IT’S amazing to think that today in my home city of Stirling I will be kicking-off my fourth tour with WHSmith in support of the launch of my new DS Thoroughgood crime thriller ‘The Blood Acre’, which is the fifth in the series and set in 1990.
It seems like yesterday when I wrote the first in the series ‘Parallel Lines’ way back in 2008, when an appendicitis caused my career as a sportswriter with the Glasgow Evening Times to come to a juddering halt and forced a prolonged period of recovery and so allowed DS Gus Thoroughgood to escape from my mind and onto the written page.
Since then Gus, in his first incarnation as a Glasgow detective sergeant, has found himself locked in a deadly battle with his personal nemesis Declan Meechan, thwarted a gang of crazed Jihadists and solved a wartime cold case that was in fact a destabilising national cover up.
All of that allowed me to go back to 1989 with ‘The Shift’, the previous outing for a callow Constable Thoroughgood set in 1989 and based on the unhappiest year of my life as a probationary cop in a not so salubrious ‘suburb’ of Glasgow called Blackhill.
But now Gus is back, slightly older, slightly wiser and facing a whole new set of challenges!
He will lock horns with a corrupt DI, form an unholy alliance with a young Meechan in order to bring down one of Glasgow’s deadliest criminals ‘The Widowmaker’ and, naturally, Constable Thoroughgood’s love life is a minefield of emotional torment.
So, The Blood Acre is, in essence, a Molotov cocktail of bullets, blood, betrayal and heartbreak with a French kiss of a cliff hanger ending….and I guess I’m quite pleased with it!
Over the summer I have also been hard at work on my new work, the second world war epic ‘Operation Parsifal’ based on the premise that Hitler escaped from the bunker….and as you can see from the holiday pic above taken on my balcony in Spain that was thirsty work!!
But write now (!) I need to say a few thank yous!
First to James and Anthony of Matthew James Publishing for helping bring Gus back to life, to Susan Mears my literary agent for her help and support, David Alexander for his advice and patience and Mike French for a fine edit.
At WHSmith a huge ‘gracies amigos’ to Craig Sinclair and Brian ‘Silver Fox’ McIntyre for their meticulous help in planning the tour which will also take me south of the border to Newcastle, Manchester and London.
I am planning to write a regular tour blog as I travel the length and breadth of Scotland and beyond over the next four months sharing some of the interesting experiences and tales that always unfold on the road.
But for now if you are in Stirling today between 11am and 3pmish please drop into WHSmith where I can guarantee you the best crime thriller you will read this summer is waiting for you….but then I guess I would say that!
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