-> 2007 -> Islay in Crime Fiction

Wednesday, 19/Dec/2007

Islay in Crime Fiction

There is a saying ‘Everyone has a novel (or book) in them’. Assuming that's true mine would be a crime fiction story. Following the role model of Plockton and Hamish Macbeth it would be set on Islay to put Islay on the crime fiction map. It would be called something like ‘Murder at the Distillery’ or ‘Death at Finlaggan’. But until I get around to give it a go I'll have to rely on other authors to put Islay on the crime fiction map.

At the moment I'm aware of three authors mentioning Islay directly or indirectly in their books:

The first one is Christopher Brookmyre. Islay receives a mention in two of his books. In Quite Ugly One Morning Islay is mentioned on the first page:

Islay. Quiet wee island, quiet wee polis station. No more of the junkie undead, no more teenage jelly-head stabbings, no more pissed-up rugby fans impaling themselves on the Scott Monument, no more tweed riots in Jenners, and, best of all, no more fucking Festival. Nothing more serious to contend with than illicit stills and the odd fight over cheating with someone else’s sheep.


Well, may be not. Because in One Fine Day in the Middle of the Night this sounds a wee bit different also quite early in the book:

His posting on Islay hadn’t turned out to be quite the peaceful valedictory sinecure he’d hoped. First of all, there’d been that horrible stooshie over the wifie in Ballygrant with MS who was growing her own cannabis in her greenhouse. Having spent three decades policing a city whose name had become synonymous with heroin and AIDS, McGregor’s perspective on both drugs and disease had prompted him to be forever too busy to investigate rumours of something that seemed common knowledge throughout the island and something no-one in the community wanted to make a fuss about. Even the occasional pointed suggestion that it was ‘a helluva big greenhoose, right enough’ remained insufficient to pique his professional curiosity, until a ‘concerned citizen’ made a formal complaint and he was obliged to take action.

The second is Ian Rankin. Quite a few people will heard of his Inspector Rebus novels. Rebus is quite fond of a wee dram of Laphroaig and while he doesn't visit Islay (as far as I can remember) he does pay a visit to Jura in A Question of Blood.

Finally the third one is more of an honourable mention in the original context of Islay and crime fiction. But then again Iain Banks has written one of my favourite books, The Crow Road, which while not mentioning Islay at a stretch qualifies as crime fiction. He is also the author of Raw Spirit, which includes a visit to Islay.

Well, that's what I can come up with for now, if there's more (and in particular better) feel free to add to the list.

Other people say:



[Previous entry: "Crofting on Islay and Jura"] [Home] [Next entry: "Islay Whisky and Farming"]