THE SITE FOR DIE HARD CRIME & THRILLER FANS
FeaturesNews

New police force, new challenges for Scottish authors

2 Mins read

edjames300What lovers of police procedurals demand in their reading is a realistic portrayal of what it’s like to be a police investigator. But what happens when police procedures change in the real world? It’s a problem writers in Scotland have been facing since the establishment of Police Scotland a year ago. There are now 24,000 officers wearing a common badge and sharing more centralised resources.

Ed James (pictured) is an East Lothian author who’s been taking a close look at what the merging of Scotland’s eight forces has meant for the law enforcement professionals, and his new book Bottleneck is set to reflect the changes in detail. Working with his police contacts, he’s researched the changes to the Scottish police force anticipating that readers will want to read about new investigations under the Police Scotland set-up.

bottleneck200“The change-over has definitely altered the landscape for Scotland’s crime writers and I don’t think anyone writing contemporary police procedurals can avoid it much longer,” says James. “Like real life officers, our fictional equivalents are having to deal with the upheaval and all the conflicts that go with major operational change. I heard Ian Rankin saying he had side-stepped it in Saints of the Shadow Bible, but I think readers are going to expect the subject to be tackled more and more now so that’s why I decided to do so.”

Other writers who’ve led the way are Craig Robertson and Alex Grey. In their books Witness the Dead and The Bird That Did Not Sing, respectively, they’ve reflected the new regime. When Robertson wrote Witness the Dead, which was released last year, Police Scotland wasn’t yet fully formed. “I knew the book was going to be out after the major decisions were made, which was a bit worrying,” says Robertson. “Fortunately, I had a Scottish government contact who was involved in the actual process and I was able to get some information but I was making changes as I was going along. It was little things like where was the HQ going to be? What was going to be the colours of the cars?”

“A positive thing is the removal of boundary restrictions,” says Alex Gray. “Our crime fighters can now go wherever we choose, at the behest of imaginary senior officers. The police have been marvelous to me over the years, in terms of research and I think we need to move along with all the changes happening to them.”

Watch for Ed James’ Bottleneck, which is released tomorrow. In it, DC Scott Cullen, once part of the Lothian and Borders Police, investigates a murder case as part of the new single force. It’s the fifth book in the series.


2 Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related posts
iBookKindlePrintReviews

Has Anyone Seen Charlotte Salter? by Nicci French

Ah, that well worn crime fiction trope, the dual timeline! What fun it is to skip back and forth across the decades, trying to keep the multiple story paths on point in an increasingly frazzled brain! Is it any wonder my heart sank upon seeing…
iBookKindlePrintReviews

The Teacher by Tim Sullivan

Tim Sullivan’s The Teacher is the newest in his entertaining series of police procedurals whose titles come from the murder victim’s profession and we’ve previously reviewed The Monk. When thinking ahead to 2024, and the kinds of crime books that are likely on the horizon,…
KindlePrintReviews

The Dancer by Óskar Guðmundsson

Translated by Quentin Bates — The Dancer is Icelandic author Óskar Guðmundsson’s second book translated into English, following The Commandments in 2021. It’s a fast-paced psychological thriller linked to the world of dance. Tony has trained as a dancer since childhood with lessons from his…
Crime Fiction Lover