Archive | fiction

Meaghan Delahunt

Meaghan Delahunt

Meaghan Delahunt was born in Melbourne, Australia but now lives on the East Coast of Scotland. Her first novel, In The Blue House, was published to widespread acclaim in 2002, winning a regional Commonwealth Prize for Best First Book, the Saltire Award for First Novel, a Scottish Arts Council Book of the year award, and places on the Orange Prize longlist and the Christina Stead Prize shortlist. Her second novel, The Red Book (Granta, 2008), was shortlisted for the Saltire Book of the Year award for 2008.

Meaghan was awarded a UNESCO Aschberg literature residency and Scottish Arts Council bursary in 2000 and an Asialink literature residency in 2002. In 2004 she was Writer in Residence in the Management School at St Andrews University, and she now lectures in Creative Writing at the University of Stirling.

Meaghan’s website:

Meaghan Delahunt is represented at Jenny Brown Associates by Jenny. For all enquiries contact

Books by Meaghan

To The Island
Granta, June 2011

Meaghan Delahunt - To the Island

He disappeared. That’s all she really knew. In search of her father Andreas, whom she has never met, Lena travels with her small son from Australia to Greece. On the island of Naxos she finds him, a wary, tormented man living in self-imposed exile and haunted by what happened to him under the rule of the Colonels in the 1960s. Slowly Lena unlocks the secrets of her father’s past, and in getting to know him begins to understand the dark realities of contemporary Greek history. To the Island is a book about the impact of larger political events on the lives of ordinary people, and how political and personal betrayals reverberate across generations, beautifully evoking the currents and cross-currents between individuals, within families and in broader society. And in Lena and Andreas’s stories, it shows how difficult it is to confront our personal and collective pasts – and the terrible consequences of being unable to do so.

Praise for To The Island

A wise and compassionate novel, beautifully written
The Times

It is a tale of recovery, of people who go through very bad things and then get better, in a limited and circumscribed way. It has more in common with a novel by Jean Rhys or Ernest Hemingway than the usual story of recovery… The writing is spare, sinewy; the mood goes from dark to a little less dark
The Financial Times

A powerful novel… There is a meditative, painterly quality to this novel, which reflect the way Delahunt, a practising Buddhist, writes and thinks
The Glasgow Herald

This is a novel of quietly intense physicality… Meaghan Delahunt explores the labyrinths of the human heart in a long awaited third novel
Scotland on Sunday

One of the things that lifts Meaghan Delahunt’s novels above the ordinary, besides her attentive and spiky prose, is her political interest… It may always be politics, or a political cause, that anchors Delahunt’s tales, but her mapping of the political onto the personal shows that she never forgets the human faces behind the banners
The Scotsman

Longlisted for the John D. Criticos Prize, London Hellenic Society


Cathy McSporran

Cathy McSporran
Cathy McSporran has published short stories in Chapman, Nerve, Eclogia, Mslexia and other magazines as well as in anthologies and web publications, and has more than a dozen awards for short fiction from the Scottish Association of Writers. She teaches creative writing at Glasgow University, and has published numerous articles and chapters on the fantastic in modern fiction. Cold City, published by Freight Books, is her debut novel.

Cathy McSporran - Cold City Cover

Cathy is represented by Kevin –

Maggie Ritchie


Maggie Ritchie graduated with Distinction from the University of Glasgow’s Creative Writing MLitt programme in 2012 and was awarded the Curtis Brown Prize. Her first novel Paris Kiss was long-listed for the 2013 Mslexia Novel Competition and was runner-up for the 2012 Sceptre Prize.

A freelance journalist, Maggie writes for the national and Scottish press, including the Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday, the Guardian, the Times, the Sunday Times, the Herald, the Daily Record and the Sunday Mail. Maggie lives in Glasgow with her husband and their son, and is currently working on a second novel.

Maggie’s website:

Maggie’s Twitter:

Maggie is represented at Jenny Brown Associates by Jenny. For all enquiries contact

Books by Maggie Ritchie

Paris Kiss
Saraband, February 2015

Maggie Ritchie - Paris Kiss

Bohemian Paris in the 1880s. Exotic, strange and exciting, especially to young English sculptor Jessie Lipscomb, who joins her friend Camille to become a protégée of the great Auguste Rodin. Jessie and Camille enjoy a passionate friendship and explore the demi-monde of the vibrant city, meeting artists such as Toulouse-Lautrec and the boldly unconventional Rosa Bonheur. But when Rodin and Camille embark on a scandalous affair, Jessie is cast as their unwilling go-between and their friendship unravels. Years later she tracks her down to an insane asylum where Camille tells her an explosive secret. Can their friendship survive the betrayal?

Praise for Paris Kiss

 Flows from the page like a piece of art
Sunday Mirror

A touching tale of friendship, love and betrayal set against a colourful backdrop of the Paris art world
France Magazine

Jessie’s adventures as a woman artist in 1880s Paris completely captivated me. A wonderful story
Carmen Reid

A beautifully written evocation of the Parisian art scene of the late 1800s… It is a mesmerising canvas of love, friendship and betrayal
Laura Marney

George Mackay Brown

George Mackay Brown

George Mackay Brown (1921 – 1996) was one of the greatest Scottish writers of the twentieth century. A prolific poet, admired by such fellow poets as Ted Hughes and Seamus Heaney, he was also an accomplished novelist, dramatist and a master of the short story. Bar a brief period in Edinburgh, where he associated with the ‘Rose Street’ crowd including Hugh MacDiarmid, Norman MacCaig and others, Mackay Brown spent most of his life in Orkney, and his work is saturated with references to his native islands. As Seamus Heaney wrote, in Mackay Brown’s work everything was passed ‘through the eye of the needle of Orkney’.

He died in April 1996 at the age of 74. In 2005 a memorial plaque to Brown was unveiled in the Writer’s Museum in Edinburgh, engraved with a quotation from his best-known poem, ‘Hamnavoe’:

In the fire of images
Gladly I put my hand.

The Literary Estate of George Mackay Brown is represented by Jenny.

For permissions relating to George Mackay Brown’s poetry please contact

For all other enquiries contact

Selected Books by George Mackay Brown

Much of Mackay Brown’s work is available in paperback, published by Polygon ( and as ebooks by Hachette.

Sarah Maine

Sarah Maine

Sarah Maine was born in the UK but grew up in Canada. Returning to England for university, she studied archaeology as an undergraduate and postgraduate, working as an archaeologist in York for thirty years. Vacations were spent lecturing for adventure travel companies in Europe and Canada and she still spends as much time as possible travelling. She has recently gone freelance in order to spend more time writing.

Sarah’s Twitter:

Sarah Maine is represented at Jenny Brown Associates by Jenny. For all enquiries contact

Books by Sarah Maine

Beyond the Wild River
Hodder & Stoughton, April 2017
North American Rights: Atria/Simon & Schuster

This is a story of betrayal and murder set in the Scottish Borders and in the wilderness of northern Canada.  Evelyn was once close to her father, the philanthropic Charles Ballantyre, but when James Douglas is accused of murder all that changes.  Evelyn’s fears, and the strictures of Victorian society, conceal the truth for five years and it is only when all parties meet again on the turbulent Nipigon river that she learns what really happened that afternoon on the banks of the River Tweed.

The House Between Tides
Freight Books, August 2016
North American: Atria/Simon & Schuster
Australia: Allen & Unwin
Germany: Goldmann
Netherlands: AW Bruna

An atmospheric debut novel about a woman who discovers the century-old remains of a murder victim on her family’s Scottish estate, plunging her into an investigation of its mysterious former occupants.

Following the death of her last living relative, Hetty Deveraux leaves London and her strained relationship behind for Muirlan, her ancestral home in Scotland’s Outer Hebrides. She intends to renovate the ruinous house into a hotel, but the shocking discovery of human remains brings her ambitious restoration plans to an abrupt halt before they even begin. Few physical clues are left to identify the body, but one thing is certain: this person did not die a natural death.

Hungry for answers, Hetty discovers that Muirlan was once the refuge of her distant relative Theo Blake, the acclaimed painter and naturalist who brought his new bride, Beatrice, there in 1910. Yet ancient gossip and a handful of leads reveal that their marriage was far from perfect; Beatrice eventually vanished from the island, never to return, and Theo withdrew from society, his paintings becoming increasingly dark and disturbing.

What happened between them has remained a mystery, but as Hetty listens to the locals and studies the masterful paintings produced by Theo during his short-lived marriage, she uncovers secrets that still reverberate through the small island community—and will lead her to the identity of the long-hidden body.

Praise for The House Between the Tides

Maine skilfully balances a Daphne du Maurier atmosphere with a Barbara Vine-like psychological mystery…The setting emerges as the strongest personality in this compelling story, evoking passion in the characters as fierce as the storms which always lurk on the horizon. A debut historical thriller which deftly blends classic suspense with modern themes

Kirkus Reviews

Scotland’s Outer Hebrides provides the sensuous setting for [this] impressive debut…[A] beautifully crafted novel

Publishers Weekly

A wonderful first novel, elegantly haunting that will surely stay with the reader long after the tale has ended

The Reading Room

 There is an echo of Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca in Sarah Maine’s appealing debut novel, when human remains are found beneath the floorboards of a derelict mansion on a Scottish island… A highly readable debut



Shelley Sclater

Shelley Day Sclater was born in Newcastle and lives in Edinburgh. In former lives, she has been a lawyer, an academic psychologist and a research professor, in which capacities she wrote and edited numerous articles and books on topics as diverse as surrogacy, autonomy, identity, and divorce. Shelley now mainly writes fiction and has studied Creative Writing at Newcastle and Edinburgh Universities. Shelley’s short stories have been published in newspapers, magazines, on-line and in anthologies, most recently in New Writing Scotland 31. She is currently researching her second novel Muriel’s Story and working on a book for young people, provisionally titled The Other.

The Confession of Stella Moon
Set in the North East of England in the late 1970s, The Confession of Stella Moon is a dark brooding tale of matricide and infanticide with a touch of the supernatural. The story opens as young Stella Moon is leaving prison having served her sentence for killing her mother, Muriel. Her plans to restart her life fall to pieces when she discovers a family secret she’d rather not have known.

The novel was shortlisted for the Charles Pick Fellowship and went on to win New Writing North’s Andrea Badenoch Award 2011 when it was still work-in-progress. It’s recently been shortlisted for the Dundee International Book Award 2013.

Saraband, Spring 2016

Jane Mackenzie


Jane splits her time between the Scottish Highlands and the village of Collioure in Roussillon, French Catalonia. She spent much of her life working in education and has taught all over the world – in Africa, the Arabian Gulf and Papua New Guinea. Most recently, she headed up the UK Government’s Liaison Office at CERN in Switzerland; nowadays, however, she devotes most of her time to writing.

Janes’s website:

Jane Mackenzie is represented at Jenny Brown Associates by Jenny. For all enquiries contact

Autumn in Catalonia

Allison & Busby, October 2015

Jane Mackenzie - Autumn in Catalonia

It is 1963, and in her mansion in the foothills of the Pyrenees, Joana idles her days away, banished by her powerful husband and alienated from her family. Meanwhile, in Barcelona, her daughter Carla is impoverished and in trouble. Hating all her parents stand for, Carla has embraced the student movement against the Franco regime, but her father has been watching her, and, just before their wedding, her beloved fiancé Luc is arrested.

Pregnant Carla runs to her grandmother Maria, terrified, powerless to help either Luc or herself. Maria shelters her, but they know their movements are still being followed. Why did her daughter Joana marry into the Franco regime and abandon her family? Maria has never understood.

This is the story of three generations of women, torn apart by the Spanish Civil War. It takes the arrival of an unknown cousin, Martin, for them to start building bridges, to unite to face the enemy together, one autumn in Catalonia.

Praise for Autumn in Catalonia

Mackenzie evocatively captures the beauty of the Banyuls region of France and how its mix of French and Catalan culture forms something unique . . . This is a novel of quiet intensity and deep emotion

Daily Mail


Daughter of Catalonia

Alisson & Busby, April 2014

Daughter of Catalonia - Jane Mackenzie

In war-torn France, charismatic Spaniard Luis elopes with high-born Elise from Paris and takes her to live in a small village in Catalonia. Little do they know that war will rip them apart, sending Elise into unhappy exile in England, and Luis to his death in the Resistance.

Many years later their daughter Madeleine returns to France to seek out her roots and the truth of her parents’ story. But her arrival in the Catalan village of her childhood unleashes more than she had bargained for, as Madeleine confronts the secrets of war and learns the shocking truth behind her father’s death. And as her own love story begins, she must come to terms with her past, and learn to forgive and to believe in the legacy of love her parents left behind.

Praise for Daughter of Catalonia

It is hard to believe it is a first novel, the writing is so good
Newbooks Magazine


Hania Allen

Hania Allen
Hanna Allen was born in Liverpool of Polish parents, and holds an honours degree and a doctorate, both in physics, from the University of St Andrews. As a child, she wanted to go into space and came a fair way (but not quite far enough) in the Project Juno competition to find Britain’s first astronaut. She has worked in education: as a physics researcher, a maths teacher, a research programmer, an IT officer, and finally in information management as part of the University of St Andrews’ senior management team, a post she left to write full-time.

When not writing, she indulges her other passion, music, and can be seen at her local cinema watching operas from the Met, or playing the piano with her musically gifted godchildren, making up for in enthusiasm what she lacks in talent. She has lived in Scotland for longer than she has lived anywhere else and loves the country and its people, despite the nine months of rain and three months of bad weather. She currently resides in a fishing village in Fife.

Hania Allen is represented at Jenny Brown Associates by Jenny. For all enquiries contact

Books by Hania
The Polish Detective
Constable, forthcoming January 2018

Allen’s next crime novels will be set in Dundee, introducing Detective Sergeant Danuta Gorska.

Constable’s Krystyna Green said of the new series: ‘I’m absolutely thrilled with this two book acquisition as I’ve been looking for an authentically voiced Polish detective for years, and Dundee – the city of Discovery! – is the perfect setting for this protagonist’.

Von Valenti Series
Double Tap (#2)
Freight Books, April 2015
Hania Allen - Double Tap

A professional hit during an executive paintball game demands all of Von’s skills as a detective.

Leaving the Police and chasing her errant daughter, Von has relocated to Edinburgh where she’s set up as a Private Detective. She is asked to investigate a professional hit, an infamous ‘double tap’, that has occurred during an executive paint-ball game. As always nothing is as it seems as Von must use all her intelligence, tenacity and skills to unravel the truth from a web of lies that surrounds the case.

Praise for Double Tap
‘Hania Allen’s second novel is a confident, darkly witty tale that made me lock the door and keep turning the pages. Her Edinburgh feels solid, with welcome details adding texture to the familiarity of Scotland’s capital. But it’s her characters who impress: Von is a realistic and fascinating take on the PI – a character and profession sorely underlooked in UK crime fiction, and presented here in an emotionally honest and utterly believable light. […] Double Tap is a pitch-perfect period piece combined with a clever mystery, but more than that, it’s a witty, tense crime novel written in a highly readable style, and with an authenticity of character, procedure and place that is rare and exciting to discover. Read this right now. You won’t regret it’
Russel D McLean, author of the J McNee detective series

The plot is fast-moving, and ends with a satisfyingly suspense-filled double twist. I really loved the atmospheric use of the Edinburgh settings
Promoting Crime Fiction


Jack in the Box (#1)
Freight Books, April 2014

Jack in the Box - Hania Allen
Jack in the Box

London, 2000. When DCI Von Valenti is called to investigate the murder of Max Quincey, her Chief Superintendent’s actor brother, she is struck by the resemblance of the modus operandi to that of unsolved murders in Soho fifteen years before. Those murders, known as the ‘Jack in the Box murders’ because of the mutilated Jack in the Box left at the scene of the crime, were of young male prostitutes who were blinded and strangled. At the time, a play, ‘Jack in the Box’, was running in London’s West End, directed by Max Quincey himself, and Von has not failed to notice that Quincey’s murder coincides with the play’s return.

But when she and her number two, DI Steve English, begin their investigation, no-one will tell her anything about Quincey’s murder. Everyone is lying. Von soon finds herself drawn more and more to the case of the rent boys. Can she penetrate the wall of silence to find what links the present to the past?

Praise for Jack in the Box
Nicely nasty in all the right places, this is an assured debut by Hania Allen. She has drawn a feisty and determined protagonist in Von Valenti and we will surely see her again. The story rattles along until bringing the curtain down with an unnerving twist
Craig Robertson, author of Cold Grave, Random and Witness the Dead

Captivating characters and an intriguing plot. A great new find for crime fans
Lin Anderson, author of the Rhona MacLeod crime series


Tom Pow

Tom Pow was born in Edinburgh in 1950. Primarily a poet, several of his collections have won awards and three of his poetry collections have been short-listed for Scottish Book of the Year. Most recently, Dear Alice – Narratives of Madness (Salt Publishing) won the poetry category in the Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust’s Scottish Book Awards in 2009. He has also written young adult novels, picture books, radio plays and a travel book about Peru.

He has held various writing posts, including that of Scottish/Canadian Writing Fellow, based at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, and Virtual Writer in Residence (Scotland’s first) for the Scottish Library Association’s Scottish Writers Project. He was the first ever Writer in Residence at the Edinburgh International Book Festival from 2001 to 2003. From 2000 to 2009, he worked for the University of Glasgow in Dumfries, latterly as Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing and Storytelling. Tom is currently Honorary Senior Research Fellow at Glasgow University Dumfries and a part-time lecturer on Lancaster University’s distance learning Masters in Creative Writing.

Tom’s website:

Tom Pow is represented at Jenny Brown Associates by Jenny. For all enquiries contact

Selected Books by Tom Pow

Scabbit Isle
Corgi Children’s, January 2015

The first time Sam sees the mysterious figure of Janet she vanishes into the deserted fields beyond the town where nothing has ever been built. Sam learns that centuries before this was the place to which plague victims were banished – Scabbit Isle – a place of terror. With the help of Mr Carruthers, the old curator of the local museum, Sam gradually uncovers the horror of Janet’s story – consigned to Scabbit Isle by her cruel father and abandoned by her weak lover, Janet suffers without hope. She will continue to do so, if she can’t find someone who, for love, will risk all to enter the plague colony to release her. Janet seems to be beckoning Sam to help her and a tragedy within Sam’s own family brings Sam even closer to Janet’s fate. Janet is the same age that Sam’s twin sister Alice would have been had she not been killed in an accident. It is a loss from which Sam’s father, in particular, has never recovered. Can Sam summon up the courage to face the terrors of Scabbit Isle and, like Orpheus, venture into the underworld to bring Janet peace?

Praise for Scabbit Isle

Three strands of narrative are pleasingly woven together in this gentle and moving short novel
The School Librarian

This book is a rich and humbling experience on many levels


A Wild Adventure
Polygon, June 2014


Tom Pow’s beautiful, powerful poems examine the remarkable life of Thomas Watling. Watling was born in Dumfries in September 1762 and raised by a long-suffering maiden aunt. Convicted of forging Bank of Scotland one-guinea notes he was sentenced to fourteen years in the recently founded colony of Botany Bay in Australia. The first professional artist to arrive in the colony, Watling was seconded to its Surgeon General (and amateur naturalist) John White. His pioneer paintings of birds, animals and the landscape became some of the principal records of the earliest days of Australia. He was eventually pardoned, on 5 April 1797, and left Australia, eventually returning home to Dumfries. He died there, most likely in 1814.

Concerning the Atlas of Scotland: And Other Poems
Polygon, August 2014


Tom Pow spent six months as writer in residence at the National Library of Scotland Map Library in Edinburgh. He was so inspired by the collection that they hold and by the stories that they tell that he wrote a collection of poetry based on that experience. Published by Polygon but with input from the National Library and illustrated with details from the collection, this beautiful and quite haunting collection will be welcomed by map lovers as well as poetry lovers.

Praise for Concerning the Atlas of Scotland

This beautiful and quite haunting collection will be welcomed by map lovers as well as poetry lovers

In Another World
Polygon, June 2012


In one of the great defining moments in human history, more people now live in cities than in rural areas, and the effects of this depopulation and the plummeting birth-rate are being felt keenly throughout Europe, which has the fastest-declining population in the world. Tom Pow sets out to explore what this means in some of the most rapidly vanishing areas of Europe. From Spain to Russia, he uses the tools of his trade – travelogue, essay, story and poem – to make connections, not only with what he encounters in numerous dying villages, but to reflect on his own experiences of memory, identity and loss. In Another World is an open book: not an argument, but an invitation to remember, to reflect and to engage with one of the most significant social issues affecting Europe today.

Praise for In Another World

Through essays, photos, stories and poems, Pow eloquently charts the decline of Europe’s rural life
Financial Times

What could so easily have teetered towards a study weighed down by quotations and statistical analysis gleaned from his sources, is throughout a limber, engaging and enervated quest
The Scotsman


William McIlvanney

William McIlvanney

William McIlvanney, the ‘godfather of Tartan Noir’, was born in the town of Kilmarnock, the son of a former miner. He studied at Kilmarnock Academy and later at the University of Glasgow, after which he worked as an English teacher.

Acclaimed for the mixture of poeticism and grit in their portrayals of working-class Glasgow, Willie’s (as his friends called him) novels remain some of contemporary Scottish literature’s best-loved books. His first novel, Remedy is None, was published in 1966 and won the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize; his second, A Gift from Nessus, took a Scottish Arts Council publication award. The semi-autobiographical Docherty was awarded the Whitbread Novel Award in 1975 and its sequel, The Kiln (1996) won the Saltire Society Scottish Book of the Year. The Big Man, brought out in 1985, was turned into the 1990 film of the same name starring Liam Neeson and Billy Connolly. Willie was also an acclaimed poet and the author of The Longships in Harbour: Poems (1970) and Surviving the Shipwreck (1991), a book which also contained pieces of journalism, including an essay about T. S. Eliot. His short story ‘Dreaming’ (1989) was filmed by BBC Scotland in 1990 and won a BAFTA. Much of his work has been recently re-published by Canongate.

Yet Willie was possibly best known for the creation of Inspector Jack Laidlaw, the unconventional Glasgow detective who describes his favourite tipple as ‘low-grade hemlock’ and keeps his Camus and Kierkegaard locked in his desk drawer. His Laidlaw trilogy has inspired the next generation of crime writers in Scotland.

Willie’s website:

William McIlvanney’s estate is represented at Jenny Brown Associates by Jenny. For all enquiries contact

Selected Books by William McIlvanney

Remedy is None
Canongate, January 2014

Charlie Grant, an intense young student at Glasgow University watches his father die. Overwhelmed by the memory of this humble yet dignified death, Charlie is left to face his own fierce resentment for his adulterous mother.

Praise for Remedy is None

The finest Scottish novelist of our time


Winner of the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize

William McIlvanney paints a world of harsh reality, but does so in language that is strangely beautiful and hauntingly poetic
Craig Russell


A Gift from Nessus
Canongate, January 2014

Eddie Cameron is a salesman for Rocklight Ltd., an electrical equipment firm in Glasgow, where he has been fiddling the firm’s expenses. Eddie’s life is in tatters – his wife hates him, and his violent temper has left his mistress teetering on the edge of sanity.

Praise for A Gift from Nessus

There is a sense of moral growth in A Gift from Nessus that lifts it out of the ordinary . . . almost frighteningly truthful and moving

The Times

McIlvanney is a compassionate writer and leaves an impression both of high seriousness and great charm

Sunday Telegraph


Canongate, November 2013

Tam Docherty’s youngest son, Conn, is born at the end of 1903 in a small working-class town in the west of Scotland. Tam will stop at nothing to make sure that life and the pits don’t swallow up his boy, the way it did him. Courageous and questioning, Docherty emerges as a leader of almost unshakable strength, but in a close-knit community tradition is a powerful opponent.

Praise for Doherty

Here a human history is mined with humour and a clenching sense of its sombre inequities: man’s squat but lengthening shadow in the sun

The Guardian

He has a hard muscular quality to his writing. Some of his phrases hammer against you like a collier’s pick The Times

An intense, witty and beautifully wrought novel

Daily Telegraph

Winner of the Whitbread Prize 1975


The Kiln

Canongate, January 2014

Tom Docherty was seventeen in the summer of 1955. With school behind him and a summer job at a brick works, Tom had his whole life before him. Years later, alone in a rented flat in Edinburgh and lost in memories, Tom recalls the intellectual and sexual awakening of his youth. In looking back, Tom discovers that only by understanding where he comes from can he make sense of his life as it is now.

Praise for The Kiln

A pitch-perfect blend of warm lyricism, limpid observation and excruciatingly funny comedy. It is a beguilingly brilliant portrait of the artist as an adolescent

Sunday Times

On almost every page it offers matter for reflection and the sudden stab of emotion that comes from reading something that is truly evoked or created . . . It is rare and it is wonderful


McIlvanney plumbs, in language of luminous precision, the tortured psyche of the Scottish character. It’s Greek tragedy, hilarious to boot

Mail on Sunday

The best novel yet from the finest Scottish writer of our time

Daily Telegraph (Books of the Year)

Winner of the Saltire Society Book of the Year Prize



Canongate, May 2013

Meet Jack Laidlaw, the original damaged detective. When a young woman is found brutally murdered in Kelvingrove Park, only Laidlaw stands a chance of finding her murderer from among the hard men, gangland villains and self-made moneymen who lurk in the city’s shadows.

Praise for Laidlaw


Val McDermid

Fastest, first and best, Laidlaw is the melancholy heir to Marlowe. Reads like a breathless scalpel cut through the bloody heart of a city

Denise Mina

A crime trilogy so searing it will burn forever into your memory. McIlvanney is the original Scottish criminal mastermind

Christopher Brookmyre

It’s doubtful I would be a crime writer without the influence of McIlvanney’s Laidlaw. Here was a literary novelist turning his hand to the urban, contemporary crime novel and proving that the form could tackle big moral concerns and social issues

Ian Rankin

Laidlaw is a fascinating, infuriating and memorable character . . . McIlvanney probes the nature of society and the limitations of human guilt with razor sharpness


The best new character in crime fiction for years

Daily Express
A classic of the genre – a maelstrom of gangland violence, brutal sentimentality and sectarianism told in richly Gothic prose. If you only read one crime novel this year, this should be it – but you’ll undoubtedly want to read the other two books in the trilogy, which will be reissued in a couple of months’ time


Winner of the Crime Writing Association Silver Dagger


The Papers of Tony Veitch
Canongate, June 2013

Eck Adamson, an alcoholic vagrant, summons Jack Laidlaw to his deathbed. Probably the only policeman in Glasgow who would bother to respond, Laidlaw sees in Eck’s cryptic last message a clue to the murder of a gangland thug and the disappearance of a student. With stubborn integrity, Laidlaw tracks a seam of corruption that runs from the top to the bottom of society.

Praise for The Papers of Tony Veitch

Brilliant . . . grips like a mangling handshake

Sunday Times

The good news is that Laidlaw is back


Fiercely evocative and witty with it . . . McIlvanney renders absurd the traditional distinctions between novelists and writers of detective fiction

Literary Review

Enthralling . . . An unsual, unique rendition of a city and a society



 Strange Loyalties

Canongate, June 2013

When his brother dies stepping out in front of a car, Detective Jack Laidlaw is determined to find out what really happened. With corrosive wit, Laidlaw relates an emotional quest through Glasgow’s underworld, and into the past. He discovers as much about himself as the loved brother he has lost, in a search which leads to a shattering climax.

Praise for Strange Loyalties

Sunday Times

Starts on the streets and ends up in the soul
Daily Telegraph

Told superlatively well. Laidlaw has . . . become even more heroically moving
The Times

In a class of his own