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Trap by Lilja Sigurðardóttir trs Quentin Bates @Lilja1972 @graskeggur @OrendaBooks @West_Camel @AnneCater #blogtour #bookreview

Source: Review copy

Publication: 18TH October 2018 from Orenda Books

Pp: 230

ISBN-13: 978-1912374359

Happily settled in Florida, Sonja believes she’s finally escaped the trap set by unscrupulous drug lords. But when her son Tomas is taken, she’s back to square one … and Iceland.

Her lover, Agla, is awaiting sentencing for financial misconduct after the banking crash, and Sonja refuses to see her. And that’s not all … Agla owes money to some extremely powerful men, and they’ll stop at nothing to get it back.

Set in a Reykjavík still covered in the dust of the Eyjafjallajökull volcanic eruption, and with a dark, fast-paced and chilling plot and intriguing characters, Trap is an outstandingly original and sexy Nordic crime thriller, from one of the most exciting new names in crime fiction.

Happy paperback publication day to the fabulous Lilja Sigurðardóttir.

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways (with sincere apologies to Elizabeth Barrett Browning)

I love thee to the depth and breadth and height of thy story telling ability. This is a cracker of a story which plays out with just the right degree of mishap, tense action and manipulative behaviour to keep the reader transfixed and always intrigued.

I love thee for thy strong women of all shapes, sizes and abilities. From incredibly astute women to the brave in the face of adversity women, to the women who really should know better,  to the evil woman behind the evil man, these are women who stand up to be counted and who make a difference, even if it’s not always in the direction they wanted.

I love thee for thy humour, from the humour of grotesque violence to the brilliant chopsticks and fork comparison; who knew a book about dodgy financial dealings and drug trafficking could bring so many smiles to my face.

But mostly, I just love thee for having written this brilliant series which sparkles like an iceberg in the sun.

For the new reader, start with Snare, the first book in this terrific series and a great read in its own right. Trap follows on from Snare as we find Sonja only temporarily safe from the clutches of her rather horrible husband, Adam and sheltering in the USA with her son, Tomas. That shelter is short lived as Adam’s thugs are sent to get Sonja and Tomas and unceremoniously bundle them home to Iceland.

From there, things only get worse for Sonja. Deprived of her son, forced to re-enter the drug smuggling game and then sandwiched between the brutal Adam and the remorseless and very creepy Mr Jose, Sonja feels her options are none too clever.

Mr Jose, whom we first met in Snare, and whose questionable taste in house pets always has Sonja on edge, also has a partner and if Sonja thinks she’s badly off now, there’s a whole lot of worse trouble headed her way as her London visits turn very nasty indeed.

Sigurdardottir is excellent at building a very real climate of fear and her violence is the street violence of the drugs lord gangster; swift, brutal and decisive.

Alongside this element of her plot, we also learn a great deal more about the financial astuteness of Agla, a woman who can run financial rings round her colleagues and whose knowledge, though it has already brought her trouble, is still good enough to allow her to draw the odd rabbit from her hat. Never has she needed that ability as much as she does now. Cornered and in debt, she looks for ways to get free, but it is Sonja’s plight that finally unleashes the tiger in her and allows her to conceive a plan that may just work for both of them.

I like Sonja and in this book I really began to like Agla too, for all her needy behaviour. Sigurdardottir has built in so many close calls for her characters that you are never quite prepared for what’s going to come next, so it just as well that the women can think on the move. Sonja’s relationship with Bragi, the elderly Customs Officer waiting for retirement and determined that his first priority will always be his ailing wife ,also makes for a convincing and all too human character.   It is not possible to feel anything but sympathy for Bragi and his situation, whatever the rights and wrongs of his actions.

Sigurdardottir has a very canny ability to paint her picture in shades of grey. Whilst it’s easy to work out who the real gangsters are, when it comes to the top level financial mis-dealings, there’s a rot somewhere in the highest echelons that someone does not want uncovered and woe betide the staff in the Prosecutor’s office who are not astute enough to work that out.

I like that about this series; that feeling that however dig you deep, you will never quite get to the bottom of Iceland’s financial banking scandal and the lingering feeling that not only is there more to uncover, but perhaps there are dodgy dealings still going on? Sigurdardottir leaves that possibility hanging in the air, making this a rather fascinating and brilliantly edgy look at contemporary Icelandic society.

This is such a good series on a number of levels. I need these characters back in my life soon, please.

Verdict: I can’t count the number of ways I love this series. Just brilliant.

Amazon                                Waterstones

About Lilja Sigurðardóttir

Lilja Sigurðard.

Icelandic crime-writer Lilja Sigurdardóttir was born in the town of Akranes in 1972 and raised in Mexico, Sweden, Spain and Iceland. An award-winning playwright, Lilja has written four crime novels, with Snare, the first in a new series, hitting bestseller lists worldwide. The film rights have been bought by Palomar Pictures in California. Lilja has a background in education and has worked in evaluation and quality control for preschools in recent years. She lives in Reykjavik with her partner.

Follow Lilja on Twitter @Lilja1972

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When I Find You by Emma Curtis @EmmaCurtisBooks @TransworldBooks #WhenIFindYou

Source: Review copy

Publication: 9th August 2018 from Black Swan

Pp: 400

ISBN-13: 978-1784164003


What do you do when someone takes advantage of your greatest weakness?

When Laura wakes up after her office Christmas party and sees a man’s shirt on the floor, she is horrified. But this is no ordinary one-night-stand regret.

Laura suffers from severe face-blindness, a condition that means she is completely unable to identify and remember faces. So the man she spent all night dancing with and kissing – the man she thought she’d brought home – was ‘Pink Shirt’.

But the shirt on her floor is blue.

And now Laura must go to work every day, and face the man who took advantage of her condition. The man she has no way of recognising.

She doesn’t know who he is . . . but when she finds him she’ll make him pay.


I enjoyed the intensity of Emma Curtis debut novel, One Little Mistake, so I was intrigued to read her second book. It did not disappoint.

When I Find You isn’t the first book dealing with face blindness or propagnosia as it is called, this year. It is however by far the most interesting. Because Emma Curtis makes you feel what it is like not to be able to recognise those closest to you by their facial features. More than that, she lets you feel how terrifying it must be in a whole number of situations when you simply have no idea who you are talking to.

Once you have that sense, an idea of how difficult navigating life is with this condition,  Curtis then asks you to factor in a party, alcohol and a rape. All at once I understood how truly awful this condition can be.

Laura is Creative Director at one of London’s successful ad agencies.  She has made the bold (stupid?) choice to say nothing to anyone about her condition, except for her boss, Rebecca, one of the Agency’s two managing partners.

She manages fine in the main by identifying people through their hair, clothing, where they sit and what they talk about. But when she goes home after the Christmas Party with a man, she realises when she wakes up that this is not the man she thought she was going home with.

That’s the centrepiece for what is a fascinating series of moral questions that would not look out of place on the Moral Maze.

I learnt quite a lot from this book which set me thinking across a range of moral and ethical considerations not to mention how the law might deal with such a situation.

In this tale of corporate behaviour, love, lies and betrayal, no-one behaves entirely as well as they might and some are downright despicable. But in the middle is Laura, intelligent, capable, creative, but at a huge personal disadvantage because of her face blindness.

As Laura struggles to work out who could have so slyly and cruelly deceived her, Curtis also offers an insight into the lives of others working in the Agency and how they live their lives.  Laura’s boss Rebecca has her own problems with David, the Agency’s co-founder and the story is narrated in alternating chapters by Laura’s first-hand account and then from Rebecca’s third party perspective.

Curtis’ style is good and my empathy for Laura’s character was strong. As the book builds into a twisted and tense psychological thriller, Curtis has you constantly second guessing the perpetrator, and just when you think you have, bang –she turns the readers thinking on its head.

Verdict: Well researched, nicely plotted with several strands that tie together well, this was an interesting, unusual and highly enjoyable thriller that set me thinking.


Amazon                                                          Waterstones


About Emma Curtis


Emma Curtis was born in Brighton and brought up in London. She is a member of ‘The Prime Writers’, a collective of writers who have all had their first books published after the age of 40.  Emma has two children and lives in Richmond with her husband.

Follow Emma on Twitter @emmacurtisBooks

Cold Breath by Quentin Bates (Officer Gunnhildur #6) @graskeggur @Emily_BookPR #ColdBreath #Gunnhildur

Source: Review copy

Publication: 11th October 2018 from Constable

Pp: 320

ISBN-13: 978-1472127761


Gunnhildur reluctantly allows herself to be taken off police duties to act as bodyguard to a man with a price on his head . . .

Hidden away in a secure house outside Reykjavík, Gunna and the high-profile stranger, a guest of the interiors minister, are thrown together – too close for comfort. They soon find they are neither as safe nor as carefully hidden as Gunna and her boss had thought. Conflicting glimpses of the man’s past start to emerge as the press begin to sniff him out, as does another group with their own reasons for locating him. Gunna struggles to come to terms with protecting the life of a man who may have the lives of many on his conscience – or indeed may be the philanthropist he claims to be.

Isolated together, the friction grows between Gunna and the foreign visitor, and she realises they are out of their depth as the trails lead from the house outside Reykjavík to Brussels, Russia and the Middle East.

Officer Gunnhildur Gísladóttor is taken right out of her comfort zone in the latest novel by her creator, Quentin Bates. An officer in the Reykjavik Serious Crime Unit, Gunna is taken aside by her boss and asked to take on some hush hush security work. In a novel packed full of politics, the refugee crisis, arms sales and dodgy charitable doings, Gunna finds herself packing a Glock under her arm and babysitting a somewhat dodgy character who is visiting Iceland as a guest of the Government Minister for the Interior.

At least, some people think he’s dodgy and certainly Gunna reckons he is morally if not criminally, suspect.  A trio of journalists across Europe are trying to track down the rumours that connect this head of a philanthropic organisation and self-styled human rights activist to a right wing group and to arms sales.

Now he and Gunna are living cheek by jowl in a remote bungalow and the more Gunna sees of this man, the less she likes him. Gunna’s not the only one with suspicions about the visitor. Someone is out to kill him and assassins are already on his trail.

In a multi-layered plot full of political intrigue, Bates weaves a tight story arc piecing together information from the journalists, international police operatives and others until it is clear that nothing is as straightforward as it seems, except that the political waters have never been muddier and more than one individual will die before the first night is out.

Cold Breath works well as a stand-alone and as you’d expect, the Icelandic backdrop is a thing of beauty in its own right. I loved Gunna’s trip to the island and the fabulous descriptions of the shops, baking and rural fishing life that it conveys, in contrast to the smooth efficiency of the Government machine in Reykjavík. The cold seeps through the reader’s bones, especially out in the water, and the remote setting for the bungalow adds to the sense of isolation that Gunna feels.

Gunna is a great protagonist. Cautious, always thinking of her family and looking out for her colleagues, she is ready to put herself in danger to save a man she doesn’t particularly like and whose motives she distrusts. As she grows to know more about him, her impressions will shift a little, but nothing will keep her from doing her job as well as she can, even when it’s clear there are precious few people she can trust.

Told in the third person and from a number of perspectives, Cold Breath is a chilling, well told thriller with more than a thread of contemporary politics to keep the reader engrossed. Another fabulous addition to the Icelandic Noir canon.

Verdict: A chilling, well told thriller with more than a thread of contemporary politics to keep the reader engrossed.

Amazon                                                         Waterstones


About Quentin Bates

quentin b picture

Quentin Bates dates back to the year of the Cuban Missile Crisis and was brought up in the south of England. In the year that Margaret Thatcher became Britain’s Prime Minister, he was offered the opportunity to spend a gap year working in Iceland and jumped at the chance of escape.

The gap year turned into a gap decade, during which he worked as a netmaker, factory hand and trawlerman, started a family and generally went native.

In England, he worked as a truck driver, teacher, fisherman and as a freelance journalist writing about nautical stuff, while gradually spending less time at sea. He has always been a big reader, and gradually writing started to take over.

Seagoing was followed by years as a journalist for obscure nautical trade magazines, a dream job for anyone who gets a kick out of visiting industrial estates and obscure harbours miles from anywhere. From there it was a series of sidesteps into fiction. Gunnhildur and the book that became Frozen Out grew out of a university writing course that enabled him to take an afternoon off work once a week.

As well as writing his own fiction, Quentin has become a busy translator, having translated Ragnar Jónasson’s Dark Iceland series of five novels and Lilja Sigurðardóttir’s Reykjavik Noir trilogy into English for Orenda Books. Other translations include Bowline by Guðlaugur Arason, The Edge of the World by Sigurjón Magnússon and Cab 79 by Indriði G. Thorsteinsson.

Follow Quentin on Twitter @graskeggur

Visit Quentin Bates’ website

Lies Between Us by Ronnie Turner @Ronnie__Turner @HQDigitalUK #BlogTour #LiesBetweenUs #WhereisBonnie?



Source: Purchased copy

Publication: e-book 1st October 2018 from HQ Digital and paperback from 13 Dec 2018

Pp: 384

ISBN-13: 978-0008322991


Will they ever learn the truth?

Three people, leading very different lives, are about to be brought together – with devastating consequences . . .

John has a perfect life, until the day his daughter goes missing.

Maisie cares for her patients, but hides her own traumatic past.

Miller should be an innocent child, but is obsessed with something he can’t have.

They all have something in common, though none of them know it – and the truth won’t stay hidden for long . .


Lies Between Us is a book that sets out to give the reader a serious brain workout. Snappily written in short chapters which are very readable, this novel follows the lives of three main narrators. This is very much a character driven novel and for the reader it is important to take note of the date stamps at the top of chapters, because this book takes us not just on a character journey, but also backwards and forward in time.

Three central characters, three different time periods, but we don’t know which if any we can rely on. In a tightly woven plot that twists and turns the threads until we are knotted up trying to unpick the puzzle, Ronnie Turner has created a maze for the mind where just as you think you see the door another turn leads to a dead end.

Lies Between Us is a story of malevolent, obsessive love in which the sheer psychopathy of one of the characters is both chilling and very, very creepy.

John and Jules Graham are living a wonderfully happy life when their daughter Bonnie is taken in November 2015. Only six years old and the light of their lives, there are no obvious clues as to what has happened to her and the police are at a loss to know where to turn next for evidence.  As John and Jules slowly unravel, it becomes clear that they are being targeted by someone who wants nothing more than to cause them the most intense grief and pain. Jules is expecting a second child, but there’s no joy when that child, too could be under threat.

Who would be so cruel as to inflict torture on a child just to see their parents suffer? This person is surely the personification of evil.

Maisie is a nurse in the Intensive Care Wing of a hospital in January 2016. She is a dedicated ICU nurse and one of her patients is Tim, attacked and left for dead on the streets, he is now in a coma. Tim’s wife, Heidi, is expecting a child and as they spend time together in Tim’s ICU room, Heidi and Maisie become friendly. As Maisie nurses Tim and looks after his care she learns a lot about his family from Heidi and as she does so, she begins to harbour concerns about what is going on in this family’s dynamics. Maisie lives with Ben and though they love each other, there are secrets between them that could lead to serious difficulties in their relationship. But how are Maisie, Tim and Ben connected to Jules and John?

By far the most chilling character is Miller, a young boy growing up in the 1990’s. Cold, calculating, psychopathic, this is a child without compassion, so callous that he reminded me of Damien in The Omen. Miller’s voice is terrifying and his character is both utterly gripping and horribly compelling. His actions draw the reader inexorably into a web of cruelty and deceit as we see how his warped sense of love impacts on those around him.

Ronnie Turner has created well fleshed out, believable characters with seemingly unconnected backgrounds, but as you go through the book, small crumbs of clues are scattered which make you think you might know what’s coming, though I never did completely work it out.

I admit I had to go back to a chapter a couple of times to make sure I was following what was going on. This is a complex plot that sets out to deceive and succeeds in spades. As Turner ties the threads together and we finally see how these characters are connected, the final revelation is jaw dropping.

For a debut novel, it is surprisingly complex, but  well written and really shocking.

Verdict: A twisted story of love, lies and obsession that will keep you guessing.


Amazon                                  Waterstones


About Ronnie Turner


Author Photo 2(1)

Ronnie Turner grew up in Cornwall, the youngest in a large family. At an early age, she discovered a love of literature and dreamed of being a published author. Ronnie now lives in Dorset with her family and three dogs. In her spare time, she reviews books on her blog and enjoys long walks on the coast. She is currently working on her second novel.


Follow Ronnie on:

Twitter: @Ronnie_ _Turner

Facebook: @RonnieTurnerAuthor

Instagram: @ronnieturner8702


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UNNATURAL CAUSES by Dr. Richard Shepherd @MichaelJBooks #UnNaturalCauses #BookReview

Source: Netgalley

Publication: 20th September 2018 from Michael Joseph

Pp: 400

ISBN-13: 978-0718182717

Meet the forensic pathologist, Dr Richard Shepherd.

He solves the mysteries of unexplained or sudden death.

He’s a detective in his own right.

And he has one, ultimate and pressing question to answer:

How did this person die?

Unnatural Causes is a must read for anyone interested in crime, whether true crime or fiction. Dr. Richard Shepherd is a forensic pathologist and this book covers a whole host of fascinating and some well-known cases in which he was involved. It is a story told in layman’s terms about the working and domestic life of a pathologist and the inevitable toll that such a life can have on the personal and domestic agenda.

From the book it is easy to see how completely fascinated Richard Shepherd is about what the body in death can tell us, and the extent to which he threw himself into his work is an indication of how compelled he was by it.

Involved in some of the most high-profile cases of recent times, from Hungerford to the death of Princess Diana to the Twin Towers bombings, there are so many lessons to be learnt from these cases that it is easy to forget that these are autopsies and focus instead on what the dead have to say about their means of extinction.

The pressure to apportion blame when giving evidence is acute, especially when the crime appears to be a heinous one, and Shepherd gives us a flavour of what it is like to come under pressure from defence counsel when testifying, and the need to remember that testimony has to reflect the logical conclusion of an autopsy based on a balance of probabilities. For in the end, that evidence puts killers behind bars, frees the innocent and speaks for those who no longer have a voice.

Shepherd takes us through his own upbringing, his marriage and the births of his children, often showing a painful and heartfelt recognition of what he could have done better. Most of all he shows us what a fallible human being he is and how the profound toll of years of first hand testimony manifested itself upon him. From Sudden Infant Death Syndrome to the Marchioness disaster to Hungerford, this is a man who never lacks compassion yet who does not shy away from telling his truth.

He talks honestly about his “real mental struggle” believing that someone of Dr. Harold Shipman’s position – a trusted GP responsible for the deaths of up to 215 patients – could commit such horrific acts. “But the evidence all pointed that way” he says. “And it was the truth.”

I thought this was a terrific book from all kinds of perspectives. I learnt a huge amount, and I was left in no doubt that every life he attended was treated with the same degree of care and attention, irrespective of who they were or how they died.

In many ways, this book is a personal journey and you can feel his sadness when he talks about the demise of University pathology courses and the privatisation of the Forensic Pathology Service, a service he helped to found.  The personal cost of all his work has been enormous and we all owe him and his colleagues a debt of gratitude for the work that they do.

Verdict: An intelligent, compassionate overview of an expert’s life in forensic pathology.

Amazon                                                Waterstones


About Richard Shepherd

richard shepherd

Dr Richard Shepherd is the leading forensic pathologist in the UK and has been involved in the investigation of many high profile deaths. He is a visiting professor at City University London, Honorary Consultant at The Royal Liverpool Hospital and a registered UK Home Office Forensic Pathologist.

With over 25 years of experience, he advised on the management of UK fatalities following 9/11, and was the forensic pathologist expert for the Bloody Sunday Inquiry and the death of Diana, Princess of Wales. He is a member of the Ministerial Independent Advisory Panel on Deaths in Custody and also of the Restraint Accreditation Board, and has been a member of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Appeals Panel.

He appears on Channel Five’s Autopsy, where he investigates the mystery and intrigue behind the deaths of high profile celebrities such as Michael Jackson and Michael Hutchence.

Unnatural Causes is his first book.

BONE DEEP by Sandra Ireland @22_ireland @PolygonBooks #BoneDeep #BookReview



Source: Purchased copy

Publication: 5TH July 2018 from Polygon

Pp: 272

ISBN-13: 978-1846974182


What happens when you fall in love with the wrong person?

The consequences threaten to be far-reaching and potentially deadly. Bone Deep is a contemporary novel of sibling rivalry, love, betrayal and murder. It is a dual narrative, told in alternative chapters by Mac, a woman bent on keeping the secrets of the past from her only son, and the enigmatic Lucie, whose own past is something of a closed book. Their story is underpinned by the creaking presence of an abandoned water mill, and haunted by the local legend of two long-dead sisters, themselves rivals in love, and ready to point an accusing finger from the pages of history.


Sandra Ireland uses description beautifully to create the damp, mouldy, something-not-quite-right-here setting of an old mill into which Lucie, somewhat resembling a startled faun, arrives one day.

Lucie has flown her family house, pretty much booted out by her mother, after being discovered in an illicit relationship. Not just an illicit relationship but one that undermines the whole basis of family relationships.

So she takes a job with the somewhat eccentric Mac, a historian who specialises in the re-telling of old folk tales and capturing them before the verbal versions are lost to time.  Lucie is there to be her Girl Friday, typing up the stories, making sure Mac has what she needs and generally keeping an eye on her health. In return she gets a stipend and a cottage on the mill grounds to live in.

Lucie’s story runs parallel to one which Mac has become obsessed with, that of two daughters to a King and the more we find out, the more we can see that that this story has meaning for both Lucie and Mac.

As Sandra Ireland’s beautiful prose unfolds we see that this is a story of family secrets that come back to haunt us and how history repeats itself as past and present become blurred in Mac’s mind.

Ireland builds a slow but darkening sense of unease and suspense as this Gothic tale becomes more macabre and the old mill takes on a character of its own as the story reaches a terrible conclusion.

Verdict: A story of love, betrayal and family secrets beautifully told.

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About Sandra Ireland


Sandra Ireland was born in Yorkshire, lived for many years in Limerick, and is now based in Scotland. She began her writing career as a correspondent on a local newspaper but quickly realised that fiction is much more intriguing than fact. She returned to higher education her 40s, to study for undergraduate and postgraduate degrees at Dundee University. In 2016 she won Creative Scotland funding for a residency at Barry Mill, a National Trust for Scotland property. Her debut novel  Beneath
the Skin was published by Polygon in 2016.

Follow Sandra on Twitter @22_ireland

The Janus Run by Douglas Skelton @DouglasSkelton1 @sarabandbooks #Bookreview

Source: Purchased copy

Publication: 20th September 2018 from Saraband

PP: 288

ISBN-13: 978-1912235254


When Coleman Lang finds his girlfriend Gina dead in his New York City apartment, he thinks nothing could be worse… until he becomes the prime suspect.

Desperate to uncover the truth and clear his name, Coleman hits the streets. But there’s a deranged Italian hitman, an intuitive cop, two US Marshals, and his ex-wife all on his tail. And trying to piece together Gina’s murky past without dredging up his own seems impossible. Worse, the closer he gets to Gina’s killer, the harder it is to evade the clutches of the mysterious organisation known only as Janus – from which he’d long since believed himself free.

Packed with plot twists, suspense and an explosive climax, The Janus Run is an edge-of-the-seat, breathtaking thriller – NYC noir at its finest.


Blimey, but this bloke can write. I wasn’t at all sure what to expect from Douglas Skelton’s first foray into the world of New York crime. What I got was the mafia, a top secret organisation with a suspicious political agenda; a couple of US Marshalls;  snappy, stylised dialogue that keeps you grinning; fantastic characterisation and a great plot with loads of thrills and spills and not a little dark humour.

Intriguingly, Skelton has created a character in Coleman Lang that clearly has miles of life left in him after this book. I can easily see how this, now lone, hero could carry on book after book. I know I would read the next one.

Lang is everything you want to believe in. A man who is handsome, rugged, honest and caring – and who had almost recovered from the damage done by his job whilst in the marines, only to be blasted out of his comfort zone by the brutal killing of his lover.  Pursued by a really well written cop character, Rosie Santoro, two US Marshalls and a psychotic singing mafia hit-man, Skelton uses Lang to take us on one heck an almost cinematic ride where we quickly learn to dodge the bullets that come at us at a fast and furious pace.

Tense, full of action and packed with double dealing and intrigue, this is a first class read that leaves you wanting more.

Verdict: All the stars for a snappy, zappy, zinging thriller read.

Amazon                                              Waterstones

About Douglas Skelton

douglas skelton

Douglas Skelton

Douglas Skelton has been a bank clerk, tax officer, taxi driver (for two days), wine waiter (for two hours), journalist and investigator. He has written 11 true crime and Scottish criminal history books but is now concentrating on fiction. Doesn’t meanhe won’t, some day, come up with another factual piece – there are a couple of old cases he’’d love to get into – but for now he is making stuff up.


BLOOD CITY, published in 2013 by Luath Press, introduced Davie McCall, a young Glasgow hard man with a heart – a good man walking in a bad man’s skin.

CROW BAIT (2014, Luath Press) continued Davie’s story, pitting him against his murderous father.

In DEVIL’S KNOCK (2015, Luath Press) Davie tries to find a witness to a brutal murder while dealing with a Hollywood star who wants to pick his brains.

OPEN WOUNDS (2016, Luath Press) is the final book in the quartet. Davie wants out but will the Life let him? A miscarriage of justice may help him find redemption, while the woman who has moved in upstairs might finally bring him love. But in Glasgow’s underbelly, death is only a bullet away.

THE DEAD DON’T BOOGIE (2016, Contraband) is something of a departure – and the beginning of a new series. Dominic Queste is an off-beat hero who calls himself an odd-job man. One of those odd-jobs is to find Jenny Deavers for her aunt. But there are dangerous people on the young woman’s trail and Queste, more often than not armed only with a string of one-liners, finds himself and his friends in the firing line.


Skelton’s true crime career started with feature articles in the Glasgow Evening Times, then his first book BLOOD ON THE THISTLE (Mainstream, 1992).

That led to his involvement in the case of two men convicted of an horrific multiple murder on dubious evidence. The subsequent book, FRIGHTENER (Mainstream 1992), (written with Lisa Brownlie) helped kickstart a campaign to have the case re-examined by the courts. The two men were eventually cleared on appeal.

In NO FINAL SOLUTION (Mainstream 1994), a selection of unsolved Scottish cases, he linked a series of murders in Glasgow and Edinburgh. At the time the police scotched the notion but ten years later they launched an investigation into possible links between these, and other cases.

In MY BLOODY VALENTINE and DEADLIER THAN THE MALE (both Black and White) he  turned his back on modern crime to write about older cases, including retelling the Burke and Hare story from the point of view of their wives.

INDIAN PETER (Mainstream) is the true adventure tale of a young man kidnapped from the Aberdeen quayside, transported to the American colonies, shipwrecked, sold as an indentured servant, captured by Native Americans, escaped, fought in the French and Indian War, captured again, exchanged as a prisoner of war, returned to Britain – and then his life really began! Once back in Scotland he commenced a 20 year legal battle to prove that powerful men in Aberdeen were behind the kidnapping trade. As he did so be became an author, printer, publisher, publican and formed the first penny post in Edinburgh.

In DARK HEART (Mainstream) he returned to Edinburgh to tell the story of the Tolbooth, the notorious Heart of Midlothian. In its life it was many things – centre of commerce, council building, parliament house, court house and finally town jail. It was one of the most important buildings in the country’s history and yet nothing of it exists, which is a shame.

His final non-fiction work was GLASGOW’S BLACK HEART (Mainstream), an account of Glasgow’s criminal history from the year 1800. It was an epic tale, encompassing bank robbery, murder, terrorism – a secret history of the city, in fact.

Follow Douglas on Twitter @DouglasSkelton1

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Damyanti Biswas is an author, blogger, animal-lover, spiritualist. Her work is represented by Ed Wilson from the Johnson & Alcock agency. When not pottering about with her plants or her aquariums, you can find her nose deep in a book, or baking up a storm.

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Bucks, Books & Beyond

This blog is for me to share with you where books have taken me recently.

Sandy's Book a Day Blog

A book a day is bliss😍

Over The Rainbow Book Blog

Book reviews and ramblings from a book mad mum of three!

Raven Crime Reads

Criminally good reads...


Live the life of a reader

A Knight's Reads

All things bookish

Katie's Book Cave

My Book Cave full of fabulous books and authors

Barbara Copperthwaite



Fiction reviews, Bookblogger, Fiction book reviews, books, crime fiction, author interviews, mystery series, cover, love, bookish thoughts...

Audio Killed the Bookmark

Two Girls Who Love To Read Spreading the Love For All Things Bookish! 💕📚🎧