Friday 28 August 2020



THE INNOCENT DEAD Blog Tour starts today with a wonderful review from Sharon Bairden of Chapterinmylife. 

'The Innocent Dead ticked all the boxes for me, character, sense of place, pace and plot.'

Read the full review here.



Monday 24 August 2020

Bloody Scotland Goes Virtual

 The Bloody Scotland 2020 programme launched today at 12 noon and what a festival it promises to be.

When we launched Bloody Scotland in 2012, we vowed to showcase Scottish Crime Writing to the world, and, to bring the world’s crimewriting talent to Scotland.

Who would have thought that a pandemic would make it possible for us to be even more international than we already were?

We can promise you all the things that make Bloody Scotland special … the wonderful setting of Stirling in the heart of Wallace and Bruce country … which incidentally inspired the name Bloody Scotland, penned by my partner in crime Alex Gray. The friendship, cameraderie and fun, and the definite quirkiness that brings smiles and laughter to our audiences.

We of course continue to champion new writing via our Masterclass, our Pitch Perfect competition and our Spotlighters getting their big moment in front of the brightest stars in the crime writing firmament. Plus our Bloody Scotland Debut prize and last but not least the McIllvanney Prize for the best Scottish crime novel of 2020.

With previous barriers associated with costs of international travel gone, we are about to take you around the world to get a flavour of crime writers from all five continents (I’m chairing that, hurrah!).

You can watch as Ian Rankin and Val McDermid chat across the world to their own chosen crimewriting heroes. You can join the neverending panel of Scottish crimewriters, 27 of them ... not to be missed, if only for the fact we’ve never done it before. Craig Robertson has already predicted joyful chaos!

All tickets for the Bloody Scotland weekend are free and you can watch from the comfort of your living room. Or meet up in crime writing fans bubbles to celebrate Bloody Scotland 2020!

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?