Looking ahead to some upcoming fiction by Scottish authors – via the Scottish Book Trust
2015 looks like being yet another vintage year for Scottish novels.
We had just finished all the 25 new releases which got us talking in 2014 when 2015 publishing schedules started to arrive. This year, there is a marvellous mix of new releases from established writers and newcomers born in Scotland or who call her windy spaces home. Below are just 21 of them to pre-order in your local bookshop or library.
Is there a book below that’s got you crossing off the days on your calendar a little too enthusiastically? Or is there a notable absence below? Either way, chuck the title in the comments or tweet us @ScottishBkTrust
A recent graduate of our very own New Writers Awards, Lucy Ribchester wasted no time in securing a publishing deal with Simon & Schuster for her debut novel. The Hourglass Factory is set in 1912 London as the suffragette movement reaches fever pitch. When flat-broke Fleet Street hack Frankie George becomes entangled with mysterious trapeze artist Ebony Diamond, she is quickly drawn into a world of dark, dark secrets.
Read Lucy Ribchester’s revealing Author Confessions on our blog.
Fan-favourite Jark Parlabane makes his sixth appearance in Chris Brookmyre’s 19th novel. The investigative journalist has lost his career, marriage and self-respect. When famous singer Heike Gunn vanishes it offers Parlabane one last shot at redemption. He sets off on a mad hunt for her through European capitals and remote Scottish islands as the walls close in around him.
The Illuminations by Andrew O’Hagan
February 2015 | @FaberBooks
The secrets we keep from the ones we love is the dominant theme of highly-respected writer Andrew O’Hagan’s fifth novel. The Illuminations is an inter-generational tale of modern war, memory and the complications of fact and promises to add another tale of real emotional depth to the twice Booker-nominated author’s catalogue.
Currently nominated for a Scottish Children’s Book Award for Mosi’s War, prolific Greenock-based author Cathy MacPhail is set to give Scottish young adult fiction another shot in the arm with a new “fast-paced teen thriller [of] real-life drama and shocking twists”. Reinforce the edge of your seat and follow Logan as he journeys from Aberdeen to the heart of Glasgow gang culture.
Former policewoman Karen Campbell has switched publisher for her latest novel. Bloomsbury Circus, a literary fiction imprint of Bloomsbury, is looking forward to publishing Rise in spring. Campbell’s sixth novel follows different characters north to the Scottish Highlands; when a tragic accident binds their lives together, and a pre-referendum community fractures around them, they must face their pasts in order to find their futures.
Writer and journalist Kirstin Innes, spent three years researching her debut novel which focuses on the murky world of escorts and prostitution. Anticipation for Fishnet has run high ever since an earlier draft of the book was nominated for the Mslexia First Novel Award.
Welsh is back in Edinburgh for this dark and seedy tale after his 2014 jolly to Florida for The Sex Lives of Siamese Twins. Think sex, drugs and taxi drivers on this rollercoaster tour of the underbelly of society. It’s billed as “his funniest, filthiest book yet”. It’s not going to be a novel for the easily shocked.
Listen to our Book Talk podcast on The Sex Lives of Siamese Twins.
The Scotsman felt that Mark Douglas-Home’s first sea detective novel raised the bar of Scottish crime fiction. His third in the series, from the 2014 Scottish Publisher of the Year Sandstone Press, journeys to Priest Island where the secret of 14-year-old Max Wheeler’s disappearance is a closely guarded secret. Can oceanographer Cal McGill solve the case before the murderer strikes again?
Scotland’s two-time winner of Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award returns with her fifth DI Alex Morrow tale, and the first since The Red Road. When a prime-suspect in a drug-smuggling and money-laundering investigation mysteriously disappears, DI Morrow suspects foul play.
A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson
May 2015 | @LittleBrownUK
Kate Atkinson follows up her Costa Book Prize-winning, experimental Life After Life, with a companion piece. In A God in Ruins, Atkinson turns her attention to Ursula Todd’s beloved younger brother. A would-be poet, RAF bomber pilot, husband and father, Teddy has to navigate the perils and progress of the 20th Century – presumably, again and again.
Listen to our Book Talk podcast on Life After Life featuring novelist Kirsty Logan.
The Seeker by S.G. MacLean
May 2015 | @QuercusBooks
Inverness-born author S.G. MacLean turns her attention to 1654 London for her latest historical thriller. Oliver Cromwell is at the height of his power and has declared himself Lord Protector in a city full of spies and merchants, priests and soldiers, exiles and assassins. When the hero of his armies, John Winter, is found dead, his most trusted agent, Damian Seeker, steps up to solve the mystery.
Kirsty Logan has come a long way since graduating from our New Writers Awards programme. The first-ever Gavin Wallace Fellow’s debut full-length novel, is set to be published in the UK, US and Canada and has already been compared to Angela Carter and Margaret Atwood. It follows North and her bear as they float around a flooded world on a circus boat.
Find out who made Kirsty Logan’s list of 7 fantastically unusual debut novels.
MR Carey, the author of the recent bestselling novel The Girl With All The Gifts, is already a big fan of Edinburgh-based author Charlie Fletcher’s Oversight trilogy. This, the second installment in Fletcher’s gothic fantasy adventure, joins the last members of the Oversight secret society as they wearily patrol London’s borders between the natural and supernatural, facing dark new enemies and forging unlikely alliances.
Cat Clarke’s taut, page-turning young adult novels already boast a big fanbase in the UK and are now set to make waves over the Atlantic. American readers will have to wait until 2016 to read Clarke’s psychological thriller about a girl whose older “sister” turns up 13 years after being kidnapped. We get to read it this spring.
Check out Cat Clarke’s book list of young adult novels about real teenagers.
The Herald’s literary editor returns with another hotly-anticipated work of historical fiction following her highly-rated debut After Flodden. When, ten years after the battle of Flodden, clan chief Adam Crozier learns that the most powerful man in the north of England ordered his father’s murder, he determines to take his revenge in the wild Scotland-England border.
Former police officer Craig Russell returns in 2015 with another installment in his Hamburg-set Jan Fabel thrillers. When four bodies are found, there is nothing to connect the bloodless murders other than their efficiency, and the weapon used. Can Fabel hunt down the killer they call ‘The Ghost’ before he becomes a victim himself?
The Cutting Room author, Louise Welsh, turns up the heat this summer with the second installment in her Plague Times trilogy. Following on from her 2014 novel A Lovely Way to Burn, Welsh invites readers to revisit a modern London devastated by a pandemic called ‘The Sweats’.
Istanbul-born Hande Zapsu Watt writes for the first time as HG Watt for this dark comedy set in Benin. Watt’s deeply satirical novel follows four pampered Western Europeans on a misguided Heart of Darkness cruise through contemporary Africa’s interior.
Sweet Caress by William Boyd
September 2015 | @BloomsburyBooks
Bestselling author William Boyd returns from James Bond duties (Solo) for his “most beautiful, daring and enthralling novel to date”, according to his publisher. Sweet Caress follows the life of Amory Clay whose developing career as a photographer takes her to 1920s Berlin, 1930s New York and to WW2 as one of the first female war photographers.
California-born, now Edinburgh-based, photographer and young adult author Elizabeth May releases part two of her Falconer trilogy this September. Her debut novel, The Falconer, was our teen book of the month in July and we can’t wait to dig our talons into part two of the adventure.
Born and raised on a Lancashire dairy farm, Catherine Simpson has been resident in Scotland for over twenty years. She follows up her eye-catching performance at our New Writers Showcase last year with her second novel, Truestory, in 2015. It tells the tale of a 12-year-old boy with Asperger’s Syndrome called Sam, holed up in the remote family house he refuses to leave.