Lin Anderson was born in Greenock to Scottish and Irish parents. A graduate of both Glasgow and Edinburgh Universities, she taught computing in secondary schools before deciding to write full-time. She has published eleven novels and one novella in her series about the forensic scientist Rhona MacLeod and Cannes-set thrillers featuring private investigator Patrick de Courvoisier. Her ninth Rhona MacLeod book, Paths of the Dead, was shortlisted for the 2015 Scottish Crime Book of the Year award, and the tenth, The Special Dead, was longlisted for the 2016 McIlvanney Prize for Scottish Crime Book of the Year. She is a former Chair of The Society of Authors in Scotland and, alongside Alex Gray [link to Alex Gray’s JBA page], a founder of Bloody Scotland, the Stirling-based crime writing festival. Her work has been translated into multiple languages.
Lin is also an accomplished scriptwriter. The screenplay of her first film, Small Love (broadcast on Scottish Television in 2001 and 2002), earned her a TAPS Writer of the Year Award 2001 nomination, and the second, River Child, won both a Scottish BAFTA for Best Fiction and the Celtic Film Festival’s Best Drama prize. She professes herself to be a huge Braveheart fan, even going so far as to write a book, Braveheart: From Hollywood to Holyrood (2004), about the making of it.
Lin Anderson is represented at Jenny Brown Associates by Jenny. For all enquiries contact email@example.com
Selected Books by Lin
The Wild Coast
Macmillan, August 2023
The height of summer in Scotland. Small west coast campsites are the go-to for wild campers and campervans. Remote, loch or beach side, most occupy a field on a highland croft. No CCTV. Small overnight fee paid for by cash, friendly and ideal if you long for solitude, beauty and safety.
Until a lone camper disappears. Then another. It appears that a killer has found the perfect way to operate. Remote, un-noted and lethal.
Meanwhile in Glasgow, Police Scotland is facing allegations of sexual assault by its male officers. Young women from all walks of life have come forward to reveal the names of their police attackers. In that list is one DS Michael McNab. Did McNab overstep the mark, or is the accusation against him a way of putting him out of action forever?
The Killing Tide
Macmillan, July 2021
After a fierce storm hits Scotland, a mysterious cargo ship is swept ashore in the Orkney Isles. Boarding the vessel uncovers three bodies, recently deceased and in violent circumstances. Forensic scientist Dr Rhona MacLeod’s study of the crime scene suggests that a sinister game was being played on board, but who were the hunters? And who the hunted?
Meanwhile in Glasgow DS Michael McNab is called to a horrific incident where a young woman has been set on fire. Or did she spark the flames herself?
As evidence arises that connects the two cases, the team grow increasingly concerned that the truth of what happened on the ship and in Glasgow hints at a wider conspiracy that stretches down to London and beyond to a global stage. Orcadian Ava Clouston, renowned investigative journalist believes so, and sets out to prove it, putting herself in grave danger.
When the Met Police challenge Police Scotland’s jurisdiction, it becomes obvious that there are ruthless individuals who are willing to do whatever it takes to protect government interests. Which could lead to even more deaths on Scottish soil…
The Innocent Dead
Mary McIntyre’s disappearance tore the local community apart, inflicting wounds that still prove raw for those who knew her.
So when the present-day discovery of a child’s remains are found in a peat bog south of Glasgow, it seems the decades-old mystery may finally be solved.
Called in to excavate the body, forensic scientist Rhona MacLeod uses the advances made in forensic science since Mary’s vanishing to determine what really happened all those years ago… and who was responsible.
One key person had been Karen Marshall who was devastated by her best friend’s abduction. Questioned by the police at the time had led to a dead end and the case soon went cold.
Now the news of the discovered body brings the nightmares back. But added to that, memories long-buried by Karen are returning, memories that begin to reveal her role in her friend’s disappearance and perhaps even the identity of the killer…
Time for the Dead
Time for the Dead is a gripping crime novel by Lin Anderson and sees forensic scientist Rhona MacLeod investigate a brutal series of killings on Scotland’s Isle of Skye.
When forensic scientist Rhona MacLeod returns to her roots on Scotland’s Isle of Skye, a chance encounter in the woods behind a nearby activities centre leads her to what seems to be a crime scene, but without a victim. Could this be linked to a group of army medics, who visited the centre while on leave from Afghanistan and can no longer be located on the island?
Enlisting the help of local tracker dog Blaze, Rhona starts searching for a connection.
Two days later a body is found at the base of the famous cliff known as Kilt Rock, face and identity obliterated by the fall, which leads Rhona to suspect the missing medics may be on the island for reasons other than relaxation. Furthermore, elements of the case suggest a link with an ongoing operation in Glasgow, which draws DS Michael McNab into the investigation.
As the island’s unforgiving conditions close in, Rhona must find out what really happened to the group in Afghanistan, as the consequences may be being played out in brutal killings on Skye…
Praise for Time for the Dead
‘Forensic scientist Rhona MacLeod has become one of the most satisfying characters in modern crime fiction – honourable, inquisitive and yet plagued by doubts and, sometimes, fears… As ever, the landscape is stunningly evoked and MacLeod’s decency and humanity shine through on every page.’ –Daily Mail
‘The bleak landscape is beautifully described, giving this popular series a new lease of life.’ –Sunday Times
Sins of the Dead (#13)
Macmillan, August 2018
While illegally street racing in the underground tunnels of Glasgow, four Harley-Davidson riders make a horrifying discovery: a dead man left in the darkness, hands together on his chest as if peacefully laid to rest. The cause of death is unclear, the only clues being a half glass of red wine and a partially eaten chunk of bread by his side that echo the ancient religious practice of sin-eating.
Called to the scene, forensic scientist Rhona MacLeod is perplexed by the lack of evidence. But when another body is found near her own flat, laid out in a similar manner, she fears a forensically aware killer stalks the city and is marking the victims with their unique signature. Even more worryingly, the killer appears to be using skills they may have learned while attending her forensic science lectures at Glasgow University.
There are signs that Rhona is being targeted, that the killer is playing with her and the police, drawing them into a deadly race against time, before the sin-eater’s next victim is chosen…
Sins of the Dead is the thrilling thirteenth book in Lin Anderson’s Rhona MacLeod series.
Follow the Dead (#12)
Follow the Dead is the thrilling twelfth book in Lin Anderson’s Rhona MacLeod series.
On holiday in the Scottish Highlands, forensic scientist Dr Rhona MacLeod joins a mountain rescue team on Cairngorm summit, where a mysterious plane has crash-landed on the frozen Loch A’an. Added to that, a nearby climbing expedition has left three young people dead, with a fourth still missing.
Meanwhile in Glasgow, DS McNab’s raid on the Delta Club produces far more than just a massive haul of cocaine. Questioning one of the underage girls found partying with the city’s elite reveals she was smuggled into Scotland via Norway, and it seems the crashed plane in the Cairngorms may be linked to the club. But before McNab can discover more, the girl is abducted.
Joined by Norwegian detective Alvis Olsen, who harbours disturbing theories about how the two cases are connected with his homeland, Rhona searches for the missing link. What she uncovers is a dark underworld populated by ruthless people willing to do anything to ensure the investigation dies in the frozen wasteland of the Cairngorms…
None but the Dead (#11)
Pan Macmillan, August 2016
Sanday, one of Britain’s northernmost islands, inaccessible when the wind prevents the ferry crossing from the mainland, or fog grounds the tiny, island-hopping plane.
When human remains are discovered to the rear of an old primary school, forensic expert Dr Rhona MacLeod and her assistant arrive to excavate the grave. Approaching midwinter, they find daylight in short supply, the weather inhospitable and some of the island’s inhabitants less than co-operative. When the suspicious death of an old man in Glasgow appears to have links with the island, DS Michael McNab is dispatched to investigate. Desperately uncomfortable in such surroundings, he finds that none of the tools of detective work is there. No internet, no CCTV, and no police station.
As the weather closes in, the team – including criminal profiler and Orkney native Professor Magnus Pirie – are presented with a series of unexplained incidents, apparently linked to the discovery of thirteen magic flowers representing the souls of dead children who had attended the island school where the body was discovered. But how and in what circumstance did they die? And why are their long forgotten deaths significant to the current investigation?
As a major storm approaches, bringing gale-force winds and high seas, the islanders turn on one another, as past and present evil deeds collide, and long buried secrets break the surface, along with the exposed bones.
Praise for None but the Dead
‘Lin Anderson is one of Scotland’s national treasures – don’t be fooled by comparisons, her writing is unique, bringing warmth and depth to even the seediest parts of Glasgow. Lin’s Rhona MacLeod is a complex and compelling heroine who just gets better with every outing.’ –Stuart MacBride, bestselling author of the Logan McRae and Ash Henderson novels
‘Vivid and atmospheric…Enthralling.’ –Guardian
The Special Dead (#10)
Pan Macmillan, August 2015
When Mark Howitt is invited back to Leila’s flat and ordered to strip, he thinks he’s about to have the experience of his life. Waking later he finds Leila gone from his side. Keen to leave, he opens the wrong door and finds he’s entered a nightmare; behind the swaying Barbie dolls that hang from the ceiling is the body of the girl he just had sex with.
Rhona Macleod’s forensic investigation of the scene reveals the red plaited silk cord used to hang Leila to be a cingulum, a Wiccan artefact used in sex magic. Sketches of sexual partners hidden in the dolls provide a link to nine powerful men, but who are they? As the investigation continues, it looks increasingly likely that other witches will be targeted too.
Working the investigation is the newly demoted DS Michael McNab, who is keen to stay sober and redeem himself with Rhona, but an encounter with Leila’s colleague and fellow Wiccan Freya Devine threatens his resolve. Soon McNab realises Freya may hold the key to identifying the men linked to the dolls and the Nine will do anything to keep their identities a secret.
Praise for The Special Dead
‘Anderson clearly knows what her readers want and how to keep them coming back for more.’ –The Sunday Herald
The Special Dead is the tenth in Lin Anderson’s series featuring her forensic scientist, Rhona MacLeod and it is everything that we have come to expect from this highly talented author.’ –Eurocrime
‘This unusual police procedural series has been running for more than a decade but shows no signs of flagging, with its solid plotting and recurring characters who are worth getting to know.’ –Morning Star
Longlisted for the 2016 McIlvanney Prize for Scottish Crime Book of the Year
Paths of the Dead (#9)
Pan Macmillan, August 2014
When Amy MacKenzie agrees to attend a meeting at a local spiritualist church, the last person she expects to hear calling to her from beyond the grave is her son. The son whom she’d only spoken to an hour before.
Then the body of a young man is found inside a Neolithic stone circle high above the city of Glasgow and forensic scientist Rhona MacLeod is soon on the case. The hands have been severed and there is a stone in the victim’s mouth with the number five scratched on it. DI Michael McNab is certain it’s a gangland murder, but Rhona isn’t convinced. When a second body is found in similar circumstances, a pattern begins to emerge of a killer intent on masterminding a gruesome Druidic game that everyone will be forced to play…
‘If you haven’t taken a trip around Scotland in the company of DI McNab and Rhona MacLeod, I’d recommend getting to know them.’ –Crime Review
Shortlisted for the 2015 Scottish Crime Book of the Year Award
The Case of the Black Pearl (#2)
Pan Macmillan, August 2014
Content to leave his controversial past behind him and enjoy a more relaxed, hedonistic lifestyle on a converted houseboat in the glamorous French resort of Cannes, enigmatic Englishman Patrick de Courvoisier is known as ‘Le Limier’ or ‘Fixer’. People come to him with their problems – and he fixes them.
However, when Camille Ager asks Patrick to find her sister, Angele Valette, star of the new movie The Black Pearl, Patrick’s laidback lifestyle is dealt a terminal blow. Last seen at the film’s lavish launch party on board the luxurious black yacht owned by Russian oligarch Vasily Chapayev, the funds behind the movie and owner of the famous black pearl, Angele seems to have vanished into thin air – and so has the pearl.
As Patrick questions all those involved with the movie, he discovers that this is a case where nothing is as it seems. And when a dead body turns up on his boat, the investigation takes a deeply disturbing new twist.
The Case of the Missing Madonna (#1)
Severn House, September 2015
Brother Robert from the abbey on St Honorat, a picturesque island off the French coast, has requested Patrick de Courvoisier’s help in locating a valuable painting which has disappeared from the monastery’s vaults.
At the same time, an old enemy from Patrick’s past has arrived in Cannes in search of a different stolen painting. As it becomes increasingly clear that the two investigations are linked, Patrick’s enquiries lead him to uncover a shocking wartime secret: a secret the British Royal family would prefer to keep hidden…