One hundred 5-star reviews vs ten 1-star reviews


This is not even a #humblebrag, just an ordinary brag – my sad and angry little book Gone Again has just had its 100th 5-star review over on Amazon. It’s also got ten 1-star reviews, if that’s more your thing. It is still a total steal at 59p for the ebook. If you prefer a paper copy, Blackwell’s on South Bridge, Edinburgh have them on super-sale for 99p for a limited time. Lovely.

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A review of my Inverness Book Festival gig


Here’s a lovely review in the Forres Gazette of the gig I did recently at the Inverness Book Festival. Lots of murder and suicide and banter and music and stuff and that. You know the drill.

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Why I’m Voting YES for Scottish Independence



I’m voting YES for Scottish independence. Big surprise, eh? I’m not going to write a long essay, it was actually pretty simple when I examined how I thought about it.

I believe this is an opportunity to create a fairer and more equal society.

I don’t think the United Kingdom operates in the interests of any of its citizens. It is elitist, corrupt and inherently unjust. If you don’t think there’s anything wrong with the UK then I’m sorry, we see a different union from each other.

If you don’t think we can do any better, I disagree, I think THIS is what we can do, vote for change. And hopefully it will jolt others in the UK to do the same.

It won’t be easy, but then nothing that’s worth doing ever is. I believe we have the resources and the people to achieve great things. This is about creating a modern country that looks after all its people.

If you think the best thing is to stay in the union and fight for change, well I respect that opinion, but I respectfully disagree. I simply cannot see any way in which the UK will become any more fair or equal under the current system.

So I’m voting YES.

On the 19th of September, whichever way it goes, we’ll all still be living in the same big beautiful country, and we’ll all get along with each other fine like we always have. I just hope that we take the chance to build a better country for future generations.


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Two more bits of tasty press for The Dead Beat


So there was a wee flurry of interest around my trips to the Edinburgh and Inverness book festivals over the last two weeks. First, a lovely interview by Calum Macleod that ran in The Northern Times and a bunch of other local Highland papers, where I talk about politics, football, music, pretty much everything except books. Then, over at East Coast FM, a cracking review by Jim Walsh of my event with Tom Benn in Edinburgh, which gets a lot of the flavour across.

Thanks, gents!


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My review of In Search of Solace by Emily Mackie in The Independent on Sunday


Aye so, here’s my review of Emily Mackie’s In Search of Solace, that ran in the Indy on Sunday the other weekend. Don’t really like writing negative reviews, so I tried to find the positive, but if I’m honest I didn’t get along with this at all. Sorry!

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My Big Issue Reviews of Dwayne Alexander Smith and Tom Wright

illustration by Mitch Blunt

illustration by Mitch Blunt

Another week, another couple of cracking books to review in The Big Issue. This time round two American crime novels, Forty Acres by Dwayne Alexander Smith and Tom Wright’s Blackbird. I got on well with them both, especially Forty Acres, which was pretty out there at times, but a real page-turner (if you’ll excuse the cliche).

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Two more cracking reviews for THE DEAD BEAT

the dead beat front cover

While I’m at it, here are two terrific recent reviews for THE DEAD BEAT.

First one is on the excellently named What Are You Reading For? blog, an in-depth look at the book from someone who really seems to get what it’s about.

And there’s also a wonderful review in Northwords by Paul Cockburn, equally perceptive and very flattering it is too.



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