The Italian Connection by John Keeman

the italian connectionGeorge Giles wakes up, disorientated, in a hospital bed in London in 2000. “My last memory was of walking down a sandy road in an Italian village along with three other soldiers…”

In George Giles’ mind, he is a twenty-seven year old soldier preparing to return home after Germany’s surrender during World War II. But his body tells a different story; he is the serial killer Peter Hunter, who until recently was detained at Broadmoor for the criminally insane. Unlike Hunter, George has never killed, nor does he know of the 21st Century.

Faced with a London much changed from his memories, George seeks answers from the past and tries to uncover how he is connected to Hunter. His search for the truth takes him to Glasgow where the true connection begins to emerge.

“This book is a beguiling tale, which challenges normal assumptions about time, place and identity, as well as being an adventure story of high quality.”

Dark Loch, by Charles P. Sharkey

Dark Loch by Charles SharkeyDark Loch is an epic tale of the effects of the First World War on the lives of the residents of a small Scottish rural community. A crucial central strand is the long-running romance between tenant crofter Callum Macnair and Caitriona Dunbar, the beautiful daughter of the local Laird.

The story is initially set in the fictional village of Glenfay on the banks of Loch Fay on the west coast of Scotland. The main characters are the tenant crofters who work the land leased to them by the laird, Lord Charles Dunbar, and his family. The crofters live a harsh existence in harmony with the land and the changing seasons, unaware of the devastating war that is soon to engulf the continent of Europe.

The book vividly and dramatically explores the impact of that war on all the main characters and how their lives are drastically altered forever.

In the words of a pre-publication review:

“Dark Loch is a powerful exploration of the momentous impact of the First World War on a remote Scottish crofting community. A fitting memorial and a gripping read.”

The Malta Job, Notes on a Wee Island, by Alwyn James

the malta job.inddJohn Smith, a young Scottish journalist with literary aspirations, is sent to Malta to complete a sequel to the very successful MacMurder, a round-up of Scotland’s more infamous homicides. The author had died just before completing the planned sequel MacAbre, a follow-up tale of other gruesome Scottish crimes.

Once on Malta, with the dead author’s notes, he gets involved in a gripping set of circumstances involving high romance, exciting adventure and a bank heist crime worthy of inclusion in either book.

In the words of a pre-publication review:

“The Malta Job is a highly literate, greatly accomplished fictional debut by an author well known for high quality non-fiction works like Scottish Roots and Other Men’s Heroes. A welcome addition to the ranks of readable, entertaining,  exciting fiction.”

The Gori’s Daughter, by Shazia Hobbs

goris daughter version 2.inddThe Gori’s Daughter is fictional story of Aisha, a young mixed race girl, daughter of a Kashmiri father and a Glaswegian mother moved.

Her life is a constant struggle against the rejection and hostility her background generates in both Glasgow’s white and Asian communities. The book graphically documents her fight to offer her own daughter a culture and traditions she can accept with pride.

Its uncompromising exploration of the realities rather that the myths of race relations within modern Scotland will have an explosive impact, challenging as it does cosy assumptions on both sides.

The tale is often harrowing, always exciting and revealing, but is ultimately about triumph; a victory for resilience and decency over bigotry and discrimination.

Special Offer: Between Two Bridges & Torn Edges for £3.50

Between Two Bridges and Torn Edges for the special price of £3.50!

Torn Edges:A riveting mystery story linking modern day Glasgow with 1920’s Ireland.

When a gold coin very similar to a family heirloom is found at the scene of a Glasgow murder, a search is begun that takes the McKenna family, assisted by their librarian friend Liam, through their own family history right back to the tumultuous days of the Irish Civil War. The search is greatly helped by the discovery of an old family photograph of their Great-Uncle Pat in a soldier’s uniform.

The McKennas quickly realise that despite their pride in their Irish origins they know remarkably little about this particular period of recent Irish history. With Liam’s expert help, they soon learn that many more Irishman were killed, murdered, assassinated or hung during the very short Civil War than in the much longer and better known War of Independence. And they learn that gruesome atrocities were committed by both sides, atrocities in which the evidence begins to suggest their own relatives might have been involved.

Parallel to this unravelling of the family involvement of this period, Torn Edges author Brian McHugh has interwoven the remarkable story of the actual participation of two of the McKenna family, Charlie and Pat, across both sides of the conflict in the desperate days of 1922 Ireland.

Torn Edges is both entertaining and well-written, and will be of considerable interest to all in both Scottish and Irish communities, many of whom will realise that their knowledge and understanding of events in Ireland in 1922 has been woefully incomplete. Torn Edges will also appeal more widely to all who appreciate a good story well told.

Between Two Bridges:Brian McHugh’s second novel and is a sequel to Torn Edges, published by Ringwood in 2012. Like its predecessor, Between Two Bridges moves between two worlds.

New York, 1933

Prohibition is coming to an end, but not everyone is celebrating. A few astute businessmen realise that by legally importing liquor before the Volstead Act is repealed, they can net themselves a small fortune. Charlie McKenna, an Irishman who spent time in Glasgow during the Great War, is sent to complete the deal with Denholm Distillers in their St Enoch Square office.

Glasgow, Present Day

Still reeling from the murder of their friend, three old friends are once again knocked off-course by the resurfacing of a battered diary. It soon leads them back into their investigation of Julie’s grandfather, Charlie McKenna. More troubling tales of war, gold and gangsters soon begin to surface.

Between Two Bridges is a fast-paced adventure with a well-researched historical setting.

Torn Edges by Brian McHugh

Torn Edges is a riveting mystery story linking modern day Glasgow with 1920’s Ireland.

When a gold coin very similar to a family heirloom is found at the scene of a Glasgow murder, a search is begun that takes the McKenna family, assisted by their librarian friend Liam, through their own family history right back to the tumultuous days of the Irish Civil War. The search is greatly helped by the discovery of an old family photograph of their Great Uncle Pat in a soldier’s uniform.

The McKennas quickly realise that despite their pride in their Irish origins they know remarkably little about this particular period of recent Irish history. With Liam’s expert help, they soon learn that many more Irishman were killed, murdered, assassinated or hung during the very short Civil War than in the War of Independence. And they learn that gruesome atrocities were committed by both sides; atrocities in which the evidence begins to suggest their own relatives might have been involved.

Parallel to this unraveling of the family involvement of this period, Torn Edges author Brian McHugh has interwoven the remarkable story of the actual participation of two of the McKenna family, Charlie and Pat, across both sides of the conflict in the desperate days of 1922 Ireland.

 

The Great Escape? by Sandy Jamieson

great-escape-thumbThe Great Escape? is that rarity, an intelligent readable novel about football and families. It is the story of Derek Duncan, a Celtic supporter from birth, who became a Scottish international football player, and his attempt to make himself an immortal football manager. He intends to do with a struggling provincial English club Griston City, something similar to what Matt Busby and Bill Shankly his spiritual predecessors, did with Manchester United and Liverpool, and turn a moderate club into a modern giant, able to challenge for top honours not only in England but in Europe.

The book deals with his first season, when he takes over a Griston team rooted to the bottom of the table and determines to save them if humanly possible from the relegation to which they seemed doomed prior to his appointment.

It is about the stresses faced by a manager of a team on the edge and the effect of these pressures in his life and loves. It also explores the impact of these events on the other people involved in the world of football, the players, the Chairman and his daughter, the Board members and most of all, the supporters that hold the club dear.

As well as an examination of the world of professional football, The Great Escape? is also a modern love story about the growing relationship between a lonely manager and  a lovely young woman who understands his situation.

The Great Escape? also demonstrates how an obsession with football can distort father- daughter relationships and it is essential reading for those affected by this phenomenon, directly or indirectly.

Original Response to The Great Escape?

Described in the Herald review as “at last an intelligent and readable novel about football and life” and “strong in narrative”. Other reviews called it “the best novel about football I have ever read” and “the ideal present for football fans of all ages and both sexes”.

 

Fiction: Available Titles

Displaying 1–10 of 24
  • Inference by Stephanie McDonaldBook Cover Inference

    “I’m dreaming. I must be. I had a few drinks too many last night, and I’m having a funky dream…I pinch myself on the arm to try and speed the process along, but nothing happens. Without thinking too much about it I aim a punch at the wall, and the resulting pain that reverberates through …

  • Not the Life Imagined by Anne PettigrewCover of Not the Life Imagined

    A darkly humorous, thought-provoking story of Scottish medical students in the sixties, a time of changing social and sexual mores. None of the teenagers starting at Glasgow University in 1967 live the life they imagine. Beth Slater is shocked at how few female medical students there are and that some people, such as Conor Towmey, …

  • Where the Bridge Lies by Frank WoodsCover of Where the Bridge Lies

    “The Clyde wasn’t just just a stream of water. It was an entity, a being that threaded through the lives of the people who lived here, sometimes giving, sometimes taking away.” 1941. The Clydebank Blitz robs Nessa Glover of her husband and five children. Struggling with her new reality she becomes a shipyard welder, and …

  • Memoirs of Franz Schreiber, by Charles P. Sharkey

    The Memoirs of Franz Schreiber gives a unique perspective on the trials and turmoil of life in Germany during the first world war, its aftermath and the build up to the second world war. When Franz Schreiber and his mother get the news that his beloved father would not be returning to their home in …

  • Who Stole Sitting Bull? by Alex Gordon

    Who Stole Sitting Bull? is set on the Isle of Cumbrae. Sitting Bull is a Scottish boxer who keeps getting knocked over, hence the nickname. Somewhere along the line – and this can only happen in fiction – he gets a shot at a world title and goes to Crete to acclimatize and prepare for …

  • Everwinding Times by Mary McCabe

    Ailee Lorimer suffers strange afflictions. Her memory loss, her sense of dislocation, her feyness all lead her to seek medical help. Yet she appears to cut to the core of all life before her, now and in the future. In this gripping, intriguing and funny novel, Mary McCabe winds the plot of individual lives through …

  • Stirring the Dust, by Mary McCabe

    Extraordinary things unfold in Stirring the Dust. A corpse left unburied for fear of infection; a paranormal great-great aunt; bigamous and incestuous marriages; a runaway wife and her gypsy lover. Dramatic episodes in the past are linked with the present. A sense of something missing in events now has its echo in the rich cast …

  • Two Closes and a Referendum by Mary McCabe

    Two Closes and a Referendum is an engaging tale of ordinary people in an extraordinary time. This novel brilliantly captures the growing excitement and fervour of the 2014 Independence Referendum that changed Scotland forever, as ordinary citizens explored their identity and wrestled with the hopes and fears that surrounded the choice they were asked to …

  • Checking Out Of The Hotel Euthanasia by Gerard Graham

    Assisted dying is one of the key ethical and political issues of our day. Checking out of the Hotel Euthanasia is  a novel that tackles the dilemmas head-on with a rare mixture of scabrous enthusiasm and due respect. The book is guaranteed to offend many; to help many come to a considered view of the …

  • In the Devil’s Name by Dave Watson

    Some of the locals in the small Scottish village of Ballantrae still tell tales about haunted Bennane Head, the cliffs just up the coast where mythical mass murderer and cannibal Sawney Beane is said to have dwelt with his inbred family during the seventeenth century. Never walk past there at night, they say, or heaven …

 

Own Goal, by Sandy Jamieson

Own Goal is set in Glasgow in 1990 and tells of one’s Glaswegian’s dramatic contribution to Glasgow’s Year as European City of Culture.

The first part, Game One, tells the story of Frank Hunter’s attempt to gain a fitting revenge on the Tory Headmaster who had scuppered Frank’s most precious dream many years previously. His plan, involving an English prostitute and a Lochgelly belt called “Old Faithful” works out perfectly, except for one fatal little hitch.

Game Two tells how the consequences of this miscalculation drive him to seize the political destiny that will make him immortal, as the lucky Scot who implements the secret fantasy of most of his country folk and gets That Bloody Woman in the sights of a high powered rifle.

His chosen location, Hampden Park on Cup Final day, ensures his defining act will combine the two main strands of his life, football and politics,  a fitting culmination. A Celtic supporter all his life, he briefly worries that his act might spoil the game for the tens of thousands of Celtic supporters  present, but concludes it will not.

Praise for Own Goal

Own Goal was described in the Herald as “The best Scottish sexual and political thriller since 39 Steps” and as “a peculiarly Scottish cocktail of the passions of politics, football, sex, religion, love and friendship”.

The  review in “The List” gave the book four stars and stated, “for a detailed and entertaining look at the ironies and inconsistencies in Scottish football and politics, there is no need to look any further then Jamieson’s latest novel Own Goal. Simply riveting”.

Other reviews said “this intoxicating book adds an important new voice to the national debate about destiny and identity” and “A major addition to the list of books which help explain Scotland”.

Own Goal was selected as one of the Books of the Year by Waterstone’s Glasgow Sauchiehall Street. It was also selected as Book of the Year in the Sunday Herald by Scotland’s Education Minister, who wrote “Own Goal mixes politics, football, questions of Scottish identity and Glasgow humour in an inimitable style. Essential reading for anyone who lived through the Thatcher years.”

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