Aye Write: Neil Lancaster, Carole Johnstone and Fulton Ross – Something Dark Up North

something dark up north

Saturday 27 May, 2023 6 p.m. – 7 p.m.

In Neil Lancaster’s The Night Watch a lawyer is found dead at sunrise on a lonely clifftop at Dunnet Head on the northernmost tip of Scotland. It was supposed to be his honeymoon, but now his wife will never see him again. The case is linked to several mysterious deaths, including the murder of the lawyer’s last client – Scotland’s most notorious criminal… who had just walked free. DS Max Craigie knows this can only mean one thing: they have a vigilante serial killer on their hands. But this time the killer isn’t on the run; he’s on the investigation team. And the rules are different when the murderer is this close to home.

In Carol Johnstone’s The Black House there’s a remote village and a deadly secret. An outsider who knows the truth… Maggie Mackay has been haunted her entire life. No matter what she does, she can’t shake the sense that something is wrong with her. When she was five years old, without proof, Maggie announced that someone in the remote village of Blairmore in the Outer Hebrides had murdered a local man, sparking a media storm. Now, Maggie is determined to discover what really happened and what the villagers are hiding. But everyone has secrets, and some are deadly. As she gets closer to the horrifying truth, Maggie’s own life is in danger…

In Fulton Ross’s The Unforgiven Dead sure as the tide against his Highland shores, the refrain beats into Constable Angus ‘Dubh’ MacNeil’s mind. For years it has haunted him, accompanied by the faces of those he could not save–the Burned Man, the Strangled Woman, the Drowned Boy. All witnesses to a secret he cannot share and a gift he now refuses to embrace. The refrain drives Angus to the seashore at dawn, where a girl lies on the unblemished sand. She wears a green cloak and cradles a corps creadha, a Highland voodoo doll. She has suffered a ritualistic, three-fold death–her head bludgeoned, her throat cut, and symbolically drowned.

Mitchell Library, North Street, Glasgow G3 7DN

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Avatar of PatByrne Publisher of Pat's Guide to Glasgow West End; the community guide to the West End of Glasgow. Fiction and non-fiction writer.

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