Thursday, 21 April 2016

The Path Between Life and Death

It was never just a game ... 

(map courtesy of Orkneyjar)

The Ness of Brodgar is a narrow strip of land between two lochs leading from the Standing Stones of Stenness to the Ring of Brodgar on the Orkney mainland.

Ring of Brodgar

Neolithic structures being unearthed on the Ness suggest it had a role as a purification site between the place of the living (Stenness Stones)  and the the place of the dead (Ring of Brodgar) and is sometimes called 'the Path of the Dead'.

When a young man’s body is discovered in a neolithic circle south of Glasgow, his hands have been placed on the low stones to point in two directions. In his mouth is a stone with the number 5 scratched on it.

When a young woman’s body is subsequently discovered in the Ring of Brodgar, her hands are also fashioned to point in specific directions. In her mouth is a stone with the number 4 on it.

A map showing the sacred pentangle of Scotland suggests that there are three other such sites that might be targetted and with them three further potential victims.

Thus the countdown begins.

My enjoyment in writing this novel lay in the marriage between the science of forensics and the ancient beliefs of the Druids, coupled with a virtual reality game Stonewarrior which encourages players to try and solve the mystery before the police can.


Paths of the Dead was shortlisted for Scottish Crime Book of the Year.