The Big Click is my favorite literary magazine. I’ve loved writing my column here for two years now, so I was very happy to step in as guest editor for this issue, devoted to Scottish noir. Really, it was high time this issue happened, because, as I explain in my column for this one, the first ever psychological thriller was written by a working class Scottish writer almost two centuries ago.
Scotland is a small country, but the range of its crime fiction is at least as broad as that of the US, as the two stories in this issue, each by a contemporary great, testify. Living near-legend Tony Black’s “The Four Fields” is a short, devastating rural noir that shows that the spirit of George Douglas Brown still haunts the Scottish countryside. Ray Banks’ “Conduct Unbecoming” brings us this master of the urban psychological thriller at his brutal and compassionate best.
In our capsule reviews, Fiona Johnson, better know to Scottish readers as McDroll for her reviews of international crime fiction, examines what makes Scottish noir unique and reviews two of her recent favorite books.
In Scotland, we value not talking too much. I’ve said plenty elsewhere in this issue, so I’ll shut my gub now.