Gordon Ferris - The Hanging Shed

Evoking the dark side of 1950s Scotland

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This article is from 2011.

Gordon Ferris - The Hanging Shed

For an author whose subject matters might be referred to as solidly traditional – a compelling combination of post-war historical drama and ripping crime thriller – Gordon Ferris is at the leading edge of a publishing revolution. The first two novels in his Danny McRae series, Truth Dare Kill and The Unquiet Heart, were released through a small publisher in traditional paper format and, as he has it, ‘rose without trace’.

Then someone had the bright idea of releasing his third novel, The Hanging Shed, as an e-book and something clicked. ‘I’m a book lover,’ says the London-based, Kilmarnock-born Ferris, ‘so the thought of selling e-books feels somehow intangible. It’s impossible to ignore the sheer volume of folk who have read them, though, something like 200,000 in the last six months.’

Such success is based upon crisp storytelling and a unique selling point, with McRae (‘a damaged person, he had a bad war’) and new character Douglas Brodie (‘capable, strong, tough-minded’) having learned their trade in Glasgow’s police force. ‘In one sense these stories are harking back to my boyhood,’ says Ferris. ‘1950s Scotland is a very interesting time; the country is in rack and ruin, there’s high unemployment and destitution. A nation fit for heroes? Not really. It’s untravelled territory.’

24 Aug (with Craig Russell), 6.45pm, £10 (£8).

This article is from 2011.

Gordon Ferris & Craig Russell

One used to work with the Ministry of Defence, the other was a policeman. Now, both authors are at the vanguard of Tartan Noir. Ferris' The Hanging Shed, the first in a series featuring ex-cop Douglas Brodie, hit number one on the Kindle ebook charts before its recent release in hardback. Meanwhile Russell's new thriller…

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