Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Gritty, and Not So Gritty

For those in the vicinity of Edinburgh in early June, a couple of book events as part of the Leith Festival look good. I'm hoping to go to the first one myself as Tony Black launches his second Gus Dury novel GUTTED on Tuesday 9th June. Here's a review of the book from Gerard Brennan's excellent Crime Scene NI. I totally agree with Gerard, it's a great book with an utterly believable protagonist who's flawed but very sympathetic.

And then on Thursday June 11th, Karen Campbell talks about her new book AFTER THE FIRE. The lovely Alex Dickson , who's a big fan of crime fiction, interviews Karen on Smooth Radio in Glasgow. has a new review of Caro Ramsay's recently published book SINGING TO THE DEAD, which is the second novel featuring the cops of Glasgow's Partickhill police station. I like this particular site and the way they format their reviews. They also do music and film reviews. Here's one for an album that I am currently playing quite a bit - the Yeah Yeah Yeahs (not a Scottish band but I am allowed outside Scotland from time to time...once the Restraining Order has been lifted of course). Sadly, they don't have a review for my favourite Scottish film Red Road, which is a dark crime drama set in Glasgow. Very low budget, it was the first film directed by Andrea Arnold (whose latest - Fish Tank - won a prize at Cannes this year). It's the story of a CCTV operator who sees a face from her past as she is scanning her cameras at work. Red Road is the first in a loose trilogy of films called Advance Party, which are all due to be set in Scotland, with each being made by different first time directors and producers. Apparently the second one - Rounding Up Donkeys - is due to be released later this year.

And finally, don't get the impression from all these gritty books that Scotland's criminals are a hard lot with no feelings. Far from it. Here's the sad story of the gunman who ran away from jail because he didn't feel welcome.


  1. That film Red Road looks pretty good, from the (expertly linked to!) Guardian review. Is it available on DVD do you know? I'm being lazy I could just go and look on Amazon, so I will - no need to bother answering. Just wanted to leave a friendly comment, really, to a nice post.

  2. Aw, thank you Maxine - I appreciate it! And Red Road is definitely worth watching. I bought it a few months ago - I think it was cheap in HMV or Fopp.

  3. It's very, very short notice but Falkirk Libraries are holding an event SLAUGHTER AT THE STADIUM this Saturday afternoon. A talk by and about Scottish crime writers with four writers attending. I enjoyed the last one very much, mostly because Stuart McBride was one of the authors. I haven't paid too mauch attention this year because I'm working and can't make it but if you google Falkirk Libraries -Slaughter at the Stadium you should get info.

    Good job Falkirk FC are playing at Hampden rather than at home, eh?...

  4. LOL. Yep! I'm going to post about that one today actually - thanks Jim! I wish I could go but I can't :o(