29 Scottish Novels to Look Forward to in 2016

27 Scottish novels to look forward to in 2016
Category: Reading

We've scanned publishers' spring catalogues for some of the hottest new releases from Scottish authors, or authors who've made the bold decision to live in this wild, salty land. And we're happy to report that 2016 looks set to be a memorable year for Scottish literature.

Below are 27 new releases which particularly caught the attention of the book tokens burning a hole in our pockets. However, please add the new releases you're excited about, and titles we might have missed, in the comments below. 


Black Widow by Chris Brookmyre

Black Widow by Christopher Brookmyre

@CBrookmyre | January 2016 | Little Brown

Chris Brookmyre returns to get us through January with his seventh Jack Parlabane novel. In it, Diana Jager is a skilled surgeon and fierce blogger / campaigner against sexism. When her details are published online, she suffers at the hands of the masses until a knight in shining armour comes to her rescue, then dies. At that point, things get really complicated for the woman the media have named the 'Black Widow'.

In the Cold Dark Ground by Stuart Bacbride

In the Cold Dark Ground by Stuart MacBride

@StuartMacBride | January 2016 | HarperCollins

Aberdeenshire's bestselling author returns with installment 10 of his Logan McRae series. In this edition, McRae finds himself in a perfect north-eastern storm of personal ambition, gangland tumult and murder. 

Once a Crooked Man by David McCallum

Once a Crooked Man by David McCallum

January 2016 | Saraband

Most recognized for his portrayal of Dr. Donald "Ducky" Mallard in NCIS and Illya Kuryakin in The Man from UNCLE, actor David McCallum has turned his hand to fiction. In his debut, endorsed by Joanna Lumley, actor Harry Murphy is inadvertently drawn into the criminal world after he overhears a conversation between the ageing Bruschetti brothers, who are planning to 'settle some debts' before retiring from a life of crime.

Viral by Helen Fitzgerald

Viral by Helen Fitzgerald

@FitzHelen | February 2016 | Faber & Faber

Australia-born, Glasgow-based Helen Fitzgerald's new novel has a tantalisingly modern domestic noir feel. When Leah Oliphant-Brotheridge and her adopted sister Su celebrate their A-levels in Magaluf only one of them returns. The other features in a viral video performing a sex act. Her court judge mother, Ruth, seeks to bring her home, and the men who took advantage of her daughter to justice.

The Little Shop of Happy Ever After by Jenny Colgan

The Little Shop of Happy Ever After by Jenny Colgan

@JennyColgan | February 2016 | Sphere

Prestwick-born Jenny Colgan will warm up February with a heartwarming tale that will appeal to all book lovers. When Nina's beloved Birmingham library is turned into a retail complex, Nina follows a whim north, to the Scottish Highlands, and a mobile book shop bus that no-one else wants. 

The Turning Tide by Brooke Magnanti

The Turning Tide by Brooke Magnanti

@belledejour_uk | February 2016 | Orion

'Author, scientist and ex-call girl' Dr Brooke Magnanti's latest novel tells the tale of Erykah Macdonald, whose London life is made all the more complicated by the discovery of a corpse in the shallow waters of a Hebridean island. The dead body sets a chain of events in motion that leaves Erykah with some serious choices to make as she struggles to keep her head above water.

The Damage Done by Peter Oswald

The Damage Done by James Oswald

@SirBenfro | February 2016 | Michael Joseph

Some people just make you feel lazy. Amongst them stands James Oswald. This is the sixth book in his Inspector McLean series but the author has also found the time in his career to write the epic fantasy series The Ballad of Sir Benfro, several comic scripts, and to run a 350-acre livestock farm in North East Fife. In The Damage Done, McLean must confront his past in order to solve a series of gruesomely strange deaths in Edinburgh.

The Brilliant and Forever

The Brilliant & Forever by Kevin MacNeil

March 2016 | Polygon

Kevin MacNeil's third novel takes us to a very special island - a setting he'll know well from his Outer Hebridean upbringing. On the island, the annual Brilliant & Forever festival is a much anticipated event with each performer a story away from victory or infamy. In this wicked satire we are promised a novel that will, 'split your sides and break your heart'. It's an experience we're looking forward to. 

The Wolf Trial by Neil Mackay

The Wolf Trial by Neil Mackay

@NeilMackay | March 2016 | Freight

Neil Mackay is a multi-award winning investigative journalist whose book The War on Truth - examining the roots of the war in Iraq - was published on both sides of the Atlantic. In his new novel The Wolf Trial - fantastically billed as 'Umberto Eco's The Name of the Rose meets Brett Easton Ellis's American Psycho - Mackay turns his hand to historical fiction, and the first recorded serial killer in world history.

The Other Mrs Walker by Mary Paulson-Ellis

The Other Mrs. Walker by Mary Paulson-Ellis

@mspaulsonellis | March 2016 | Mantle Books

When an old lady dies in a cold Edinburgh flat, no-one pays much notice except Margaret Penny, whose investigations into the friendless old lady's death, in the city of her birth, enrich her life beyond measure. Edinburgh-based author Mary Paulson-Ellis's debut is being pitched to fans of Kate Atkinson and Catherine O'Flynn. 

Beloved Poison by E. S. Thomson

Beloved Poison by E. S. Thomson

@es_thomson | March 2016 | Constable

Edinburgh University lecturer E. S. Thomson's novel, set in a crumbling 1850s hospital, will no doubt set the pulse racing. Apothecary Jem Flockhart keeps a low profile in the doomed St Saviour’s Infirmary. That is, until she makes a mysterious discovery: six tiny coffins in the infirmary's old chapel, each containing a handful of dried flowers and a bundle of mouldering rags. What happens next is anyone's guess.

The Sunlight Pilgrims by Jenni Fagan

The Sunlight Pilgrims by Jenni Fagan

@Jenni_Fagan | April 2016 | William Heinemann

From the author of The Panopticon comes this tale of the end of the world. Snow is falling in Jerusalem, bodies are found frozen in the street with their eyes open; amidst economic collapse, schooling and health care are run primarily on a voluntary basis. Dylan, a refugee from a panic-stricken London, flees to a rainy Scottish caravan park, grieving the death of his mother, and finds himself drawn to some of his more-than-interesting fellow residents.

The Blade Artist by Irvine Welsh

The Blade Artist by Irvine Welsh

@IrvineWelsh | April 2016 | Jonathan Cape

The return of Francis Begbie is nigh. In Irvine Welsh’s newest book, we join Jim Francis in his new life as a successful artist and sculptor in coastal California. When he returns to his hometown, Edinburgh, for the funeral of a son he barely knew, his former acquaintances expect a brutal revenge. Francis has other ideas but is forced to confront his past. Meanwhile, back in California, his wife makes a gruesome discovery, indicating that her husband’s psychotic past might also be his psychotic present. 

Read Irvine Welsh's brilliant Author Confessions interview.

Three Craws by James Yorkston

Three Craws by James Yorkston

@JamesYorkston | April 2016 | Freight

Internationally renowned singer-songwriter, James Yorkston, makes his fiction debut with a bittersweet slacker tale of a failed artist returning home to rural Scotland to rebuild his life. Author Doug Johnstone claims that Yorkston’s debut ‘brilliantly captures the quirks and paradoxes of small town life.’ If Yorkston's fiction is even half as good as his music then we're all in for a treat.

Operation Goodwood by Sara Sheridan

Operation Goodwood by Sara Sheridan

@SaraSheridan | April 2016 | Constable 

Sara Sheridan evokes 1955 Goodwood in her latest Mirabelle Bevan mystery. When her neighbour, the dashing Dougie Beaumont, is killed in an arson attack, Bevan can't help but investigate the crime. Her enquiries take her to the mysterious world of Fleet Street, and glamorous world of 1950s motor racing.

The Amber Shadows by Lucy Ribchester

The Amber Shadows by Lucy Ribchester

@LucyRibchester | April 2016 | Simon & Schuster

One of our New Writer Awardees, Lucy Ribchester follows up her 2015 debut The Hourglass Factory with this Bletchley Park-set tale of secrets and intrigue. Honey Deschamps spends her days transcribing decrypted signals from the German army until, one night, a stranger delivers her a mysterious package postmarked from Russia, containing a small piece of amber branded with two censors' stamps. It's the first of several coded messages that weave a dangerous and intriguing web around the innocent Honey.

Read Lucy Ribchester's tips on how to research a novel.

The Jewel by Catherine Czerkawska

The Jewel by Catherine Czerkawska

@Czerkawska | May 2016 | Saraband

Novelist and playwright Catherine Czerkawska has a list of accoloades as long as your arm. Her specialist subject is robustly researched 18th- and 19th-century historical fiction. In her latest novel, Czerkawska turns her attention to Jean Armour, also known as the 'Belle of Mauchline' - the wife of one Robert Burns. 


My Italian Bulldozer Progress by Alexander McCall Smith

My Italian Bulldozer by Alexander McCall Smith

@McCallSmith | May 2016 | Polygon

One of the world's most prolific and beloved authors returns just ahead of summer to provide the perfect holiday read. When writer Paul Stewart heads to an idyllic Italian town to finish his already late book, it seems like the perfect escape from stressful city life. That is, until he lands to find no hire cars available, at all. The compromise? A bulldozer.

The Corporation Wars by Ken MacLeod

The Corporation Wars: Dissidence by Ken MacLeod

@amendlocke | May 2016 | Orbit

One of Scotland's foremost science-fiction writers kicks off his new The Corporation Wars trilogy this spring (the second installment, Insurgence, is due in November 2016). The five-times Arthur C. Clarke Award-nominated author's new novel tells the story of sentient machines working, fighting and dying in interstellar conflict for the benefit of competing mining corporations on Earth. It promises readers an 'all-action, colourful space opera giving a robot's-eye view of a robot revolt.'  

The Aeronaut's Guide to Rapture by Stuart Campbell

The Aeronaut's Guide to Rapture by Stuart Campbell

May 2016 | Sandstone

The world is closing in around a Parisian kitchen skivvy from the 1800s, an American GI in Vietnam, and a Sicilian Catholic priest. In contemporary Britain a fourth person holds their fates in his hands as he rises silently and gracefully above the earth. Edinburgh-based mental health trainer Stuart Campbell’s second novel promises to be a tour de force of imagination. 

Serious Sweet by A.L. Kennedy

Serious Sweet by A. L. Kennedy

@writerer | May 2016 | Jonathan Cape

The dark comic tones of Dundee-born A. L. Kennedy are always a treat for the heart and mind. In her latest novel, Kennedy tracks the faltering London lives of Jon Sigurdsson, a 59-year-old divorcee and senior civil servant who is busy leaking information about his government's loathsome acts; and Meg Williams, a 45-year-old bankrupt accountant, shakily sober and watching the city unfurl from Telegraph Hill. Set in 2014, A. L. Kennedy's eigth novel promises to be a love story of our times. 

Winterlong by Mason Cross

Winterlong by Mason Cross

@MasonCrossBooks | May 2016 | Orion

Mason Cross's former jobs include tax officer, events coordinator, project manager and pizza delivery boy. But now, he's producing thriller after thriller. Likened to the Jack Reacher, Jason Bourne and Alex Cross series, his Carter Blake books are winning fans over across the UK. Get yourself up to speed by reading The Killing Season and The Samaratin before setting some time aside this spring to whizz through Winterlong.

The Waves Burn Bright by Iain Maloney

The Waves Burn Bright by Iain Maloney

@IainMaloney | May 2016 | Freight

Aberdeen-born, Japan-based author Iain Maloney explores the devastating effect of the Piper Alpha disaster on one family. Carrie Fraser is 16 when the Piper Alpha oil platform explodes in the North Sea, killing 167 and forever traumatising one of the survivors - her father, Marcus. Now a respected volanologist, Carrie must return to Aberdeen to deliver an academic paper. Can she heal the wounds that post-traumatic stress inflicted on her relationship with her father? 



The Confession of Stella Moon by Shelley Day

The Confession of Stella Moon by Shelley Day

@PascaleBientot | May 2016 | Saraband

Shelley Day's debut novel was shortlisted for the Dundee International Book Prize and has already drawn praise from A. L. Kennedy. In former lives, Shelley has been a lawyer, an academic psychologist and a research professor. In 2016, she can add 'published author' to this impressive list. Her debut is set in the North East of England in the late 1970s and promises to be a 'dark, brooding tale of matricide and infanticide with a touch of the supernatural.'


False Hearts by Laura Lam

False Hearts by Laura Lam

@LR_Lam | June 2016 | Macmillan

'Raised by two Haight-Ashbury hippies,' Laura Lam claims she was encouraged to finger paint to her heart's desire. Lam is now based in the less dreamy Scotland, where she 'sometimes misses the sunshine' but also signs six-figure book deals for hotly anticipated new novels. Julie Crisp, the editorial director at Macmillan, said of False Hearts, 'I was completely hooked from the first page by Laura's writing. To me it was like reading Hunger Games meets Blade Runner meets The Shining Girls. Thrilling, addictive and completely page-turning.' We seriously cannot wait Laura Lam's tale of twins facing murder charges for the ultimate crime.   

Devil Take the Hindmost by Martin Cathcart Froden

Devil Take the Hindmost by Martin Cathcart-Froden

June 2016 | Freight

Martin Cathcart-Froden is the latest winner of the £10k Dundee International Book Prize. The esteemed panel were excited and entertained by his work of historical noir set 'during the amphitamine-fuelled craze for velodrome racing which took London by storm in the late 1920s.' Pitched at lovers of Brighton Rock and Peaky Blinders, we can't wait to stay up well past our bedtimes reading this debut novel.

The Comet Seekers by Helen Sedgwick

The Comet Seekers by Helen Sedgwick 

@HelenSedgwick | Summer 2016 | Harvill Secker

We are looking forward to the summer for many reasons. Chief among them is our New Writer Awardee, Helen Sedgwick's, debut novel. In it, Roisin and François meet on the frozen sheets of Antarctica. Both have been drawn to this wild location by difficult pasts revealed to the reader every time a comet is visible in the sky. We see how their lives have intertwined but never intersected and are promised 'a story that shows how strangers can be connected and ghosts can be real, and how the way we choose to see the world can be as desolate or as beautiful as the comets themselves.'

Infinite Ground by Martin MacInnes

Infinite Ground by Martin MacInnes

@MartinMacInnes | August 2016 | Atlantic Books

Another of our New Writer Awardees, Martin describes himself as 'a writer of speculative fiction.' We can speculate ourselves that his debut novel will be a darn good read. The story takes place during a sweltering South American summer. A family dines out at a moderately priced restaurant. Halfway through the meal, one of their number disappears. A semi-retired inspector takes the case, but what should be a routine investigation becomes something strange, intangible, even sinister. Atlantic Editor James Roxburgh said of Infinite Ground, 'This is a brilliant panic attack of a debut novel.' 

Read 'Our Disorder', Martin MacInnes's 2014 Manchester Fiction Prize-winning short story.

James Kelman

Dirt Road by James Kelman

August 2016 | Canongate

Scotland's only Booker Prize winner releases his latest novel this summer. The story is a 'journey out of darkness' following father and son Tom and Murdo as they venture from their Scottish island home to America's Deep South. All this would be exciting enough, but there is an accompanying film to the story, 'Dirt Road to Lafayette', which will be released at the same time, helmed by Scottish director Kenny Glenaan.

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