Cormac James The Surfacing

The Surfacing by Cormac James

A Difficult Reward In 1845 an entire expedition of over a hundred men led by Sir John Franklin simply disappeared in their attempt to find a way from the Atlantic to the Pacific through the…



Pelmanism by Dilys Rose

Pelmanism by Dilys Rose

Secrets and Lies The secrets and lies of family life have long been inspirational for writers; from Sophocles to The Simpsons, and part of the success of these tales is due to recognition. Everyone has…



WildAdventure-90-2014-22

A Wild Adventure – fragments from the life of Thomas Watling, Dumfries Convict Artist by Tom Pow

Eucalypt Leaves A healthy scepticism should be brought to any encounter with a book of poems which is explicitly “about” a person, object or place – especially one as little known as the story of…



the dead beat

The Dead Beat by Doug Johnstone

  Bitter Fallout Johnstone’s latest thriller opens with 19 year old Martha Fluke on her way to her first day of work experience. Her route takes her through an Edinburgh cemetery, and a stopoff at…



any other mouth

Any Other Mouth by Anneliese Mackintosh

Puzzle of Grief Adventurous, vulnerable, and at times self destructive heroines take central stage in Anneliese Mackintosh’s debut collection Any Other Mouth. Upon reading three stories in a row, the characters’ voices, vocabulary and worldviews…



headfortheedge-620x925

Head for the Edge, Keep Walking by Kate Tough

Friends Like These Head for the Edge, Keep Walking, the debut novel by Kate Tough, follows a year in the life of Jill Beech; a woman in her mid thirties forced to leave the familiar…



locust and marlin

Locust and Marlin by JL Williams

Wonderful Stones If Locust and Marlin were a house, estate agents would describe it as ‘full of character’. Some of its rooms are cluttered with possessions and photographs, each with their own story to tell,…



glovebox and other poems

Glovebox And Other Poems by Colin Herd

Visual Feast Art and design are major themes in this collection. Five of the more memorable poems are deceptively simple sequential instructions on how to draw an apple, bunch of grapes, milk carton, skull and…



Ghost Moon by Ron Butlin

Ghost Moon by Ron Butlin

Changing Time It has become something of a cliché for the reviewer to shake their head in bewilderment at the continued status of Ron Butlin as ‘Scotland’s Best Kept Literary Secret’. Each new publication adds…



I Put a Spell on You by John Burnside

I Put a Spell on You by John Burnside

Yearning for Youth If books were rivers, I Put a Spell on You would be the Great Ouse – meandering, slow and full of interesting little fish. John Burnside’s memoir is deliciously written, with some…



unfashioned creatures

Unfashioned Creatures by Lesley McDowell

Victorian World Lesley McDowell’s second novel is a darkly Gothic tale of mental asylums, family secrets and illicit desires. Based on the life of Isabella Baxter Booth, a childhood friend of Mary Shelley, the novel…



in the rosary garden

In The Rosary Garden by Nicola White

A conspiracy of nuns In the Rosary Garden by Nicola White is the most recent winner of the Dundee International Book Prize. It’s set in Ireland in the 1980s when the main character Ali, who…



tailor of inverness

The Tailor of Inverness by Matthew Zajac

Life’s Work A couple of Edinburgh Festivals ago I took a chance on a one-man show called ‘The Tailor of Inverness’ which turned out to be the best piece of theatre I saw at that…



9781907773617frcvr.indd

Bones & Breath by Alexander Hutchison

Old dog, new bones If poets were footballers, Hutchison would be someone like Antonio di Natale: an underrated master, well on in his career but still in his prime, with versatile deployment, technical mastery and…



a_twist_of_lime_street

A Twist of Lime Street by Eddie Gibbons

New and Selected Puns Eddie Gibbons likes a pun. These poems are shot through with them. (Punshots?) Titles include: ‘Shopping Forecast’, ‘Wife of Pi’, ‘Love in the Time of Coreldraw’, ‘Death Shall Have No Dim…