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Found 5 results

  1. Charity collections of short stories are a bit of a gamble; this one pays off. Ten writers, all top rate (many of whose full works I have previously read) and all contributing good stories. The theme is crime; in many cases this means good old murder, but one or two of the writers have taken a more oblique angle. In the case of Christopher Brookmyer's and Alison Kennedy's stories, it's not actually clear what crime, if any, has been committed. Nevertheless, these are perhaps two of the standout stories. Only a couple of the stories didn't quite work for me; the rest may not all have been deep,
  2. The Amber Fury is a first novel and, I’m afraid, it shows. Set in contemporary Edinburgh, we find Alex Morris starting off a new role providing drama therapy within an educational unit for kids who have been thrown out of mainstream schools. We soon learn that the role was made available by her former university tutor as a favour to allow Alex to escape from London and her grief following the death of her fiancé Luke. But how far has she exchanged one uncomfortable situation for another? The real trouble with the novel is that the plot, pacing and structure seem to operate in competi
  3. The Matrix is a gothic horror, written in the kind of scientific first person style of Sheridan Le Fanu. Except, unlike Le Fanu, it is set in the here and now. We meet Andrew Macleod, a Gaelic native speaker from Lewis as he arrives in Edinburgh, only in his 30s and already grieving the loss of his young wife. He has taken a post at the university and sets out to explore historic occult groups. This draws Macleod into a terrifying world of hooded men, mysterious texts and unexplained illnesses. Truly, Jonathan Aycliffe creates a creepy, eerie world and sustains it as the narrative moves from
  4. A Capital Union is a novel about conflicting loyalties. Told by Agnes, a young Ayrshire girl who has found herself in 1942, under the age of 18, married to Jeff, a University of Edinburgh lecturer. Jeff’s field of study is linguistics – specifically recording Scots dialect. He “found” Agnes whilst recording Ayrshire Scots and whisked her off to his late mother’s tenement in affluent Morningside. Agnes is out of her depth; she is expected to be genteel, refined and able to keep house despite the privations of rationing. She depends heavily on Jeff, whom she barely knows, to guide her in he
  5. Graduates’ Art, Scotland ‘09 - Roger Billcliffe Gallery As an art lover, I’ve always found it interesting to wander through the graduate shows of the art school in whichever city I’ve happened to live in. Roger Billcliffe, proprietor of the eponymously named gallery on Blythswood Street, Glasgow, has gone one better by gathering some of the strongest material from the graduate shows this summer at the four Scottish art schools, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee and Aberdeen. This is an ideal chance to sample the newest Scottish art from the country’s freshest talents without wading throug
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