Interview: Stuart MacBride - author of Birthdays for the Dead

Author at Edinburgh International Book Festival with a serial killer book

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This article is from 2012.

Interview: Stuart MacBride - author of Birthdays for the Dead

Photo: Paul Levitton

In his latest novel, Stuart MacBride writes of the chase for a serial killer, made more complicated by the fact that the pursing policeman’s daughter is one of the victims. Here he takes on our festival Q&A

Give us five words to describe Birthdays for the Dead?
Dark, Dark, Dark, Dark, and Dark. Seriously, it’s a very dark book in the classical noir tradition, rather than the ‘Tartan Noir’ marketing sense.

Which author should be more famous than they are now?
Allan Guthrie certainly deserves to be a lot better known. He’s a great writer (and I’m not just saying that because he’s a friend) with beautifully twisted characters, really inventive stories, and a subversive sense of humour to go with it. I can’t recommend him highly enough.

What do you love about book festivals?
Writing is a very solitary occupation, so festivals are a great excuse to meet up not just with readers, but other writers too. Especially if there’s a bar involved.

Which dead author do you wish was still alive today?
RD Wingfield was, for me, the greatest crime writer Britain ever produced and it’s a huge shame that he only finished seven novels before he died. He was a great inspiration to me, and if I ever manage to become half the writer he was I’ll be very proud indeed.

What was the last book you read?
Whispers Under Ground by Ben Aaronovitch. It’s an inventive take on the police procedural revelling in the supernatural with a cast of wizards, faeries, gods, and ghosts.

25 Aug, 7pm, £10 (£8).

This article is from 2012.

Stuart MacBride: Wishing You An Unhappy Birthday

No longer the rising star of Scottish crime writing, Aberdonian Stuart MacBride has now become an international bestseller. His brilliant and brutal new book tells the story of a detective in search of a serial killer – only trouble is, his own daughter is one of the victims. Birthdays for the Dead has been described by…

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