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My First Detective Thriller

One of the joys of living in a place for a long period of time is that you get to see it in its fullness, good and bad, different and passionate. Couple this with a desire to write a different genre of fiction than I previously had and you begin to understand the genesis of my new novel “Water’s Edge”. But little did I know where the writing process would take me.


I live on a conservative island where changes that cut against both traditional and religious views can dominate the debate. Yes, there are extremes in this, but there is also a vast number of people who simply want to get on with life and learn how to get by with everyday necessities. But often the extremes of the argument do not allow this to happen. And it was this effect that was to dominate my main character.


Seoras Macleod, born and raised on the Isle of Lewis returns after a long time away, forced by his job to make a return to the scene of the worst moment of his life. The death of his wife years before has dominated his personality, and left in him a conflict with his God and his view of life. Through the resultant clash, I was able to throw the newer way of seeing things against the older conservatism and hopefully find the good and bad in both.


In societies the unspoken, lying beneath the veneer of normal life, shows where things are really at and I use the murder of a young woman to drive my detectives through this layer, exposing the lies beneath. This caused my murder mystery to become more of a thriller, events becoming less of a conundrum and more an act of social discovery. But still some have said they didn’t see the perpetrator coming.


Ultimately the book explores how wholly different characters can find support in extreme circumstances to drive through their mission when the house of cards around them starts to kick when toppled.


“Water’s Edge” my first Highlands and Islands detective thriller is available in paperback right now in my own store, or at Amazon (UK / US / AUS / CAN). If the eBook is your preference then you can pre-order here until the 1st Dec 2019 when it goes on full release. Check the 3 chapter sample out here. And let me know what you think. Book 2 is underway because all things come to the surface eventually.

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The 4×4 Slicing Machine

It’s summer time on the island which leads on to that epic battle between the grass and my weapon of choice. Being June one would expect that the sun would shine and I could stroll along with my little electric mower, producing those smart, neat, thick lines that speak of a well tended cricket pitch-like lawn. Welcome to the Isle of Lewis. It’s been raining on and off so an electric mower is out of the question. No worries I have a petrol beast. It’s actually been quite warm. Well warm for Lewis. Certainly no ice. And so the grass is sprouting and I reach for the green blade eating machine.

Hold it. Not tonight! They are out! The midges. Tiny, little and very evil flies (or possibly hell-hounds) that get into every orifice and munch your delicious skin until you scratch that very human covering off yourself. No amount of nets protect and clothing cannot truly ever cover all of one’s self. Leave it a night.

Okay. five nautical miles per hour wind so the hell hounds have retreated to their bushes. Take out the mower, fuel her up, yank the rip cord. Calmly wait while last year’s oil is taken through the system and emerges in a choking grey plume to blow across your face! Cough bravely. Cut the grass.

It’s then you notice. Dry on the top, wetter than the ocean beneath. This causes the machine to grind to a halt every five yards as it cannot generate enough suction to remove the wet grass to the collector. Feel your arm muscles improve with each pull of the rip cord. Then swear loudly as the rip cord brakes. Then as the mower does go forward ever so briefly watch the back wheels spin on the wet grass so that it is only your physical effort that keeps the heavy beast going forward.

But the worst is the uneven surface causing the blade to occasionally catch the surface and cut deep into it. The motor invariably fails to protect itself and we have to pull the ever diminishing rip cord again. Why did we think we could make a lawn out of a moor!? Maybe a roller would do it. The size of the unevenness makes me suggest the roller would need to be the sort used on motorway construction!

Still nights are drawing in. Soon be snowing and I’ll have my perfectly flat, even and very white lawn. Greens overrated, I love winter!

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Originally posted 25 June 2014 on Blogspot