Tartan Noir in 2016


 The success of Regional Crime Fiction is so global and has been prevalent  for seemingly so long already, it is easy to forget nowadays that the trend to set  crime novels away from the big crime capitals – the traditional sites of “Urban Mysteries” since the mid 19th Century (typically, Paris, London, New York, later Los Angeles and Chicago)- is still relatively recent in European Crime Fiction. Authors such as Izzo in France, Camilleri in Italy,  Staalesen in Norway, Mankell in Sweden and many others, especially since the 1990s   have all heralded such a  turn,  anchoring their detectives in marginal, referential, less mythical (but not necessarily less mythologised),  realistically defined geographical spaces. In  many respects the remarkable surge  of  Crime  Fiction set in Scotland since  William McIlvanney’s  1977  Laidlaw,  and the  first Rebus novel (Ian Rankin,1987) announces this remarkable trans-European phenomenon. Scottish authors Val McDermid, Quintin Jardine and Stuart MacBride are all long since  household names in international crime fiction and  “Tartan Noir” is recognised as a thriving  subgenre.  Almost 40 years after the publication of Laidlaw, it is worth looking at  the most recent and  upcoming publications, showcasing  Tartan Noir’s  durability. Here is a selection, any other suggestions are welcome.


Owen Mullen Old Friends and New Enemies: Tense and Gripping Scottish Crime Thriller (Charlie Cameron Series Book 2) 31-Jan-16
Brooke Magnanti The Turning Tide 25/02/2016
Katherine Pathak Hold Hands In The Dark (The DCI Dani Bevan Detective Novels Book 7) 28/02/2016
Douglas Lindsay Song of the Dead 01-Mar-16
Douglas Skelton Open Wounds (Davie McCall Series) 31-Mar-16
Barry Graham Big Davey Joins the Majority: A Glasgow Noir Short Story 04-Apr-16
Mark Douglas-Home The Malice of Waves (The Sea Detective) 19-May-16
William McIntyre Present Tense (Best Defense) 15-Sep-16
Ann Cleeves Cold Earth (Shetland Book 7) 06-Oct-16

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