Getting Away With Murder
03 January 2009
The following piece appears in Mike Ripley's Getting Away With Murder column this month in the on-line Shotsmag. As well as being the author of the Angel series of crime novels, Mike is also obviously a sage and a man of great vision...
One of my most interesting Christmas presents arrived in the Diplomatic Bag from an eastern European capital, but if I told you which one I would have to have you killed. It was a new edition of Douglas Lindsay’s The Long Midnight of Barney Thomson specially revised by the author to mark the tenth anniversary of its first publication in 1999.
Long before ‘Dexter’ appeared on the scene, Douglas and his dysfunctional Glasgow barber hero, Barney Thomson, were spoofing the serial-killer genre and scoring some sharp satirical points of the state of modern Scotland. (A fair target, especially if you live and work in eastern Europe.)
Disgracefully discarded by British publishers (and shamefully overlooked whenever anyone mentions the Scottish crime scene or over-uses the cliché ‘Tartan Noir’), Douglas eventually set up Long Midnight Publishing in Inverness to keep the Barney stories in print and develop new titles. His books have always had a loyal following in Germany, a country renowned for its sense of humour and I find it mystifying that they are not better known in the UK.