Some Song Of The Dead Stuff

Added on 14 May 2016

This weekend, to cheers of celebration around the country, the digital version of SONG OF THE DEAD is on offer on KOBO for the knock down bargain basement price of £1.99. Offer ends Monday 16th May.

I expect Monday morning will see something of a stock market bounce as a result.


This week on BBC Radio Scotland, the book was reviewed by a panel of three on the Janice Forsyth show. Click here to listen. The review begins approx. one hour, twenty-two minutes in.

Mixed reception. There was a lady who thought the plot was good, but couldn’t be doing with all the melancholic side stories – she felt forced to feel sad, apparently – and hated the writing style. I overuse the full stop key. So there was that. And she’s right. Sentences are regularly too short AND I actively try to force the reader to feel sad.

Then there was a former copper. Uh-oh, I thought. My police procedural, in which I completely made up the police procedure, is going to be reviewed by an actual policeman. Anyway, I dodged a bullet. Could have been much worse.

And finally there was Stuart Cosgrove, who was very enthusiastic, and said lots of nice things. However, he did mitigate it with the words, ‘of course, it’s flawed…’

Wait, what? What does that actually mean?

It’s flawed, because all books are flawed? Or, it’s flawed because everything in the world is flawed, even Botticelli’s Venus, and Audrey Hepburn? Or is it, perhaps, that it’s just flawed because I did it, and it’s well known that I’m rarely perfect?

‘Lindsay nailed that piece of toast, by the way. Course, put way too much butter on it.’

‘Lovely piece of driving up the A9 there by Lindsay. Apart from that moment when he caused a multiple-car pile-up just north of Killiecrankie…’

Oh well. I doubt I’ll ever meet Stuart Cosgrove, and I’m pretty sure that if I did meet him, the last thing I’d want to talk about would be the flaws in any of my books. Maybe he just meant there are too many full stops.


In another review, this is what Scottish Field magazine had to say:

'The first in a new series from the Legend of Barney Thomson writer, this chilling crime novel follows ex-spy turned detective Ben Westphall, who has retreated to the north of Scotland to live a quiet life. But the reawakening of a cold case quickly draws him into the sinister world of international organ trafficking. Twelve years after the body of John Baden washed up on the shores of Lake Peipus in Estonia, he reappears - alive. Westphall heads east to investigate and finds himself back in the criminal domain he thought he'd left behind. This is a compelling start to a new straight crime series by a master of comic crime.'

I know. Master of comic crime...