Scots Crime Fiction – Now I know why…

Scots Crime Fiction


Scots Crime Fiction – Now I Know Why It’s So Popular!


Okay, it looks like Summer is officially over. In Scotland, where I live, it’s always my favourite day of the year!

But, seriously, after a spell of late summer sunshine, the weather has reverted to type and in doing so has answered a question that has troubled me for a while.

I’ve just returned from a fabulous workshop at the BloodyScotland Crime Writing Weekend.

Scots Crime Fiction


I was thinking that my fellow Scots are well represented in crime fiction. You will know authors like; Denise Mina, Ian Rankin, Val McDermid, Peter May, Chris Brookmyre.



So why are Scots so good at crime and dark ‘noir’ fiction? There’s even a term for it – ‘Tartan Noir.’

Basically, we’re all fairly decent people after all. We might be partial to a ‘wee refreshment’ and will often cause an ‘argument in an empty hoose,’ but I’ve never killed anyone yet (although I’m not ruling it out…).

Scots Crime Fiction


But if you’ve ever lived on a remote Scottish island, as I do, then it should be obvious!




Sitting through endless dark winters; so cold, wet and windy outside that you don’t want to go anywhere, so you just end up alone and brooding. And so it’s natural that your thoughts will turn to foul deeds!

It’s the weather! That’s what makes us the way we are.

The weather can be so bad that we want to kill someone. But because we are such generous spirits, instead of actually committing murder, we just write about it instead.

And to back up my theory – where else can you find great cutting-edge crime drama? Why in Scandinavia of course! A harsh and unforgiving land that can be dark for half the year…

The Bloody Scotland event was excellent and if you’re ever in Scotland at this time of year then check it out.

And if you think that crime fiction and thrillers might be beneath you, then remember that these are genres that encompass all life and everything that it entails. Crime fiction is popular because it reaches out to people and it can often be a perfect vehicle for up-to-date social commentary and satire.

I loved a comment from Denise Mina when I heard her talk on Friday. She said that it has been proven that 20% of all world income is derived from crime. So abolish crime, and the global economy would grind to a juddering halt.

All of that means there will always be plenty to write about!

Speaking of which, I am getting very excited that my long overdue sequel to He Who Pays The Piper will be published very soon. So now is the time to catch up on the exploits of Ridge Walker before The Piper’s Lament hits the book shops!

Yours in writing!

Alex x  Scots Crime Fiction


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On the NaNoWriMo Winners podium for the second time!

Alex Breck on the NaNoWriMo Winners' podium again!


One of the NaNoWriMo Winners again in 2014!

Phew! I have written the bare bones of a complete novel, over 50,000 words in just 30 days through November to be be able to proudly stand on the NaNoWriMo Winners’ podium for the second time!

To be honest I am happy just to have completed NaNoWriMo successfully this time, after an awkward month beset by unforeseen problems with work and family.

But it’s a satisfying feeling to be able to say that at last the sequel to He Who Pays The Piper is almost complete and in the editing stages!

I hope that it will have been worth the wait! It’s a fast paced international thriller like the first book but this time Ridge Walker is flung into a complex situation on the complete other side of the world. Can he win this bloody battle between dark forces as old as mankind himself?

What next?

As promised, there will also be a nasty stand alone Scottish thriller out in the early Spring. It’s a dark noir piece but laced with irreverent humour and it pays homage to some of my favourite authors such as Hiassen and Brookmyre.  Although I wouldn’t for one moment put myself up on the same podium as them. It’s one thing to be among the NaNoWriMo winners’ but these guys are something else. Plus I’ve met Chris Brookmyre and no-one can dance an expletive across the page with more panache than him.

I am currently working on a book of short stories of my own and also editing a themed anthology of stories from local authors here in the Highlands of Scotland which should prove interesting.

How is YOUR writing going? This is the time of year to knuckle down and get those creative juices flowing. Especially over here in Scotland where it’s now dark most of the time and raining the rest!

Always interested to hear how you’re getting on, you know!


Take care,


Alex x