Review: Bloody Scotland

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Title: Bloody Scotland

By: Lin Anderson,  Christopher BrookmyreGordon BrownAnn CleevesDoug JohnstoneStuart MacBrideVal McDermidDenise Mina , Craig RobertsonSara SheridanE S Thomson and Louise Welsh

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A fantastic collection of short stories from twelve of Scotland’s best crime writers. Set in twelve iconic buildings there’s a really great mix of stories. From tales of revenge, murder, kidnapping and terrorism to Vikings and a bit of cannibalism I’d say there’s probably something for everyone.

As expected I absolutely loved the stories from my two favourite Scottish crime authors Chris Brookmyre and Stuart MacBride. Brookmyre’s story is set in Bothwell Castle (about a 5 min drive from my house) and reminded me of some of his older books. It’s really funny and had me giggling away on the train to work. MacBride true to form is having another dig at the weather in the Aberdeen area (rain features heavily in all of his books) with a story set in a lighthouse during a hurricane. It’s a very atmospheric story with some brilliant characterisation as always.

Some of the other stories were also brilliant and many from authors I’m less familiar with. I won’t go through them all but definite highlights were Denise Mina’s Edinburgh Castle story which is seriously disturbing, Gordon Brown’s story about a man discovering the truth about his father when he returns for his funeral and E.S. Thomson’s story set in Stanley Mills which creates a brilliant portrait of a not very nice man who gets his comeuppance.

I’m often not too keen on short stories (they’re too bloomin short) but in this I have to say each and every author has created something memorable, with great characters and a real sense of place.

Definitely a book I’d recommend for all crime readers.

I received a copy of this book free from the publishers as part of the blog tour. This has not influenced my review.


The Blurb

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.

5 thoughts on “Review: Bloody Scotland

  1. I sometimes feel like short stories can be more memorable–they have to pack a lot of punch into a small place, and when it works, it can work really well!
    I haven’t picked up a short story anthology in a while. This one intrigues me….

    Liked by 1 person

    • I do love that they tend to go straight into the action, have more dialogue and a lot less backstory. A good short story is brilliant. Unfortunately I don’t think every writer has the knack. I’ve seen some of my favourite authors fail miserably.

      This is a pretty good collection. There were a couple I struggled with (I think it was me though) but the rest were great.

      Liked by 1 person

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