Wednesday, 12 August 2020

THE INNOCENT DEAD by Lin Anderson - book launch event recording

The recording of the virtual book launch for Forensic Scientist Dr Rhona MacLeod book 15 - THE INNOCENT DEAD - is available to watch online on the Crowdcast platform.

To access the discussion between author Lin Anderson and her Pan Macmillan editor Alex Saunders click on this link:
then enter Password: innocentdead (as in the above image).

If you are not already registered with Crowdcast you will be prompted to register using an email address or Facebook etc.

Happy viewing! 

Monday, 3 August 2020

Invitation to the Virtual Launch of THE INNOCENT DEAD by Lin Anderson

Ever wondered about how an author works with their editor?

Find out by booking a place for Wednesday's Virtual Launch of Lin Anderson's new Forensic Scientist Dr Rhona MacLeod novel THE INNOCENT DEAD by emailing an acceptance to the above invitation to

The event runs online on the Crowdcast platform from 6:30pm to 7:15pm BST on Wednesday 5th August 2020, and Pan Macmillan Editor Alex Saunders will discuss with Lin the latest book in her best-selling crime thriller series.

Alex Saunders & Lin Anderson

Once you have emailed to accept the invite, Pan Macmillan will send you an email before the event with the event link and an access code.

This Virtual Booklaunch event is being run in conjunction with the Wee Three Indies group of independent bookshops, and there will be an opportunity to order signed copies of the book from them as part of the event.

As the event is virtual, there shouldn't be a limit on the number of attendees (who can comment & interact), however confirming attendance earlier rather than later is advised.


Saturday, 1 August 2020

FINAL CUT - The dead tell her their secrets

My home village of Carrbridge is fortunate in being surrounded by amenity woodland, mostly pine trees and blaeberry bushes. It’s a delightful place to walk and to think.

The idea for Final Cut came during such a walk. The Woodland Trust volunteers look after the forest, so you can often see piles of trimmed branches rotting away within sight of the path.
Looking at one such pile, I suddenly thought that you could hide a body in there and no one would know. As branches continue to be thrown on, each layer of rotting vegetation would provide  evidence of how long it’s been there.

Final Cut

This intrigued me. Plus I had attended a Forensic Soil Science weekend in Edinburgh, where I first encountered Professor Lorna Dawson, a real soil scientist. I was captivated by her lecture on using forensic soil science to help solve crimes. This seemed ideal territory for a Rhona book.
At this point I conceived the opening scene.

It’s midwinter, and Claire is driving home from visiting her terminally ill mother in a Glasgow hospice. Her nine year old daughter, Emma, is in the back and asking if Granny is going to die. Claire is freaked by the visit and by the weather which is turning to snow as she departs Glasgow for their home in the countryside south of the city.

Suddenly the figure of a man appears in front of her on the deserted road and swerving to avoid him, the car flips and ends up in the boggy ground at the foot of the bank. When Claire comes to, upside down and confused, she can’t remember what happened, where she is, or even who she is.

She manages to undo her seat belt in the pitch darkness and stumbles towards the road where she flags down a white van. The driver asks if she was alone in the car, and turns his headlights in that direction.
At that point she remembers what happened. The figure on the road, her swerving, and that her daughter Emma was in the car, but when they reach the vehicle, they find it empty.

The search begins, and thankfully  Emma is found in the nearby forest, sitting next to a pile of offcuts. In her hands, she has a small human skull, which she tells DS McNab is the skull of a child buried in the woodpile… and she thinks there are more.

FINAL CUT - Book Trailer

Having written the opening scene, I then went back to what I’d learned about forensic soil science, in particular relating to the excavation of a concealed grave. For example, items found in the soil at various levels will have been moved around by worm action, which means just because they’re at a certain level, doesn’t mean that’s the era when they were discarded.

I decided at that point that Rhona and Chrissy would find a piece of glass in the excavated soil, mainly because glass is forensically very interesting and unique, depending on where it’s been used.
While researching this in more detail, I discovered that stained glass was even more interesting forensically because of the chemical dyes used to colour the glass. You can therefore trace the glass to its manufacturer. Maybe even to the customer who bought it.

In this way forensic research informs the story and hopefully makes it more intriguing.
So who was the man on the road that night in the snow and why was he there?

Wednesday, 22 July 2020

Rhona MacLeod is back: The Innocent Dead

The Innocent Dead

Being brought up as a child of a detective in a time when forensics didn’t exist, except in a rudimentary form, the idea of taking an old case and applying the forensic tools we now have to solving it, has always appealed.

Back then, children weren’t regarded as reliable witnesses, men exposing themselves to you in public (the raincoat brigade) was something you were told to just ignore, and a ‘Domestic’ was a fight the police didn’t get involved in.

All this played into the blossoming idea for The Innocent Dead

However,  the opening chapter came about because of a couple of stories told to me by my sister-in-law, and my neighbour.

My late artist sister was very fond of cats. After she died, her partner told me that she would get a sighting of one of their former cats walking past the studio where my sister painted. It looked fully alive despite being definitely dead. Its appearance there invariably heralded the passing of someone she knew.

The second story reminded me of that dark Scottish poem/song The Twa Corbies

 As I was walking all alane,
I heard twa corbies making a mane;
The tane unto the t'other say,
"Where sall we gang and dine to-day"

My neighbour’s story was of the day she’d heard a strange noise coming from the empty sittingroom. On cautiously opening the door she discovered a pair of black crows eyeing her from the back of the settee!

Shortly after I’d written the first chapter, I was asked to visit a women’s recovery café in Raploch, Stirling where they were reading the first Rhona book, Driftnet. They were working on their own writing projects, mutually supporting each other in their recovery.

It was meeting and listening to these amazing women that became the inspiration for telling Karen’s story. Karen, who was only a wee girl of 11 when her best pal Mary disappeared. A wee girl so traumatised by that event, that she stopped talking altogether and buried what had happened that day forever….

That is … until now.

The Innocent Dead was published on 6th August 2020.

The Innocent Dead.
Related Links:- 


Tuesday, 14 July 2020

Lockdown Literature

Scottish Field 

My picks for great books by Volker Kutscher, Lou Berney, and Neil Lancaster & lots more 'Lockdown Literature' suggestions from Bloody Scotland authors Abir Mukherjee, Chris Brookmyre, Craig Robertson, and Denzil Meyrick in the August 2020 issue of Scottish Field.


Tuesday, 23 June 2020

2020 Bloody Scotland Debut Shortlist and McIlvanney Prize Longlist announced

Four years ago the Scottish Crime Book of the Year Award was renamed the McIlvanney Prize in memory of William McIlvanney who is often described as the Godfather of Tartan Noir. Last year Bloody Scotland also introduced a prize for The Bloody Scotland Debut Scottish Crime Book of the Year. This year both are sponsored by the Glencairn Glass. At a time when debut writers have suffered more than anyone else due to bookshop closures the debut prize is more important than ever:

Watch the video as Denise Mina, Richard Osman, Karen Robinson
and Ian Rankinreveal the McIlvanney longlist
and Bloody Scotland Debut Prize shortlist.


Hold Your Tongue Deborah Masson Hold Your Tongue (Transworld)
The Crown Agent Stephen O’Rourke The Crown Agent (Sandstone)
See Them Run Marion Todd See Them Run (Canelo)
Pine Francine Toon   Pine (Doubleday)


Time for the Dead
Lin Anderson Time for the Dead (Macmillan)
Bad Memory Lisa Gray Bad Memory (Thomas & Mercer)
Whirligig Andrew James Greig Whirligig (Fledgling)
A Dark Matter Doug Johnstone A Dark Matter (Orenda)
How The Dead Speak Val McDermid How the Dead Speak (Little, Brown)

The Island
Ben McPherson The Island (HarperCollins)
Bury Them Deep James Oswald Bury Them Deep (Headline)

The Art Of Dying
Ambrose Parry, 
aka Chris Broomyre and Marisa Haetzman
The Art of Dying (Canongate)

The Inheritance of Solomon Farthing
Mary Paulson-Ellis The Inheritance of Solomon Farthing (Mantle)

The Red Red Snow
Caro Ramsay The Red, Red Snow (Severn House)

Watch Him Die
Craig Robertson, Watch Him Die (Simon & Schuster)

Francine Toon   Pine (Doubleday)

Finalists for the McIlvanney Prize will be revealed at the beginning of September and the winner of both prizes will be revealed on Friday 18 September. The Bloody Scotland Debut Prize will be judged by a panel including crime writer and founding director of Bloody Scotland Lin Anderson and representatives from Waterstones and the Glencairn Glass. The McIlvanney Prize will be judged by Stuart Cosgrove, writer and broadcaster, James Crawford, chair of Publishing Scotland and presenter of BBC series Scotland from the Sky and Karen Robinson, Editor of The Times Crime Club.

The McIlvanney award recognises excellence in Scottish crime writing, includes a prize of £1000 and nationwide promotion in Waterstones. The 2020 longlist features established crime writers and debuts, corporates and indies. Previous winners are Manda Scott with A Treachery of Spies in 2019 (who chose to share her prize with all the finalists), Liam McIlvanney with The Quaker in 2018, Denise Mina with The Long Drop in 2017, Chris Brookmyre with Black Widow in 2016, Craig Russell with The Ghosts of Altona in 2015, Peter May with Entry Island in 2014, Malcolm Mackay with How A Gunman Says Goodbye in 2013 and Charles Cumming with A Foreign Country in 2012. The inaugural Bloody Scotland Debut Prize 2019 was won by Claire Askew with All The Hidden Truths.

Related links:-

Bloody Scotland website | Glencairn Glass