Book Review: Bloody Scotland |An insight into the famous world of Scottish mysteries|

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Blurb (as on Goodreads):

In Bloody Scotland a selection of Scotland’s best crime writers use the sinister side of the country’s built heritage in stories that are by turns gripping, chilling and redemptive.

Stellar contributors Val McDermid, Chris Brookmyre, Denise Mina, Ann Cleeves, Louise Welsh, Lin Anderson, Doug Johnstone, Gordon Brown, Craig Robertson, E S Thomson, Sara Sheridan and Stuart MacBride explore the thrilling potential of Scotland’s iconic sites and structures. From murder in an Iron Age broch and a macabre tale of revenge among the furious clamour of an eighteenth century mill, to a dark psychological thriller set within the tourist throng of Edinburgh Castle and a rivalry turning fatal in the concrete galleries of an abandoned modernist ruin, this collection uncovers the intimate – and deadly – connections between people and places.

Prepare for a dangerous journey into the dark shadows of our nation’s buildings – where passion, fury, desire and death collide.

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Bloody Scotland is a collection of 12 short stories that revolve around 12 famous Scottish monuments and has a murder element in it.

While I loved a few stories, the other fell flat to my taste. It’s difficult when an author is constrained and isn’t allowed to think out of the box. That is what I believe happened to this collection.


Orkahaugr by Lin Anderson: The first story is about the curiosity of a man for the monument called Maeshowe. It talks about Norse Mythology and death.

Ancient and Modern by Val McDermid: A revenge planned around The Hermit’s Castle.

Kissing the Shuttle by E S Thomson: A plot revolving around sexual abuse in the Stanley Mills.

Painting the Forth Bridge by Doug Johnstone: A fathers love for his daughter and to be with her, no matter the costs. Set in The Forth Bridge.

The Last Siege of Bothwell Castle by Chris Brookmyre: A tale involving a siege of Bothwell Castle, staged by some local Mafia.

Sanctuary by Sara Sheridan: Involves the Kinneil House and is a horror story. Revolves around ancient paintings and murals.

Stevenson’s Candle by Stuart MacBride: A psychological thriller, well written and gripping. Set in the Kinnaird Head Lighthouse

History Lesson by Gordon Brown: Talks about a father-son relationship and involves the Crookston Castle

Come Friendly Bombs by Louise Welsh: Talks about war-ridden Scotland and the solace provided by Crossraguel Abbey

The Two Corbies of Cardross by Craig Robertson: Two thieves, the ultimate goal is survival. Their favorite spot being St. Peter’s Seminary, Cardross.

Nemo Me Impune Lacessit by Denise Mina: Mental illness and consequences. Set in the famous Edinburgh Castle.

The Return by Ann Cleeves: Deception and murder in the Mousa Broch.

My most favorites are Nemo Me Impune Lacessit, Stevenson’s Candle and The Return. These were exceptionally written with an impressive plot and well-written characters. The thriller in most of the stories was great, but a few felt forced, especially when drawing a connection with the monuments. A few weren’t related at all.

A short description of each monument has been provided at the end, along with the author introduction.

What overpowers everything is the fact that each monument has been described beautifully. Their grandeur and history have all been told along with the story.

This collection can be thought of as an insight into the writing style of some great Scottish authors and I have chosen a few whose work I would like to read further.



Purchase Links:                                 |Amazon HardCover|


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3 thoughts on “Book Review: Bloody Scotland |An insight into the famous world of Scottish mysteries|

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