Scottish Contemporary Authors Month ~ The Wrong Box by Andrew C Ferguson

41F7vzbbgpL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_The Wrong Box is the debut novel by a Fife author in his venture away from serious non fiction. It is produced by Thunderpoint, an Edinburgh based publishing company. Andrew got in touch with me himself through a mutual friend and I downloaded The Wrong Box on Kindle.

Simon English, a visiting lawyer from London, wakes up to find a dead body in the bath of the flat he’s renting from a colleague. He tries to prove he is innocent and uncover the culprits as well as their motives, which are far more reaching than just one murder. Then he comes across Karen, a bored eighteen stone lady living in a council block, who is adept at uncovering corruption in the council. She becomes the most unlikely sleuth, adding mirth to the proceedings, but also saving Simon’s life on at least one occasion.

The dark side of Edinburgh life was an eye opener to me, although Ian Rankin should have prepared me for it, and I was immediately struck by the contrasting societies, living side by side. I enjoyed the story line, which was quirky but gripping enough to shock and keep me ‘on my toes’ as it were. The characters were amusing, well formed and beautifully described, both good, evil and unexpected. Humour ran through the novel.  The lapse into Karen’s local dialect added to the flavour of the novel.

On the down side, and this is a personal comment, I’m not used to reading so much blatant swearing in a novel, or the inner thoughts of a man thinking about his sexual needs ~ but for some these factors could be a bonus. More realistic maybe.

(I’ve led a bit of a sheltered life 🙂 )

I wish Andrew the best of luck, especially if he makes this into a series.

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Celebrating Scottish Authors ~ Margaret Skea ~ The Turn of the Tide

Turn of theTide

Available on Amazon

My next Scottish writer ~ in no particular order I might add ~ is Margaret Skea who lives in the Scottish borders. I ‘met’ her on social media and hope our paths will meet in person in the not too distant future.

Here is my review of ‘Turn of the Tide.

“After avidly reading some of Nigel Tranter’s novels whilst living up in Scotland in 2013 it was a pleasure to read ‘Turn of the Tide.‘ The long lasting feud between the Cunninghams and the Montgomeries in 16th Century Scotland reaches an uneasy truce due to King James but Kate, a character I felt so much empathy for, and her husband Munro endured the burden of past deeds and divided loyalties, leading to tragic consequences for some. The surprise that even enemies can be human and even quite pleasant resonated with me. You feel all the emotions in this well written novel, with language evocative of the period, from the joy of family life to fear, devastating loss and a heightened sense of danger.”

I look forward to Margaret Skea’s next novel ‘Katharina’ which has recently been released.

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Celebrating Scottish Authors ~ Mark Douglas Home ~ ‘The Woman who Walked into the Sea’

The woman who walked into the sea

Available on Amazon

The first Scottish author I’ve chosen to review this December, Mark Douglas Home, had me spellbound with this novel ‘The Woman who Walked into the Sea‘, which I bought in Waterstones as a paperback.

Here’s my review:

“Violet Well’s travels to a small community near Ullapool in the Highlands of Scotland in search of her mother, or information about why she was abandoned as a baby. She finds a strange community in the imaginary town of Poltown some on the surface who are warm and welcoming, a man who is kindly but appears to have learning difficulties and others who appear to be downright sinister. Nothing is as it first appears.

Not wanting to find any romantic involvement she stumbles upon Duncan Mc Call, an expert in tides and currents who often finds himself working to investigate missing bodies thought to have drowned. He becomes a rock to protect her but although ever watchful, he keeps a respectful distance from Violet in accordance to her wishes.

The plot is complex but extremely well written leading the reader ever deeper. Was it an accident? Was it suicide? Was it murder?

It is quite an emotional journey for this lass from Glasgow and the story kept me guessing to the end. I can recommend this novel for anyone who like a good mystery with a difference.”

Mark Douglas Home has certainly gone on to my list of authors to watch out for in the future.

Having moved to Fife, Scotland, two years ago this December I thought I would celebrate with a Scottish author month of blog book reviews.

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