His Bloody Project by Graeme Macrae Burnet

Subtitled ‘Documents relating to the case of Roderick Macrae’, His Bloody Project contains the memoir of a 17-year-old crofter, written while awaiting trial in Inverness in 1869 for three brutal murders, and ‘discovered’ by the author while researching his own Highland roots. This manuscript, we are informed, divided the Edinburgh literati of the time, who feared

His Bloody Project by Graeme Macrae Burnet Read More »

The Living Mountain

Nan (Anna) Shepherd (11 February 1893 – 23 February 1981, was a Scottish novelist and poet who was born and lived most of her life in the Aberdeenshire village of West Cults. She became an early Scottish Modernist writer, producing three stand alone novels set in small, fictional, communities in the north of Scotland. The Scottish

The Living Mountain Read More »


Alistair Moffat was born and bred in the Scottish Borders. A former Director of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and Director of Programmes at Scottish Television, he now runs the Borders Book Festival. He is the author of a number of highly acclaimed books and is a former Rector of St. Andrews University. In this new single volume

Scotland Read More »

The Skeleton Road

Val McDermid ( and will need little introduction to her many fans or to the readers of these reviews. Her new stand alone book has been published in September of 2014 and the summary is as follows: When a skeleton is discovered hidden at the top of a crumbling, gothic building in Edinburgh, Detective Chief Inspector Karen

The Skeleton Road Read More »

The Scottish Nation

This month I’m only going to make one suggestion. It is Tom Devine’s ( monumental 720 page history of Scotland – ‘The Scottish Nation‘. As I write there are 23 days to the referendum which will decide if Scotland remains in a union with the rest of the UK. This will unquestionably be the most historic

The Scottish Nation Read More »

Lanark by Alasdair Gray

From its first publication in 1981, Lanark by Alasdair Gray ( and was hailed as a masterpiece and it has come to be widely regarded as the most remarkable and influential Scottish novel of the second half of the twentieth century. A work of extraordinary imagination and wide-ranging concerns, its playful narrative conveys at its

Lanark by Alasdair Gray Read More »

Morvern Callar

Alan Warner ( and gives us this peculiarly Scottish tale of purposelessness and amorality set in the 1980s. For it he won the Somerset Maugham Award in 1996 ( Morvern Callar, a low-paid young woman in the local supermarket of a desolate and beautiful port town (Oban??) in the west of Scotland, wakes one morning in late December to find

Morvern Callar Read More »

The Trick Is To Keep Breathing

Meticulously observed, agonizing and funny, this unconventional account of clinical depression was the novelistic debut of the author of the praised short-story collection Blood (1991). Drama teacher Joy Stone has become severely depressed following the death of her married lover. Surrounded by his effects in the house they briefly shared, she can’t summon the will

The Trick Is To Keep Breathing Read More »

Our Fathers by Andrew O’Hagan

Andrew O’Hagan ( and’Hagan) has been a contributing editor to the London Review of Books and Granta magazine. Our Fathers (1999), his first novel, was shortlisted for the Booker Prize for Fiction and the Whitbread First Novel Award. In the novel we meet Hugh Provan who has been a Modernist hero. A dreamer, a Socialist, a

Our Fathers by Andrew O’Hagan Read More »

Scroll to Top