The story of the Reluctant Detective has been rolling around inside my head for a long time.
My love of the hard-boiled detectives of the best American writers, made me think about what a Scottish private-eye would be. My two favourite novelists, Raymond Chandler and Ross Macdonald, gave their detectives a very personal voice. Written in the first person, the reader discovers the evidence at the pace of the protagonist, the mystery unravels with the clues he collects. I always felt it to be an interesting way to develop a story and now I have tried to give my detective that same personal voice.
That's not to say that I have transported the format from California to Glasgow and changed the accents. The first difference is the age of Craig Campbell, the hero of the story. He is in his late twenties, naive in some respects and definitely not the cynical middle-aged man who takes the lead in a great deal of detective fiction. I considered how a young man, with no real experience of police work, would react to the pressures of the difficult situation he is thrust into.
In this book, he is forced to come to grips with his own emotions as he is given a personal motive to uncover the truth and to deal with the criminals.
In some ways this is not a whodunnit, it is more of a look at how people become criminals. There are several characters who commit crimes and they all have their own reasons. From desperation to greed, for family or friendship, it is an attempt to give them a genuine rationale for slipping into criminal behaviour.
I hope you at least give the first chapter a try and spend some time in the company of the Reluctant Detective.