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.

Related posts
Features

Swedish crime show Beck returns to BBC Four for season 8

It’s been a long time since Martin Beck was last on our screens. Back in 2018, BBC Four ran series seven of the Swedish police procedural crime drama, which lasted just four episodes. Having said that, they were doozies. Now, the Corporation is busy writing…
iBookKindlePrintReviews

Knock Knock by Anders Roslund

Journalist Anders Roslund teamed up with ex-criminal prison campaigner Börge Hellström to bring us the first Swedish detective Ewert Grens novel in 2004. Odjuret, translated as both The Beast and Pen 33, broke new ground with its realistic portrait of violence and its scathing indictment…
iBookKindlePrintReviews

Dead Ground by MW Craven

Mike Craven certainly knows how to open a novel. The first chapter of Black Summer, from earlier in the Tilly and Poe series, still sticks in my mind and makes me cringe. Dead Ground is the English author’s latest and it features a doozy too….

2 Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.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

Crime Fiction Lover