June Crime Questions 1 5 nominees for the Second There’s Been a Murder Crime Blog Book of The Year



you don’t mess with Rosie Gilmour and get away with it.
Crime reporter Rosie Gilmour is back at The Post, bruised and battered from her last investigation but determined to find missing barmaid Wendy Graham. Convinced that Wendy is the key to an explosive new story, Rosie’s search leads her deep into the dangerous world of Glasgow’s Ulster Volunteer Force. This time, Rosie will find herself at the mercy of the most vicious gangsters she’s ever encountered.
Has she met her match?



Meet Martha. It’s the first day of her new job as intern at Edinburgh’sThe Standard. But all’s not well at the ailing newspaper, and Martha is carrying some serious baggage of her own.

Put straight onto the obituary page, she takes a call from a former employee who seems to commit suicide while on the phone, something which echoes with her own troubled past.

Setting in motion a frantic race around modern-day Edinburgh,The Dead Beat traces Martha’s desperate search for answers to the dark mystery of her parents’ past. Soundtracked by and interspersed with a series of gigs from the alternative music scene of her parents’ generation in the early ’90s, Doug Johnstone’s latest page-turner is a wild ride of a thriller, and a perfect follow-on to his #1 Kindle bestseller, Hit & Run.



A grisly suicide in the heart of tourist Edinburgh piques the curiosity of local journalist Doug McGregor, who’s always had a good nose for a story. When his police colleague and occasional drinking partner DS Susie Drummond reveals that the victim is connected to a prominent Scottish politician, Doug finds himself unravelling a story of secrets, drug abuse, violence, murder… and the ultimate taboo. Action-packed from the very start, and with enough twists and turns to shock and surprise even the most hard-bitten crime fan, ‘Falling Fast’ is the first of a trilogy.



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.



Do you believe a house can remember things that have happened in the past?

As D.S Preston and D.C Lang investigate the death of a young girl in an old manor house in Glasgow they ask themselves, who would want to kill an innocent girl in her own home and why? They believe their questions are answered and the case is closed.
Sam Leonard could not be happier, he has an amazing acting career, a loyal best friend and a fantastic girlfriend and after a previous turbulent relationship, what could go wrong?
Patrick McLaughlin’s life is going well. His marriage is stable and with a baby on the way, things can only get better.
But a house that Patrick buys is not all it seems. With a family burial plot in the gardens, visions and messages from the deceased and a fairly recent death in the house, will Patrick and Jodie regret their purchase?

Henderson Manor will bring together the lives of several unsuspecting people…but can a house let go of its past?

June 2014 Coffee Cake and Crime Event With Danielle ramsay


Three brutal attacks.

One near-fatal beating.

And a deadly score to settle.

DI Jack Brady is riding high after the successful outcome of his previous case, but his world is about to come crashing down.

There’s a serial rapist plaguing the streets of Whitley Bay. Three young women have been horribly abused, and his boss and the press are screaming for answers. Everything seems to point to his old friend and foe, gangster Martin Madley, though Brady still struggles to believe he’s capable of such acts.

With time running out before the villain strikes again, Brady must follow every scrap of evidence. But there are forces at work he knows nothing about, and his persistence is leading both him and those close to him ever further into danger…


Vanishing Point sees DI Jack Brady investigating the horrific deaths of young women in Whitley Bay – and uncovering a sadistic and powerful trafficking ring that has its roots in the highest echelons of power…

“Moaning, she lifted her aching head up off the cold tiled floor. In the background the razor sharp noise of dripping water echoed again and again.

All she knew was that she was hurting. Really hurting.

That was when she realised that her tongue was missing…”

Early on a Sunday morning in the North East seaside resort of Whitley Bay, a headless female torso washes up on the beach. Two days later, the body’s missing head appears a mile down the coast – and with that, DI Jack Brady is plunged into one of the most harrowing cases of his career.


Early one morning in the seaside resort of Whitley Bay, the lifeless body of a young girl, Sophie Washington, is found brutally murdered – her face mutilated beyond recognition

DI Jack Brady, recovering from a vicious shooting incident, is on the edge. Struggling with his marriage break-up and his tortured past, his problems intensify when friend and colleague DI James Matthews confidentially reveals that he was with the victim the night of her murder.

Brady’s loyal deputy, the clean-cut Detective Sergeant Harry Conrad and police psychologist Dr Amelia Jenkins are assigned with Brady to solve the victim’s murder. But the investigation becomes increasingly compromised as Brady realises that Matthews is holding something back.

As Brady delves ever deeper into Sophie’s life, he comes to realise that the three men who should have protected her during her short life are the chief suspects in her murder: her teacher, her step-father and a police detective.

1. How did you get started writing 

I completed a BA (Hons)in scriptwriting, followed by a Masters in American literature and film and then a PhD in African American literature and literary theory. However, close to the end of my PhD I began writing a psychological thriller set in New England. When a New York agency said they were interested in it I (foolishly) left my PhD and academia, to complete the novel. It took two years to write and was too long (1,000 pages at least!) and too complicated. The literary agency recommended edits etc., to make it commercially viable but at the time I found myself unable to change it. It’s a novel that I will definitely rewrite when I get the chance. Broken Silence was then my second attempt at writing a novel and I began it on the recommendation of another author who suggested that I write about what I knew; which was living in the North East of England in a run-down seaside resort.
2. What drew you to write a crime novel

I have always been fascinated by the darker side of humanity. Understanding why people commit such atrocious acts of violence is something that never fails to intrigue me. So, crime was the perfect genre for me to indulge my passion for writing and explore what drives one person to inflict pain and suffering on another.
3. Which writers past or present have influenced your style of writing 
Without hesitation, Edgar Allan Poe. His character, Auguste C. Dupin, considered to be one of the first fictional detectives, was certainly one of my earliest influences. The Murders in the Rue Morgue (1841) is the first ‘locked room mystery’ in which a Parisian woman is discovered with her throat cut so savagely that her head is barely attached. Her daughter is then found strangled and stuffed up a chimney. Both gruesome murders have taken place inside a locked room with no evident escape route for the murderer. Poe is the master of narration and a genius when it comes to plots. I would also cite Walter Mosley and his hard-boiled detective series with Easy Rawlins and Raymond Chandler’s private investigator, Philip Marlowe.
4. When you first started writing did you find it hard to get publisher interest 
It is really difficult for any writer starting out to get a publisher interested. However, I was fortunate in that I had an excellent agent (Jenny Brown of Jenny Brown Associates) and she did all the hard work and secured a publishing deal for me. The best advice I could give to any new writer is to get a good agent. Publishing houses are more likely to read your novel if you are represented by a literary agent rather than sending in an unsolicited manuscript.
5. There are many interesting characters in your Novels, do you have a particular favourite one 
I am perhaps going to state the obvious, but it has to be my main character, DI Jack Brady. He is profoundly flawed which makes him such an interesting character to write. He is also a character who is doggedly committed to his job and has an unerring sense of loyalty to all those around him.
6. What kind of research have you have to undertake for your Novels 
I have some contacts in the police force and probation services which are invaluable when writing. The internet is also a fantastic way of carrying out research; whether it is related to forensic technology or police procedural information. I also have the FBI’s Crime Classification Manual. One of the authors, John Douglas, was one of the FBI’s first profilers. It is a fascinating manual and is great research material for anyone interested in studying criminology.
7. Are the characters in your books based on any real life 
No. Given the fact that I write about where I actually live, I would be too worried that someone would recognise themselves in my books and turn up on my doorstep!8. Since you have started writing have any well-known authors given you any advice 
No, I have not been given any advice from any well-known authors but I did read the African American writer, Walter Mosley’s book, ‘This Year You Write Your Novel’. He suggests that you should write for three hours a day. Excellent advice and regardless of how difficult it is to actually commit three hours daily it does guarantees that within a year you will have a novel.

9. Do you see any of your characters personality in yourself and vice versa 
Thankfully, no. However, I am sure that people who know me and have read the series might disagree.
10. If you can, would you give us a sneaky peak into any future novels you have planned 
The next Brady book is Dead Man Walking which will be published next February. The plot is as follows:
In the 1970s, a terrifying serial killer stalked the streets of Tynemouth. The press called him the Joker. The crimes stopped – but the man was never caught. And now he’s back. A body has been found in a sleazy motel room, murdered in exactly the same way as the Joker’s first victims. Brady returns to duty to face the most twisted case yet. As Brady digs into both the old murders and the new, he must confront revenge, betrayal, love and lies… and a truly ruthless killer. Is it a copycat killer or the original Joker? Only time will tell…
11. Out of all the Novels you have written do you gave a favourite one that stands out to you 
It would have to be the one I have just written: Dead Man Walking. The Joker serial killer was such an interesting character and I really enjoyed (if that’s the right word given the horrific nature of his crimes) writing him. Even I felt squeamish when writing some of the crime scenes involving this killer!
12. As a well known crime writer do you have words of advice you can share
The best advice I can give are the words of Randy Pausch. Whether attempting to get a publishing contract, or completing a novel, the following sentiment kept me hanging in there: 
‘Those bricks are not there to keep us out; the brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something.’ (Randy Pausch, ‘The Last Lecture’ 2007.)


Amazon Author Page


June 2014 Coffee Cake and Crime Event With Neil broadfoot


A grisly suicide in the heart of tourist Edinburgh piques the curiosity of local journalist Doug McGregor, who’s always had a good nose for a story. When his police colleague and occasional drinking partner DS Susie Drummond reveals that the victim is connected to a prominent Scottish politician, Doug finds himself unravelling a story of secrets, drug abuse, violence, murder… and the ultimate taboo. Action-packed from the very start, and with enough twists and turns to shock and surprise even the most hard-bitten crime fan, ‘Falling Fast’ is the first of a trilogy.

1. How did you get started writing
I’ve always been a writer, I can’t remember a time when I didn’t write. I remember the notebooks we were given for writing stories at primary school- cheap things with pink covers, but I loved opening them up and writing another adventure. I always knew I wanted to make a living from writing, which is why I got into journalism. It was a way to have a career with words while waiting to get a book deal.

2. What drew you to write a crime novel
I suppose it was natural given my reading tastes; I’m a huge fan of crime fiction, from Conan Doyle through MacBride, Rankin, Winslow and everyone else. I always wanted to write a book that drew readers in the way that crime novels have hooked me, but I wanted to shoot it through with some of the visceral horror that Stephen King is so good at, which is why Falling Fast gets a little graphic at times.

3. Which writers past or present have influenced your style of writing
I guess the biggest single influence on my writing was Stephen King. I grew up reading and writing horror stories -and trying to scare the hell out of my friends doing it! But there was something about the drive of King’s works that I loved, you could almost feel the heat from the pages as he wrote to get the story out in books like Misery and The Dead Zone. That was something I wanted to emulate in my own writing, to keep the story moving and the reader hooked.

4. When you first started writing did you find it hard to get publisher interest
Undoubtedly. Val McDermid recently said that, if she was starting out now, she would be a failed author as publishers want an instant hit. So I was getting all the usual rejection letters saying that my work was good, but wasn’t what they were looking for. My lucky break was the Dundee International Book Festival. I was encouraged to enter it, got shortlisted, and that got the interest of my publisher. From there it kind of snowballed, and here I am with a book on the shelf and more on the way!

5. What was the inspiration behind Falling Fast
It’s difficult to pin down a specific “a-ha” moment of inspiration. I was, and you’ll excuse the pun with this, looking for an opening to a novel that would make enough of a splash to grab the attention of agents and publishers and get me a deal. Working in Edinburgh, I was walking along Princes St and saw the Monument, the people sitting below, and the thought of something happening there – something bad –occurred to me. After that, it was a chain of questions – who, why, how etc that led me into the book.

6. There are many interesting characters in your Novels, do you have a particular favourite one
Good question! It’s difficult to play favourites with my characters, but I will admit I’ve got a soft spot for Hal [Damon, the high-flying PR expert brought in by the Tories to handle the story]. Hal wasn’t in the first draft of the book, he came in during the second, and there was something about his voice that I liked writing. And yes, you’ll see more of him in subsequent books!

7. Why did you choose to set your novels in Edinburgh
I grew up just outside Edinburgh, in a place called Eskbank, so I know the city well. I’ve lived there and I’ve worked there, so it was only natural that I would write about the city. The next book isn’t exclusively Edinburgh-based, but for this one, it was a case of write what you know- and I know that city well.

8. With the amalgamation of the Scottish Police Force last year, how will it effect your future Novels
I don’t imagine it will have a big effect on the books going forward. Sure, there’s been a change of name, L&B police doesn’t exist any more and certain ranks and titles have changed, but the police are still the police, doing the same job.

9. What kind of research have you have to undertake for your Novel
I suppose a lot if it was on-the-job research – I worked in newspapers for 15 years so I knew Doug’s world and how that side of the story would work. That also helped with the procedural side of an investigation and what happens when. That, and some chats with some friendly contacts, and I was there.

10. Are the characters in your books based on any real life
It’s inevitable that parts of your life and the people you meet bleed into your work, but there’s no-one I’ve consciously based on any one person that I know

11. Since you have started writing have any well known authors given you any advice
Just before I was shortlisted for the Dundee prize, James Oswald made it big after self-publishing as an ebook. I was banging my head off the wall at that time looking for another way to get published, so I found his website and emailed him asking him how he did it. I didn’t expect him to reply to a request from a complete stranger, but I got a brilliant email back from him that was very detailed and hugely supportive. I couldn’t follow his advice because Dundee happened just after that, but I got the chance to thanks James when I met him at Crimefest in Bristol earlier this year. Other than that, Craig Robertson, Tony Black, Doug Johnstone, Michael Malone and Douglas Skelton, who I’ve all met at events and festivals, have been utterly fantastic in welcoming me to the club.

12. Do you see any of your characters personality in yourself and vice versa
To an extent, yes. I love telling stories and getting to them first like Doug, I enjoy keeping fit like Susie. As I said, it’s inevitable that bits of your life and experience bleed into your work, so yeah, there are things I see and recognise.

13. If you can, would you give us a sneaky peak into any future novels you have planned
No! Hah, only kidding. It’s a trilogy at the moment, but who knows where the story of Doug and Susie will lead? Their relationship is changing and evolving, but into what? And what would happen if their roles are reversed? For Doug personally, the world of journalism is changing rapidly and he’s going to have to face up to that. He is, as Susie says, “a story-hungry idealist” but what happens when that idealism is challenged by a life-changing situation that has intimate links to Doug’s past?

14. Falling Fast has already been given favourable reviews and your writing has been compared to some of the well known crime writers, how does that make you feel
Embarrassed! Joking aside, it’s hugely humbling and a little surreal to be compared to some of the big names that I enjoy reading myself. Seeing good reviews of the book is always great- it’s a bit of validation for all the years that I was getting rejection letters, and it’s nice to hear that readers are enjoying the book which, after all, is the number one aim.

15. As a up and coming crime writer do you have words of advice you can share
Keep going. It’s a cliché, but it’s true. It took years for me to get a book deal, and I wouldn’t have got to where I am now if it wasn’t for a great group of people telling me to keep moving forward. So make sure you’ve got that support. Keep reading, keep writing and keep going. Take risks and long shots, get your name known but, most importantly, don’t forget to enjoy the work – that’s why you’re here in the first place



Amazon Author Page


June 2014 Coffee cake and crime event with peter Ritchie


Grace den Herder leaves an unhappy childhood and a promising career as a lawyer behind and decides to take on the toughest of challenges: joining the Royal Ulster Constabulary, which is still involved in the fight against terrorist organisations in Northern Ireland, where her performance and dedication leads to a spectacular rise through the ranks of Special Branch. Her work brings professional success but difficulty in forming relationships outside the world of counter-terrorist operations. She runs an informant whose information leads to an operation that goes badly wrong, with a death in police custody and the subsequent murder of the informant, who is uncovered and killed by his organisation. In the aftermath, den Herder makes a decision to give evidence against a colleague and is abandoned by her force and her married lover as a result. She leaves Northern Ireland and rebuilds her career as a detective in the newly formed Major Crime Team in Lothian and Borders. The team finds initial success investigating a brutal home invasion gang who have killed during a robbery. At the same time, brutal attacks on street prostitutes escalate into a series of murders and one of the main suspects is a high profile Edinburgh lawyer. He is eventually arrested and convicted, although den Herder is uneasy about the result. When another prostitute is murdered most believe it to be a copycat crime, but Den Herder decides to reinvestigate. The revelations and subsequent chaos that result tear the Major Crime Team apart. Noble Cause is the first in the trilogy about Grace den Herder. The second story, The Shortest Days of the Year and will be published in the spring. The third story, ‘Red Sky in the Morning’, will be published later in 2014.

How did you get started writing

It’s something I’d always wanted to try, but I think it would have been impossible during the years I was actually involved in serious crime investigations. When you’re in the middle of these enquiries or on a specialized squad it tends to consume you and any time off is eaten up by other priorities. Having said that when I did have any time I loved to paint, draw and have written quite a bit of poetry over the years. I played about with a few short stories and usually stuck them in the back of a cupboard where they lie in the dark to this day. Since I’ve started writing seriously I realise now that it would have been impossible during my police career. Writing’s an even bigger commitment than I thought it would be. It’s not just the time spent actually doing the writing, but also the amount of time thinking about it and running ideas through my head. It’s strange how much of your life it takes over. The great revelation for me is that I love doing it and particularly creating the characters. The intention when I started was to write the one book we all promise ourselves, but the whole experience of sitting there day after day creating a new world was just too engrossing to stop at the end of the first book. The more I did it the more ideas I had for a second and third part of the story. It’s a similar feeling when I finish a painting or drawing, I don’t beat myself up about whether it’s good or bad and just enjoy the thrill of creating something that other people might enjoy. The hardest bit is looking at the finished article and trying to believe it was my work.

What drew you to write a crime novel

As you can imagine, when you’re a working detective you see so much that’s not visible to most people. After years of dealing with these things I’m still amazed at what people are capable of. On one occasion I had to arrest a police colleague I’d known most of my service and believed to be a pillar of the community. For years he’d been attacking women and yet in every other aspect of his life he seemed the perfect citizen and family man. On the other hand you see people performing the most uplifting acts of kindness and humanity. I always thought it was worth the effort to try and convey what it’s really like in the middle of these dramas. I try to make my stories authentic and give them the feel of what investigating is like for the men and women who tear themselves up doing it. Another angle I try to take is making the criminals more layered and human. I often feel they’re a bit neglected in fiction and I try to make them as interesting as the ‘good guys’. I particularly like to tell the story of the people at the bottom of the criminal ladder and just what a grinding existence that can be. This really comes out in the second book where the little guys play a big part in the overall story.

Which writers past or present have influenced your style of writing

Reading was where my education really came from. I left school on my fifteenth birthday to go to sea and although I’d made a decent enough job of the three R’s that was about it. At sea the only recreation was smoking and reading so I began to devour books of all kinds. It gave me a real interest in the world beyond the fishing community and that led to my decision to leave the sea. I remember being blown away when I first read things like Catch 22 and The Master and Margarita. I could see what imagination could do if it was allowed to run and this completely changed my life. Now, when I paint or draw, I try to stay true to that, block out what’s immediately around me and exercise my imagination. The Laidlaw books were the first to really grab my attention in relation to Scottish crime writing and they’ve rarely been bettered for me. Ian Rankin is someone else I admire because he really works at creating a realistic atmosphere and the stresses of the job as well as the plotlines. I have to confess though that I’ve been a Sherlock Holmes fan all my life and still love the stories on paper or film. The Holmes stories are unique and I was so sceptical about the idea of watching them on TV, but I’ve been won over and it shows the power of the characters and stories. When I’m writing, though, I try not to think too much about what anyone else would do, as far as possible I tell the story in my own way and how I imagine the characters would react to the situations I describe. I think it’s what I’ve witnessed myself that really influences me and to go back to the minor characters, watching some them trapped between us and the men who use them could be a sobering experience when you see how many of them end up.

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

I thought I had a bit of luck when I was just finishing Noble Cause. I was in Northern Ireland at the time, had an approach from an Irish publisher and there seemed to be real interest in their story. However it didn’t work out and I tried a couple of publishers here and got nowhere. I’d heard all the horror stories about the difficulties of getting work off the ground so with the help of a friend I decided to go down the Amazon route. The other factor was that I had only set out to write a story with no real idea what I was going to do at the end of it. In the ideal world it would be great to be picked up by a publisher, but it worked for me because I just wanted to write and success wasn’t the driver.

What was the inspiration behind writing Noble Cause

I’ve always been intrigued by the dynamics between people when it all goes wrong. I worked on the Robert Black murders for years when we were getting nowhere and watching people under that amount of stress taught me things I’ve never forgotten. The subject of a detective in terminal decline was something that had been at the back of my mind for years before I wrote the first word and that’s something I address in the book. The concept of noble cause corruption is a fascinating one. Every detective questions what they do and how they do it at some stage of their career. Noble Cause is an exploration of these problems and carries on all the way through the other books. I’ve also tried to explore how people survive and go on in this world. Grace, like everyone else in Northern Ireland is affected by the Troubles. Her professional and personal life are in ruins when she leaves, but she gets through it only to face some of the same old demons. It’s about the struggle some people have just to survive and not only the main characters. This is developed to a greater extent in the second book.

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

Everyone who comes back to me likes the central character Grace herself and I think part of that is that she’s never fully exposed to the reader. I also try and keep something back and let the reader fill in the gaps themselves. She’s simple and complicated at the same time, so she’s like all of us. There’s nothing super human about Grace and sometimes she’s as confused about life as every other human being. Another of the characters, Mick Harkins seems to hit the mark with a lot of people. He’s a flawed man and I keep saying that every detective in every force will recognise a lot of Mick’s qualities and faults. I’m going back to my earlier answer again but of all of them there’s a real emotional response to a relatively minor character, a prostitute called Pauline Johansson who plays a significant role in the first story. That was something that really pleased me and what I was hoping for in that the reader would take an interest in someone who we might regard as unimportant. There’s been criticism over the years that attacks on prostitutes don’t attract the sort of outrage that you find for other crime, especially in the popular media. I’ve seen that from another angle so hopefully the stories bring that out.

Why did you choose to set your novel in Edinburgh

That’s an interesting question and it might seem obvious because I started my career in Lothian and Borders. However I spent half my time away from the force in London where I worked for several years then Holland when I was in Europol. I travelled all over the world and when I retired I worked in Northern Ireland on the Billy Wright Inquiry. So I had worked on a very broad canvass myself and when I started to write I didn’t want Grace to be restricted to one city or force. Crime and investigation isn’t like that anyway nowadays and crosses all borders. Grace starts in the RUC and then moves to Edinburgh. The investigations she conducts involve several cities and in the second and third books Glasgow and Newcastle feature as well. However Belfast and her time during the Troubles in Northern Ireland are always in the background for Grace and she struggles to leave that behind.

Was it hard to write about two different police forces in Noble Cause and why did you decide to do this

It wasn’t difficult at all. Because I’ve worked in so many forces I had no problem seeing the story that way. In fact I loved bringing in different places although Edinburgh is her base and Edinburgh criminals feature all the way through. It also allowed me to create different types of villains because the various cities produce their own particular brands. It was great to be able to use the experience I’ve had in different parts of the country.

What kind of research have you have to undertake for your Novel

Because of my background and experience I don’t have to do much, but because Newcastle came into the third book I had to walk the ground there. I hadn’t been there for a few years and I wanted to make sure the Tyneside area was still the way I remembered it.

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

The short answer is no, but everyone who knows me seems to think they recognise someone or other although they’re all different. It’s given me a few laughs as some of the theories are off the Richter scale. However people interpret the stories their own way and I’m happy to let their imaginations go wherever they want. Of course I have been affected by what I’ve seen in people over the years. It would be ridiculous to try and claim that no character possesses any of the traits I’ve seen in criminals, victims and the men and women I’ve worked with.

Since you have started writing have any well known authors given you any advice

Not yet but I’ll be happy if it happens.

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

There must be, but I think you do it unconsciously. Sometimes I look back on work I’ve done weeks before and realise that there is a link of some kind, although I didn’t know it at the time. The main thing is that I hope I’m not guilty of some of the stuff my criminal characters get up to, but there’s a dark side in all of us so who knows?

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

In the second story Grace makes her peace with her experience of the Troubles. She moves up a rank in the new Scottish force. At the same time a Belfast boy is discharged from the army after abusing a prisoner in Helmand Province and he returns to his loyalist roots in Belfast. After being forced to leave the city he moves to the outskirts of Edinburgh and tries to take over the drugs trade from a Leith family. The story is a complex one involving competing forces from Northern Ireland, Scotland and the Security Services. The third book brings in Newcastle and surrounds the trafficking of women into the country and a missing undercover officer. Of course I had to consider what I do with Grace as her personal life develops all the way through the three books. That little problem caused me more headaches than anything else and I had a lot of requests on that one. I’m in the middle of the final couple of chapters and still not made up my mind!

Noble Cause has already been given favourable reviews and your writing has been compared to some of the well known crime writers, how does that make you feel.

I can’t disguise the pleasure I get when people want to spend time talking about the characters and what they found in the stories. I never set out to get that, but I’d be a liar if I said I didn’t enjoy every minute of it. I’m often described as a man of few words but I do enjoy talking about the books.

As a well known crime writer do you have words of advice you can share

It would be nice to claim I’m a well known writer, but there’s a bit of work to do and a slice of luck required. Anyway I’m a great believer in have a go. What’s to lose? You’ll see things in yourself you never knew were there. Imagine that!



Amazon Author Page

Book Review the day she died catriona mcpherson


***** 5 STARS

That was the day I met Gus, the day I grew a family as if from magic beans, the day she died. That’s the point, see? It was the very same day. Jessie Constable has learned the hard way to always keep herself safe. But meeting Gus King changes everything. Before she knows it, Jessie is sleeping at Gus’s house, babysitting his kids, becoming a part of his family. And yet, she can’t ignore the unsettling questions. Who does she keep seeing from the corner of her eye? Why are strange men threatening her? Most importantly, what really happened to Gus’s wife?

In The Day She Died author Catriona McPherson Creates a brilliant, foreboding mystery where nothing is as it seems and that will keep you guessing until the very end. Right from the beginning the novel develops nicely into a great physiological suspense that utilises the flashbacks/forwards of the imprisoned woman which greatly add to the story and keeps the reader on the edge of their seats.  There is also the main character Jessie and you can’t help but immediately fall in love with her quirky, strong, courageous and vulnerable personality, She’s funny and smart and we love to spend time with her. And yet, she has blind spots and her generosity can get her into trouble. We ache for her and want her to treat herself as well as she treats everyone else. The story is compelling, Jessie is awesome but more than that, McPherson writes with such clear imagery and humor that every word is a delight to read.

The Day She Died is a very interesting book, it is very different from the series of books that are written by the author Catriona McPherson, the Dandy Glover Series as in The Day She Died the pace is not very fast and at times you might found the decisions of the main character a bit aggravating. The way she ingratiated herself into the lives of the family features makes you stop and wonder who would do the things she was doing, but at the same time, you feel respect for her giving so much of herself to a family she barely knew. What this novel does is it plays on the traditional suspense novel in that it concentrates on showing the emotions and relationships of the characters in this novel, you will feel the anger, confusion, hope and determination as if you were sat their next to the characters themselves, Whilst working the isolated and small town  community crime fiction that Scotland is just so good at creating. Overall this was a very entertaining and highly thoughtful novel that kept me wanting to turn the next page. I would recommend this to those who enjoy a more emotional/psychological novel.

Product details
Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Midnight Ink (15 Jun 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0738740454
ISBN-13: 978-0738740454

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


In an alley way of the back streets of Glasgow there lies a decomposing corpse of a slain female baking in the midday heat. No one has found her yet, but medium Patrick McLaughlin knows she is there. It is not the first time he has dreamt of death… and he soon finds out that it is not to be the last.

Meanwhile, the local police start to request DNA samples from twenty something men in the bustling city of Glasgow where several bizarre murders have taken place.

Through a hunch and in the belief that the terrifying dreams hold the key to the identity of the murderer, Patrick works alongside the police to track down the predator before they can strike again.

The nightmares do not ease up and begin to tear at Patricks sanity and in the midst of the investigation, at what cost would Patrick have to pay to stop the killer striking again?
His friends?
His family?
His life?

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


Launch of Bloody Scotland Wednesday 4 June 2014 the tollbooth stirling

Ian Rankin, Christopher Brookmyre, Denise Mina, Peter May and Alanna Knight are among the Scottish authors who will be appearing at the third annual festival which runs from September 19th to the 21st. International visitors include Kathy Reichs, America’s “reigning queen” of forensic fiction and there will be a special focus on contemporary Icelandic crime fiction featuring Ragnar Jonasson, Quentin Bates and Yrsa Siguroardottir.

This year’s event will also feature special events designed to take readers off the page and into the heart of the action, including a true crime dramatisation at Stirling Sheriff Court and a medieval murder mystery at Stirling Castle. Other special events are a dramatisation of the trial of Peter Manuel, the “Beast of Birkenshaw”, also known as Scotland’s first serial killer. Where The audience will play jury in this “chilling” piece of true crime theatre at Stirling Sheriff Court. Scotland will also take on England at crime writers’ football while William McIlvanney and Tom Devine will take part in the final Sunday Herald Independence Debate, the day after the results of Scotland’s independence referendum are announced. And there will also be a mystery crime film screening in the depths of Stirling’s Old Town Jail and the announcement of the 2014 winner of the Deanston Scottish Crime Book of the Year Award.

Audiences will hear from actor-turned-crime novelist John Gordon Sinclair while Tony Parsons will talk about his first foray into the world of crime writing. David Hewson will also be talking about his “novelisation” of Danish TV series The Killing while Sophie Hannah will discuss the challenges of resurrecting an iconic character like Hercule Piorot




For more information and news,how to book tickets and the festival brochure go to the website at http://www.bloodyscotland.com/

Here are some photos provided by Eoin Carey of some of the Leading crime authors attending the festival in September at the Old Town Jail in Stirling to help launch the 2014 Bloody Scotland Crime Writing Festival.