The Write To Reply!

AS some of you may know the last three weeks have been a very interesting time for me with my first three titles in the DS Thoroughgood series, which have been recently rereleased by my publishers Matthew James Publishing, having been treated to a blog tour.

The tour, which was organised and run expertly by Emma from, saw Parallel Lines, The Hurting and The Longest Shadow each subject to a week of reviews from a cast of expert crime fiction bloggers.

I admit having written these books over a decade ago I was a bit trepidatious about how they would stand up to what has been a period of quite seismic social change in terms of attitudes and perceptions towards life in general and literature in particular.

The Thoroughgood series, which is based heavily on my experiences as a Glasgow cop, by definition must be police procedural and I hope, that while license is applied to those experiences which inform and are the backbone of my writing, they provide an authenticity to it that really comes across. Otherwise, what would be the point?

Yet the reviews from these lady bloggers proved positive beyond my wildest dreams and to @scintilla_info, @book_problem, @ramblingmads, @machinsharronm1, @hanlovestoread, @booksbybindu and @shazzierimmel I extend a heartfelt thank you!

Reading through each review at the end of the day the thought dawned on me that it would be nice to review the reviews and provide an author’s perspective on the bloggers thoughts which I guess is something different!

So here we go my top reviews for each title and why that is the case. I hope that you might take the time to read the reviews in full as the ladies all put in a lot of thought to their work.  

Parallel Lines:

At No.1 my favourite review is from @shazzierimmell and can be read in full at: and here is a snip:

The characters along with the story have been so well fleshed out they jump out of the page. The realism is further cemented with all the flaws and complexities that come naturally with human beings.

I was fascinated with them, even the gangsters have their own issues, and these little details draw you in a little bit more and before you know it you are knee-deep in the shady side of Glasgow with them.”

Great job Sharron I couldn’t have summed up everything I wanted to achieve from my debut thriller better!

The Hurting:

Top of the Pops here is @BooksbyBindu and in full at This review had one very big advantage over the six other excellent blogs on the second in the DS Thoroughgood Series…the blogger had actually sat in the seats of one of the key locations/events in the book!

Here’s a taster:

I need to explain why I found this so personal to my life. The first terror event happens at Braehead shopping centre and during a Davis Cup tennis event. Now I go to every single event in Glasgow for the Davis Cup and where the bomber picked his seat is exactly where I sit every single time. Due to this it just resonated to me that terror events can happen anywhere.

All the events in the book don’t seem unrealistic as all of them have been employed by terror groups as a means to further their cause. It’s due to this that the book can make uncomfortable reading but also more enthralling at the same time.

It’s a fine line an author has to take to take on subjects like this as you want to make it seem believable as a means to educate people as well as entertain them and I think RJ has done that in this case.”

Lynsey’s words here offer unbelievable insight, sum up the challenges I faced in writing ‘The Hurting’ and also what I hoped to achieve. It doesn’t get any better.

The Longest Shadow:

Finally, to the last in the first Thoroughgood trilogy and take a bow @scintilla_info & in full at:

Here’s the taster:

“Often, “action packed” and “intelligently thoughtful” are incompatible descriptions of a thriller. When R.J. Mitchell is the author, the two descriptions can be safely juxtaposed.

DS Thoroughgood novels are complex and sometimes philosophical, but they are also heart-pounding and filled with dizzying and often violent twists.

They are books that satisfy both your mind and your need for an adrenaline rush.”

Really, I think Scintilla has cut to the very essence of what I hope to achieve from my writing.

Well, there you go and once again a huge thanks to all of the bloggers.

The good news is that there are two other outings for Thoroughgood and Hardie!

If you care to purchase copies of The Shift and The Blood Acre you will be returning to 1989 and 1990 where the horrific two years of my spell as a rookie probationary cop will make for some very interesting life and times for the young Gus Thoroughgood…I promise!

And there is more good news the next instalment in the series: ‘The Hammer’ is already written!



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