Photo by Rose Muy-Sanchez

With Halloween one day away the Scotia Scoop is getting in the mood for all things spooky. 

Based in Stirling, we are close to the action of the Bloody Scotland International Crime Writing Festival. In 2017 the festival teamed up with 12 crime authors to bring the darker side of Scotland to life. The collection of short stories, named after the festival, Bloody Scotland went on to win the 2018 Crime Writers Association Short Story Dagger award. 

Each author takes a Scottish landmark, some better known than others such as, the Forth Bridge, Stanley Mills, The Hermit’s Castle to name a few and tells a gripping tale that will leave you wanting to sleep with the lights on. A very fast-paced read, you’ll be sure to have done by the time trick or treaters come ringing your doorbell.

While the title may lay the impression that all the stories held between the covers are gory, that is not the case. Each author writes a different type of crime, each enveloping you in the story and making your heart race as you find yourself rooting for the protagonist who is in actuality the antagonist or waiting to see what the light of day reveals. 

If you find yourself yearning for more information on the sites where the stories take place, the book offers a snippet of the history of the location and even tips on how and when to visit. 

Bloody Scotland pulls back the veil of romanticism that covers the country, with its lush forests and castle dotted landscape. It forces us to step into the violent and gritty past, as well as into the mind of present-day criminals. These stories will leave you with an eerie deeper understanding of these locations. While all 12 stories are fiction, each author writes about each location in such dramatic detail, leaving you to speculate if it is in fact, only fiction.

Whether you are a novice in Scottish history, such as myself, or a born and bred Scot Bloody Scotland will shed a new, darker light on some of the most famous places this country has to offer. 

Bloody Scotland is available online and in-store for £8.99 in paperback or £12.99 in hardcover.