Local Author's Christmas Treat on Radio 4

And David Ashton's latest McLevy novel is just published




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Long ago, I tried to write a book called The Panicky Traveller (autobiographical), the first lines of which were This is not a novel; a statement that caused my wife great amusement which I did not share since she discerned in it my deep-down terror of broken words and accident-prone paragraphs stretching into the unattainable distance.

She was right, I was wrong. It stopped on an early page where I had just been informed by a stony faced Ryan air desk-demon at Stansted (the foundations of which are moored in panic) that my passport was out of date and my passage in life was therefore worthless.

But something has happened since then. My third McLevy novel is now published, concerning a policeman in late 19th century Victorian Edinburgh and I am still upright. Full of dark foreboding, but still upright.

The story of A TRICK OF THE LIGHT concerns a young Conan Doyle, the American Civil War, traces of Jekyll and Hyde, love atween the mismatched of society, death by violence, a beautiful female medium hell-bent on vengeance, Halloween monsters, murderous betrayal, and McLevy’s alter ego, Jean Brash who keeps the best bawdy-hoose in Edinburgh; also beautiful, red haired, green-eyed, whose flawless skin shows no sign of sin. And there’s also a psychotic knifeman on the loose.

The inspector navigates between them all and like any investigator worth his salt (save Sherlock Holmes but he had a cocaine habit) is driven by the deep insecurities and inner demons in his own psyche.

McLevy, (played by Brian Cox) also has a life on the radio. The 6th series starts on December 21st, 14.15 Radio 4, with 3 more self-contained 45minute episodes to follow. If I add up all 6 series plus a Christmas special and original pilot, it comes to over 20 hours of radio drama. Not too bad for a man who climbs the stairs to his attic room every morning with looming trepidation for company.

Santa read A TRICK OF THE LIGHT and said..It’s a Killer Diller, spine-chiller stocking-filler. It can be found (Publishers Birlinn Polygon) at Waterstone’s, Amazon, any good independent bookshop and is sold from a handcart every Sunday morning by a tallish man, still upright, in Woodhurst Rd.

The other two books are SHADOW OF THE SERPENT and FALL FROM GRACE, also to be found on the handcart

PS Most people know me as David Scott but I write under Ashton. I am in disguise.

David Ashton

December 18, 2009