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Places of Death

Alex J. Craig reviews Bloody Scotland.

iScot Book Review

The ‘Bloody Scotland’ crime fiction festival happens every September in Stirling. It’s going from strength to strength, and all the major figures in Scottish crime writing – and many minor ones too – are there. Val Mc-Dermid and Peter May both attracted sell-out crowds at Stirling’s Albert Hall.

One of the items I noticed on sale at the festival’s own bookshop was a modest hardback volume called simply Bloody Scotland. There were lots of names on the front, and I assumed it was a random collection of short stories by well-known writers published to take advantage of the festival crowds. A kind of souvenir. But on picking it up I found it was more than that. It wasn’t just what the authors had at the bottom of the wardrobe without a publisher. It is in fact a carefully focused collection by twelve of our best crime writers. Each has taken a place or item that’s part of Scotland’s built heritage and written a short story around it. The idea came out of a suggestion from James Crawford at Historic Environment Scotland, who, with additional support from Creative Scotland, have published the book. And an interesting collection it is too.

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iScot Magazine November 2017