Wherever We Live Now by Elizabeth Rimmer and Love-in-a-Mist by Anne Connolly

At a glance these poetry books from Red Squirrel seem similar: both first collections dominated by themes of the history, tradition and landscapes of Scotland, Ireland and Northern Ireland. But early on the directions of…



Fr Meslier’s Confession by A C Clarke

Other Lives Theming a collection seems like a good idea – it’s easier to market, and the collection might make more sense to readers for having a central tenet or argument. It can be useful…



The Girl on the Stairs by Louise Welsh

Ghosts of Berlin Although billed as a novella, Louise Welsh’s fifth book is anything but slight; its layers build to hint at a story much deeper than the central plot. Jane Logan, heavily pregnant and…



Hit and Run by Doug Johnstone

A Summer Feast One of the best things about being a reviewer is that you occasionally stumble upon books way outside of your usual reading list. Mine is populated by the books I ‘should’ read,…



New poetry from Niall Campbell, Theresa Muñoz & Richie McCaffery

Three Voices Committed to finding new voices, HappenStance have published three debut pamphlets from three very different writers, demonstrating the range and variety of contemporary poetry in Scotland. After the Creel Fleet by Niall Campbell…



Ramshackle by Elizabeth Reeder

Locks and Keys Ramshackle by name, but certainly not by nature. This debut novel by Chicago-born Elizabeth Reeder (now living in Scotland) is a tightly-drawn, well-constructed and beautifully layered work. Given Reeder’s roots, it was…



Tales from the Mall by Ewan Morrison

Rebellious Fusion “All you will ever need, under one roof” is the epigraph to Ewan Morrison’s new book, Tales from the Mall, a fascinating fusion of fact and fiction which dismantles, brick by narrative brick,…



The Bees by Carol Ann Duffy

Politics, Politics In every collection, a reader learns about the poet’s life. In the case of Carol Ann Duffy’s The Bees, her first collection since becoming Britain’s poet laureate in 2009, we learn of the…



Furnace by Wayne Price

Blue Notes There was no depth to life, I remember thinking suddenly, and it seemed like a moment of final clarity and truth to me, the great lesson of my long, trivial summer. There was…



Villa Pacifica & Twelve Minutes of Love: A Tango Story by Kapka Kassabova

Truthful Fiction, Narrative Truth However tempting it is to read a novel as the author’s true self, we must be cautious not to imagine too much truth in the fiction construct. But with the parallels…