’m going to sound like a Philistine, but when you read on a book jacket that it’s a “lyrical exploration” do you ever think “Oh aye – nothing happens”?) A crime novel has a story where there’s a serious disturbance of the calm and a lot at stake. Also I think you get to know characters when they’re in extremis – in real life and in fiction.

3. Which writers past or present have influenced your style of writing
I’ve never consciously tried to emulate the style of another writer – it’s usually the reverse. I need to make sure and not read Stephen King or PG Wodehouse while I’m writing a first draft (love them both, by the way) because their styles are so infectious. I daresay Hemingway would be the same but I find him easier to avoid.

4. When you first started writing did you find it hard to get publisher interest
I started in 2001, which was basically the mid-Jurassic period given how much publishing has changed since then. Honestly, I think it was easier then than it is now. Richard, Judy and Oprah were on fire, book groups were popping up everywhere, there was no recession, publishers were feeling buoyant and bullish. I still got forty rejections for my first novel, mind you, but I think it’s tougher now.

5. When you first had the idea for doing the Dandy Gilver novels, What was your inspiration
The forty rejections for my first novel! I was sitting on the beach (in Scotland, in a kagoul; don’t imagine glamour) wondering if I’d made a big mistake resigning from the university. My husband said “What do you love? Never mind, good ideas or smart moves. What do you love?” And I said “Dorothy L Sayers, Margery Allingham, Michael Innes, Ngaio Marsh. But they’re all dead.” Then the lightbulb came on. I wrote After The Armistice Ball and got an agent a few months later.

6. There are many interesting characters in your novels, do you have a particular favourite one.
Thank you! I’m fond of all the recurring characters in the Dandy Gilver series by now – herself, her sidekick, her stodgy husband, her gormless teenage sons – but I have a particular soft spot for Miss Grant, her lady’s maid. Grant comes from a theatrical background and the only thing that stops her trying to make Dandy’s hair and make-up more dramatic is if she’s allowed to help with cases. She’s just been undercover at a séance, which was a lot of fun to write.
With the standalones it’s bittersweet because I get just as fond and I know I’ll never be hanging out with these people again. On the other hand, I’m free to kill them.

7. You have written both standalone novels and a series, which do you prefer to write
For me, because the series is historical and the standalones are contemporary, it evens out. There’s a head start with the series because I know some of the characters and settings already, but with the contemporary stories I’m not always on the look-out for anachronisms, or trying to find out if this or that make of car had a rear-view mirror or whatever.

8. You have set your novels in different places, do you have a favourite you like to use
Oh, this is one of my regrets. When I was deciding where Dandy Gilver should live I almost put her in Galloway, where I lived. But getting to and from Galloway is bad enough now; in the 1920s it must have been murder. So, to save every book from being three quarters driving along bad roads in a Morris Cowley getting to cases, I put her house in Perthshire, in the middle. But I would have been very happy writing about Galloway. Two of my standalones – The Day She Died and the latest one (untitled) – are set there. The art department of my US publisher, Midnight Ink, managed to find an absolutely typical Galloway cottage for the jacket too.  Look:

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9. What kind of research have you have to undertake for your Novels
It never really feels like research, to be honest.  It feels a lot like the sort of nerdling about you do on Google when you’re bored – except that it’s not always on Google; sometimes it’s actual physical tramping around and that feels like a day out.  I tend to have quite precise questions because of the order I do the writing and research. I write the book first, making up everything I don’t know, and writing down everything I’ve made up. Then, while the first draft is settling, I check out everything I’ve written down to see if I need to change any of it. I used to  be a bit embarrassed about this method then I found out that Stephen King – one of my heroes – does it that way too.

10. Are the characters in your books based on any real life
Yes. I let my late godmother Doreen McPherson win a bonny baby competition at the age of six weeks at the 1923 Ferry Fair in The Burry Man’s Day. Also, I put my favourite English teacher, Stuart Campbell, in a book once. That turned out well: he came to the launch, I found out he was writing a book and ended up giving him some publishing advice. He’s got two books out now RLS in Love and Boswell on a Busspass, so I can’t have misled him too badly.

11. Since you have started writing have any well known authors given you any advice
One thing about the crimewriting community – we really are a warm and supportive bunch. Maybe we get all our aggression out on the page, but there’s no one-upmanship or other snark when we all get together. So there’s been lots of advice from elder statesmen and women. Simon Brett, who must be one of the nicest men in the mystery world, gave me a sort of email master class on how to slip back-story into the opening of a series novel without boring everyone.

12. Do you see any of your character’s personality in yourself and vice versa
I don’t. I truly don’t. But my friends and family find that hilarious. They see more of Dandy Gilver in me than I can account for. She’s a posh, English, dark-haired dog-lover born in the 1860s. I’m an incredibly unposh, Scottish, “blonde” cat-lover born in the 1960s. Also, when an old pal read As She Left It, she emailed me to say “And don’t bother denying that Opal Jones is you, cos it was basically like you were there in my kitchen talking to me.”

13. If you can, would you give us a sneaky peak into any future novels you have planned
I can’t talk about what I haven’t written, but I’ve got three novels written that aren’t published yet and I can talk a bit about them. Dandy Gilver and The Reek of Red Herrings sees Dandy and Alec in Gardenstown and Crovie on the Banffshire coast, hanging out with the fishing community during the wedding season. I loved getting stuck into all the blackening and tick-filling traditions.  It’s turned out quite macabre but I’m okay with that. The next standalone doesn’t have a title yet – I’m calling it She Book 3 – but it’s a fish out of water story, set in a fictitious town in East Lothian, with a lot of pies. The third one . . . you know what? I don’t think I can discuss it yet. The first draft is done and as soon as I’m finished with Dandy Gilver again, I’ll start in on the research.

14. Out of all the novels you have written do you gave a favourite one that stands out to you
Yes. Dandy Gilver and The Proper Treatment of Bloodstains stands out for lots of reasons. I started the series in 1922 and I always knew that No.5 was going to be set during the general strike of 1926. Then in the course of researching the first four I gathered a load of household lore that I couldn’t use (For instance, did you know that male servants’ staircases were wooden so that their heavy footfall didn’t disturb the family, but female servants’ stairs were slate covered so that everyone would hear male servants sneaking up them?). So when I decided to put Dandy below stairs, undercover as a maid during the general strike, I got class war and household tips combined.
Also, that was the first book to win a prize. How shallow does that sound?! But I’m telling you, picking up an award in The Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland felt pretty great. And it’s not likely ever to happen again.

15. As a well known crime writer do you have words of advice you can share
Try and stop me! Can I have three? 1. If what you’re doing is working for you, don’t listen to anyone telling you it’s wrong. 2. It only comes out of you once – I really believe this. The fresh, pure story comes out one time – the rest is editing – and I think it’s best if it comes out as words on the page that get you closer to having written the thing for real. I don’t think outlines, character sketches, mind maps, synopses, chapter plans, conversations, presentations or workshops are the best way to use that precious one-time-only potential. (But see No. 1 – if they work for you, ignore me!) 3. Don’t write what you know. Write what you want and find out what you need to know.

Dandy Gilver Novels
1. After the Armistice Ball (2005)
2. The Burry Man’s Day (2006)
3. Bury Her Deep (2007)
4. The Winter Ground (2008)
5. The Proper Treatment of Bloodstains (2009)
6. Unsuitable Day for a Murder (2010)
7. Bothersome Number of Corpses (2012)
8. Deadly Measure of Brimstone (2013)
9. The Reek of Red Herrings (2014)

Other Novels
As She Left It (2013)
The Day She Died (2014)

Non Fiction
Existence and Truth in Discourse (2002)

http://www.catrionamcpherson.com/

Amazon Author Page

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Catriona-McPherson/e/B001JRZ7O2

Book Review bottleneck ed james

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***** 5 STARS

Acting Detective Sergeant Scott Cullen almost has the stable relationship and promotion he’s long coveted. But the uncertainty surrounding the imminent Police Scotland restructure and his crippling caseload both take their toll. Now living with his girlfriend, her own burning ambition puts a strain on their relationship and her health. When a body is discovered in the abandoned streets underneath Edinburgh’s Old Town, Cullen struggles to identify the victim before trawling the depths of the Scottish music scene, digging up old scores in Edinburgh and Glasgow. Now, as he returns to the Angus home town he’s long since left, Cullen finds himself spread thin, hunting across Scotland for a killer who leaves no trace. As Scotland’s police forces are centralised into Police Scotland, Cullen is dragged into the murky world of internal politics, blocking progress in the case and jeopardising his own career.

Ed James and DC Scott Cullen are back in this their fifth novel, Bottleneck and from the very first page to the very last page you are hooked, unable to do anything but read your way through. I am now so glad that I downloaded the first DC Scott Cullen Book Ghost in the Machine last year, as now 5 novels in to the series they are a welcome addition to the growing number of authors who write Scottish Crime Fiction set in the Capital City Edinburgh. What makes the Scott Cullen novels so nice is that instead of the main character already being established in their career, Scott Cullen is only a Dectetive Constable who is trying to work his way up the career ladder and make a name for himself, as well as sometime troublesome relationship with the other characters . The other factor that makes these novels so great is that they are packed full of believable, interesting and very memorable characters that will have you either loving them or hating them but you will be able to sympathise with the situations that they find themselves facing.

Each of the storylines that the author Ed James writes has the ability to leave you captured, Ghost in the Machine featured a killer getting revenge through social media, Devil in the Detail a murder in a West Lothian town and its new Religious beliefs, Fire in the Blood a Murder in a whiskey distillery and a family feud, Dyed in the Wool a double murder and the problems of football hooliganism. And the new novel bottleneck does not disappoint, focusing on a body found underneath a bands rehearsal studio in the hidden closes of Edinburgh, I will not spoil the book for yourselves but I do recommend that you go and get a copy of this novel as it is definitely what you need to be reading. There is also the very realistic way in which the author makes his Edinburgh and Lothians come alive on the page, so much so that you can actually imagine yourself being in the book as the action takes place.

Format: Kindle Edition
File Size: 724 KB
Print Length: 383 pages
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
Language: English
ASIN: B00IZNBA44

Book to Check Out

I know you is the astounding debut Young Adult novel by Scottish writer, Rachel Kennedy who is the step – daughter of up and coming Scottish crime author Denzil Meyrick, creator of the DCI Daley thrillers

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Stacey is an ordinary teenager. She likes boys, clothes and a good time – though not necessarily in that order.

On a boozy night out with friends, she meets Craig, the enigmatic young man who will change her life forever; though in ways she can’t possibly imagine.  I Know You is the story of a normal girl, with a normal life, about to be changed by abnormal, extraordinary and terrifying events.”

You can get more information and buy the Kindle version of the novel for £1.99 for yourself at the following link

http://www.amazon.co.uk/I-Know-You-Rachel-Kennedy-ebook/dp/B00JA0OPKM/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1395918404&sr=1-1&keywords=I+know+you

Free Book on Kindle

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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Following the sudden death of her mother, Imogen Croft returns to her childhood home on the Scottish Island of Garansay. Her brothers have given her the task of deciding what to do with their parents’ farm, which is slowly falling into disrepair. But Imogen will not be rushed into passing judgement on the place and when she starts to carry out some research into the history of Kilduggan Farm, she inadvertently sets off a chain of events that ends in tragedy. Suddenly, Imogen and her psychologist husband, Hugh, find themselves faced with a seemingly insoluble puzzle. How can it be possible that an unexplained death in the present day can match, in every detail, an unsolved case from 40 years ago? As the past begins to catch up with Imogen, she realises that she must strive to discover the truth about her family, even if it means that nothing will ever be the same again… This is an intricately plotted novel, cleverly interwoven with subtle clues and the occasional red-herring. It will keep you guessing and the pages turning, right up until its final, shocking conclusion.

Here is the Amazon link so that you purchase the book for yourself

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Aoifes-Chariot-Imogen-Croft-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B00EJFEVXY/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1395318053&sr=1-2

Book Review The Death Game Chris Longmuir

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***** 5 STARS

In 1919, the horrors of the Great War are over.
Kirsty Campbell, former suffragette and a policewoman in Britain’s newly formed women’s police service, returns to her home town of Dundee to become the city’s first policewoman.  But what horrors will Kirsty, a young policewoman with her own demons to fight, have to face in Dundee? And how will she cope when the sins of the past come back to haunt her?  A deadly game of sacrifik.”Ice and death.

Chris Longmuir has taken a break from her Dundee Crime Series Novels and has produced a cracker of a new novel entitled The Death Game featuring Kirsty Campbell that draws us into the world of mystery and intrigue, set in Dundee during the year 1919. The novel centres around the end of the Great War and the sweeping changes that are taking place in British society,none more so than the police force, where native Dundonian, Kirsty Campbell who fled to London following a traumatic experience within her family is now ten years later a member of London’s women’s police force who becomes seconded to Dundee police, as their first female police woman.  In her previous novels the author Chris Longmuir has brought an ability to give us the readers, characters and storylines that are well loved and keep you on the edge of your seat, and she does not disappoint in her new novel the Death Game.  This is because not only does the author paint us a picture of Dundee in 1919, she also manages to keep the main storyline flowing as well, which sees the main character Kirsty Campbel being in the forefront of the investigation into the murder of one girl and into the disappearance of other children. The novel also incorporates as a major theme the unresolved issues that Kirsty Campbell has with her own family and what were her reasons for leaving ten years ago and the seemingly impossible task of getting herself accepted as a legitimate, useful member of the Dundee police force, who are resistant to the new-fangled notion of female officers. We are also introduced to her new boss Inspector Brewster, and throughout the book we watch as their working relationship grows, we are also allowed a small glance into Inspector Brewster difficult domestic life outside his job.

The Death Game is definitely a real page turner, that will have you engrossed until the final pages and will also keep you guessing until the end, it is a brilliant start to what I am sure will be another great series of novels from Chris Longmuir. And I for one can’t wait to see what other great adventure and mysterious that are in store for Kirsty Campbell and Inspector Brewster in the future. To sum up the review of The Death Game, I would say a great tale from a great writer, who is definitely a one to watch in Scottish Crime Writing, Do buy yourself a copy you won’t be sorry.

Format: Kindle Edition
File Size: 1492 KB
Print Length: 275 pages
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Publisher: Barker & Jansen; 1 edition (26 Feb 2014)
Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
Language: English
ASIN: B00IOP0M6K

Ed James Scott Cullen 5 bottleneck out 17 March 2014

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Here is the books blurb

Acting Detective Sergeant Scott Cullen almost has the stable relationship and promotion he’s long coveted. The uncertainty surrounding the imminent Police Scotland restructure and his crippling caseload both take their toll on him. Now living with his girlfriend, her own burning ambition puts a strain on their relationship and her health, traits they both share.

But when a body is discovered in the abandoned streets underneath Edinburgh’s Old Town, Cullen struggles to identify the victim before trawling the depths of the Scottish music scene, digging up old scores in Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Now, as he returns to the Angus home town he’s long since left, Cullen finds himself spread thin, hunting across Scotland for a killer who leaves no trace. As Scotland’s police forces are centralised into Police Scotland, Cullen is dragged into the murky world of internal politics, blocking progress in the case and jeopardising his own career

Ed will be appearing at Dunbar library in East Lothian on 14th March 2014 with Nigel Bird, Doug Johnstone and Allan Guthrie, focusing on digital publishing and ebooks in a roundtable discussion

He will also be appearing on his own at Ratho library on 27th March to talk about his books,libraries and things.

For more up to date information check out he website at http://edjamesauthor.com/

Book Review agency woman John A A Logan

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***** 5 STARS

A lost, wandering and damaged man finds himself drafted back into the world he thought he had escaped, when the local branch of a powerful, international Agency needs a mysterious job done in the remote Highlands of Scotland.
The new companion who leads him out of disaffected early retirement is a seductive, young, novice female agent, but could there really be far more to her than there at first seems? They find themselves in a world of natural beauty, mountain and beach, which they will only contaminate with extraordinary rendition, abduction, bloodshed and torture.
The modern bureaucratic world of paperwork and subcontracting will mean that no-one actually knows which government or country is behind the operation, but one man will soon remember why he left Agency work like this and why he hates it so much, even though it may really be love that has dragged him back into it all.

The Agency Woman by John A A Logan is a thrill seeker of a novel, after reading The Survival of Thomas Ford last year I could not imagine how his novels could get any better until I was introduced to his latest novel Agency Woman and I am so glad I was.  As Agency Woman can only be described as very dark Scottish tale of conspiracy, espionage, murder and terrorism that will leave you breathless and hanging on to the edge of your seat.  Agency Women is set in the beautiful picturesque villages of Achriesgill, and Kinlochbervie, that can be found in the North West of Sutherland, in the Highlands of Scotland. The story is told in the first person by someone we later know as Jim, who previously worked for a Scottish ‘Agency’ that deals with espionage and terrorism. At the beginning of the story he has dropped out and is trying to retire but is effectively kidnapped by a group of fellow Agency members that includes an attractive green-eyed woman called Lucy, to take part in another mission.

The five star rating is due to the fact that the suspense kept building along while the plot twists and turns in places that you could not have predicted. The characters are also very well developed, deep,memorable and definitely likeable even though they are deeply flawed, like main character Jim who is an intense character as he is very fragile,broken, and seems to be damaged beyond repair by his past. And Lucy the Agency Woman who has been uncontaminated by Agency work or has she?. There is also the developing story between Lucy and Jim that it is full of suspense and tension that you would not think would work but it blends in so perfectly.  Another way in which the author manage  to make the novel memorable Is through making Foinaven, the mountain a central element to the story you can really feel the calmness and the purity, the atmospheric and spiritual pull towards it. It almost seemed like it was alive and ready to cleanse the souls of any wrong doers. So to sum up I highly recommend Agency Woman and can say that you the readers will not be disappointed, I can’t wait to see what the author has in store for us with his next book.

Format: Kindle Edition
File Size: 1086 KB
Print Length: 308 pages
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Publisher: White Butterfly Press (1 Feb 2014)
Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
Language: English
ASIN: B00I6VUFAA

March 2014 Coffee Cake and Crime Event With Caro Ramsay

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Caro Ramsay is a Scottish writer of crime fiction. Her first four novels are police procedurals, set in Glasgow, featuring DI Colin Anderson and DS Freddie Costello. Caro was born in Govan, on Glasgow’s south side. A graduate of the British School of Osteopathy, she runs a large osteopath centre in West Scotland, treating animals and humans, and writes in her spare time.
Her first novel Absolution was shortlisted for the CWA New Blood Dagger 2008 and her second Singing to the Dead was longlisted for the Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award 2010. The third in the series, Dark Water, was published on 4 August 2010, and the fourth book The Blood Of Crows was published on 30 August 2012. Critic Cathi Unsworth in The Guardian opined that Ramsay’s series “excels in sense of place, realism, plotting and caustic humour”, describing it as “Bleak, black and brilliant”. Ramsay was the subject of a 2007 BBC documentary film and appeared on STV show The Hour in 2010.

1. How did you get started writing
Lying down with a Papermate pen and a clipboard. I had hurt my back and was immobile in hospital for months on end, so I starting writing. If I hadn’t written about committing murder I would have been committing murder.

2. What drew you to write a crime novel
See answer above! And crime is the only thing I have ever read, so either I am a psychopath or I just have an evil mind. Even when I was wee I wrote about the teddy bears picnic – the teds turned on the children and ate them all.

3. Which writers past or present have influenced your style of writing
Don’t know of anybody influences my style, I can only write with my own voice. But on a broader level… Ian Rankin, Agatha Christie, PD James, Reginald Hill. The only thing I don’t really read is American hard boiled stuff.

4. When you first started writing did you find it hard to get publisher interest
I was signed by Jane Gregory immediately.(She looks after Mo Hayder, Minette Walters, Val McDermid etc). Every thing I‘ve ever written has been published. I am a one trick pony, but it’s a popular wee pony.

5. What was the inspiration behind doing the Killer CookbookInterviewing the marvellous Anders Roslund Swedish author, writes with Borge Helstrom. Anders shared an office with Steig Larsson. He has just sold his rights to Hollywood for numpty millions of dollars. His detective Ewert Grens eats one cinnamon bagel in three books. (I mean a third of a bagel per book). Sue Black (forensic anthropologist) was doing a fundraiser that night – we got chatting…. And the rest is history…

6. There are many interesting characters in your Novels, do you have a particular favourite one.
The killers are always the interesting ones. People like Costello as she is the way many of us would like to be; rebellious. But we are all well behaved Andersons really.

7. Why did you choose to set your novels in Glasgow.
I’m Glaswegian!  But I am from Govan but set the books in the west end as anybody can walk about the west end and have a reason to be there. It’s worse than Midsummer now! Dead bodies on every corner.

8. With the amalgamation of the Scottish Police Force last year, how has it changed your Novels.
Not much, I know a lot of cops – they are underfunded and confused most of the time. Nothing much has changed there….

9. What kind of research have you had to undertake for your Novels, I  have cut up dead bodies in my training. I have a forensic qualification. I don’t ‘need’ to do my day job but I think I would go mad if I didn’t. Patients are always telling me stuff I can put in books. I am blessed that my research comes to me!

10. Are the characters in your books based on any real life.
Not intentionally but sometimes, on a redraft, you realise you have just killed the bank manager.  It’s a very pleasing feeling. Strangely other folk see themselves in characters who couldn’t be less like them.

11. Since you have started writing have any well known authors given you any advice.
Not really but I do remember Bernard MacLaverty saying that good writing is like a pane of clear glass through which you see a beautiful view. Anything that makes you notice the glass (the words)  instead of the view ( the story) has to go!

12. Do you see any of your characters personality in yourself and vice versa.
Costello has all the smart answers I  think of twenty minutes after I needed them. I write giving folk attributes I wish I had. In the new book  the female lead runs marathons, and eats loads of chocolate!

13. If you can, would you give us a sneaky peak into any future novels you have planned.
New book out on 31st July, just seen the cover. It’s very scary indeed.
The Night Hunter, dark scary mountains, a lone figure out running…. It doesn’t end well.
It’s set up round the rest and be thankful so the views are fantastic.

14. Out of all the Novels you have written do you gave a favourite one that stands out to you.
Sophie Hannah asked me that! She was making the point that the best book is the one just finished,  but there is always a wee personal favourite. Singing to the Dead, I think is my fav as it is so nasty and the nastiness is family orientated.

15. As a well known crime writer do you have words of advice you can share
Get it written, then get it right. Any good book – think of 6 rewrites at least. Leave the typescript in the fridge for a couple of months before you re read it again.
And enjoy it. If you do, the reader will too.

Anderson and Costello Novels
1. Absolution (2007)
2. Singing to the Dead (2009)
3. Dark Water (2010)
4. The Blood of Crows (2012)
5. The Night Hunter (2014)

Anthologies edited
The Killer Cookbook (2012)

http://www.caroramsay.co.uk/

http://caroramsay.blogspot.co.uk/

Amazon Author Page

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Caro-Ramsay/e/B0034OJA4G

Doug Johnstone Events coming up

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11th March, The Speakeasy, The Scottish Storytelling Centre, Edinburgh 8pm, £6 Appearing alongside Loud Poet Miko Berry, Julie McDowall, Rachel McCrum and Jojo Sutherland. I’m bringing the guitar, consider yourselves warned.

14th March, Dunbar Book Festival, Dunbar Library, 8pm, £4 Appearing alongside crime writers Allan Guthrie and Ed James.

1st May, THE DEAD BEAT Launch, Looking Glass Books, Edinburgh, 6.30pm, free Letting book number six fly the nest in style. I’ll be in conversation with Allan Guthrie, reading, and playing a couple of 90s grunge tunes if I can learn them in time.

15-18th May, Crimefest, Bristol This’ll be my first ever time at Crimefest – looking forward to it!

10th June, Perth Library, 7.3opm, free

9-25th August, Edinburgh International Book Festival

17th September, Off the Page Festival, Central Library, Stirling

19-21st September, Bloody Scotland

28th October, Encounters Festival, North Lanarkshire

1st November, Linlithgow Book Festival

For more information see Doug Johnstone Website

http://dougjohnstone.wordpress.com