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Black Spring Press

The Scotsman

The Scotsman

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By Rob McClure

Crime Fiction - Paperback


The Black Spring Crime Fiction 2020 Prize Winner

Chic Cowan will do anything to find his daughter's killer . . . even sacrifice his own sanity… and maybe he wasn’t all that sane to start with…

Six months ago, tough-as-nails, old-school, no-time-for-the new-school Glasgow Detective Chic Cowan received a call no parent should have to take. His daughter has been murdered, 4,000 miles away from their home in Scotland. Across the Atlantic ocean to a United States riven by protests and riots.

Determined to find out the truth, his way, and bring justice to those who killed his daughter, Cowan travels from Glasgow to Washington D.C., intent on discovering what happened. And Chic Cowan is both sarcastic, and brutal, when he has to be.

Taking him from the deprivation of Southeast D.C. to the opulence of Capitol Hill, Cowan soon realises that not only were his suspicions correct, but his daughter's murder may be only the beginning of a story that could have far-reaching implications for society itself.

Driven by grief and obsession, Cowan sets out to find his own justice. Because the justice currently on offer just isn’t good enough…

Set during the turbulence of a divided America, a plot that engages with what 'woke' means, and the realities of policing, The Scotsman is the blistering debut from a new Tartan Noir talent. This is Rebus meets Taken.


Rob McClure  was born in Scotland. He currently lives in Galesburg, Illinois, and teaches film at Knox College where he is John and Elaine Fellowes Professor of English. His fiction has appeared in Gettysburg Review, Manchester Review, Chicago Quarterly Review, Barcelona Review and many other magazines.



"Rob McClure's debut novel introduces one of the most memorable detectives to come along in quite some time. [The Scotsman] is hilarious and infuriating, relentless and reckless, hard-headed and (occasionally) soft-hearted – a compelling lead in a compelling story full of hard twists and dark corners." - Lou Berney, author of The Long and Faraway Gone, Whiplash River and November Road

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