I stumbled across an interesting article in The Daily Record, from earlier this week, where Scottish crime writer Stuart MacBride talks about some of the real-life inspiration behind some aspects of his latest Aberdeen-set thriller, DARK BLOOD. In the new novel, MacBride's recurring hero, DS Logan McRae, finds himself protecting a rapist who has served his time, found God and moved to Aberdeen.
This aspect of the plot mirrors a huge real-life controversy from several years ago, when serial sex offender Steven Beech moved to Aberdeen from Cambridgeshire (he eventually returned south after 18mths). But although Beech provided a spark, MacBride says he was then conscious to take his story as far away from the truth of that situation as possible. "I was careful not to base it on Beech and what he had done and to make it as different as I could," he told the Daily Record. "I am not a big fan of true crime. I wouldn't want to exploit something where people and families suffered. Stuff like that leaves a stain for generations. Fiction is great because nobody ever gets hurt."
MacBride also took snippets of reality, twisting them in new ways into his fictional story, from other matters such as Donald Trump's golf development. You can read the full Daily Record article here.
I was fortunate enough to meet MacBride, who is presiding over the upcoming Theakston's Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival in Harrogate, while he was briefly in New Zealand last year. I wrote a large feature on him for the October 2009 issue of Good Reading magazine - you can read more about that article, and part of my interview with MacBride, here.
You can read Paul Blackburn's review of DARK BLOOD for EuroCrime, here. You can read my EuroCrime reviews of MacBride's earlier books HALFHEAD and BLIND EYE here and here.
Have you read any of Stuart MacBride's novels? What do you think of his mix of gore and guffaws? Do you like Scottish-set crime writing? Thoughts and comments welcome.