Scottish Books - Scottish Summer reads

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Craig Russell: Lennox
In the first of a new crime series, Russell combines atmosphere, action and a pleasing pitch-black sense of humour in 1950s Glasgow. Dodgy PI Lennox has just lived through one war but is being flung into another, more local one. Quercus, 2 Jul.

Denise Mina: Still Midnight
She’s probably not that chuffed being dubbed the Queen of Tartan Noir, but we’ll do it anyway. In her new one, we meet DI Alex Morrow, an up-and-coming Glasgow cop whose half-brother Danny is doing rather well for himself in the city’s criminal underworld. When a suburban calm is disrupted by a random attack and kidnapping, Morrow has to uncover some family secrets while sheltering her own. Orion, 1 Jul.

Christopher Brookmyre: Pandaemonium
The nation’s leading comic political novelist returns with a typically jet-black tale as two different worlds (a school on retreat to a secluded outdoor activity centre and the commanders of a top-secret military experiment) are on a collision course. Cue an earthly battle between science and the supernatural, philosophy and faith, civilisation and savagery. Chuckles pretty much guaranteed. Little Brown, 13 Aug.

AL Kennedy: What Becomes
From this much-admired author and stand-up comic come a dozen stories of intimate observations about ordinary men and women whose lives are riddled with doubts about love and hope. What becomes of the broken-hearted, sings the refrain? The kind of thing that happens in this book, that’s what. Jonathan Cape, 6 Aug.

Liam McIlvanney: All the Colours of the Town
When Glasgow journalist Gerry Conway receives a phone call promising unsavoury information about Scottish Justice Minister Peter Lyons, his instinct is that this apparent scoop won’t warrant space in The Tribune. But as Conway’s curiosity grows and his leads proliferate, his investigation takes him from Scotland to Belfast and into a complex exploration of loyalty, betrayal and duty. Faber, 6 Aug.

Suhayl Saadi: Joseph’s Box
Almost 700 pages-worth of epic storytelling, drawing on a wide framework of cultural and spiritual reference, this is an ambitious novel that has been compared to Okri and Murakami. The recently bereaved Zuleikha MacBeth wades into the Clyde one morning and recovers a large box, with which she becomes obsessed. Unfortunately, once the box is finally prised open, it reveals many more questions than answers. Hence the 700 pages. Two Ravens, 13 Jul.

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