Latest news AND REVIEWS – updated 18th JUnE



Sat 6th July, AK Bell Library, Perth, 2pm-3.30pm
Tickets: £6.50
Allan Guthrie will offer tips, tricks and techniques to help aspiring writers get their work published during an event to be hosted at AK Bell Library. For further information or ticket enquiries please telephone the AK Bell Library on 01738 477018.

Sat 6th July, AK Bell Library - Soutar Theatre, Perth, 7.30pm
Tickets: £5.00
Allan Guthrie and James Oswald will come together to visit the library to talk about their work. On the darker and grittier side of crime writing, well-established Guthrie and newly published up-and-coming Oswald will join forces to discuss crime fiction, their own work and their journeys to publication.

Tue 23rd July, Highland Literary Salon, Glen Mhor Hotel, Inverness
Time: Workshop 6pm - 7pm / Main salon starts at 7:30pm
Details: A week later than usual, we are delighted to welcome Edinburgh based Allan Guthrie, award winning crime writer, literary agent and co-founder of the publishing company Blasted Heath. Allan has also agreed to do a workshop beforehand. This workshop, "Getting Published In The Digital Age", will start at 6pm, cost £5 and is pre-bookable.

Wed 24th July, Moniack Mohr, Avon Centre
Guest author for Val McDermid and Andrew Taylor's "Killing People For Pleasure And Profit" crime fiction course.


A brand new edition of my novella, Kill Clock, is now available (on Kindle from and and in non-DRM epub format from Kobo).

Gordon Pearce is a nice enough sort of guy. Just as long as you don't get on his wrong side.

One evening while he's taking his dog for a stroll, a double-crossing ex-girlfriend turns up out of the blue with a couple of scruffy toddlers and a tall tale involving loan sharks, death threats and something called a 'kill clock'. She begs Pearce for help. Claims he's her last resort. But he's convinced she's trying another one of her cons. Last time he saw her, she fleeced him good and proper, and he's not going to let that happen again.

But as the night goes on, doubts start to creep in. Problem is, Pearce can't afford to believe her. Because if she's telling the truth, he has until midnight to rustle up twenty grand in cash or he'll have another death on his conscience.

This 2013 edition is a revised and expanded version of the original 2007 novella, published by Barrington Stoke.


Join Matt Hilton, Sheila Quigley, Inga McVicar and Allan Guthrie for a weekend of crime writing masterclasses: 8th-10 March 2013 at the Mill Forge in Gretna.

- Refine and develop your crime writing skills
- Improve your manuscript submission and pitching skills
- Build your crime writing network
- Pitch your manuscript to an agent

For more information, click here.

Delighted to be invited to Bouchercon 2015 in Raleigh, North Carolina, as one of the International Guests of Honor!


21st April, 3.30pm, Corbridge Parish Hall
Doubling Corbridge’s crime statistics in a single afternoon with criminally good banter, meet two of Scotland’s greatest exports... Stuart is a Sunday Times number 1 best-selling author and four times short-listee for the UK’s top crime writing prize – the Theakstons’s Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award – while Allan has won it. Tickets: £5, from Forum Books, Corbridge, or by calling 01434 632931.

If you're in Glasgow and free on Mon 30th January, I'll be giving a talk at the University of Strathclyde. This is open to the public, entry is free, and kicks off at 5pm. More details can be found here.

Hilda's Big Day Out was commissioned by the Sunday Mail as its seasonal short story and published in the newspaper on Jan 1st. I've made it availalable on Kindle FOR FREE for five days, from Jan 6th thru Jan 10th. You can get it from, and the German, French, Spanish and Italian stores.

It's a tale of violence, abduction, and pilchards, told from the perspective of a Dandie Dinmont terrier called Hilda, who's whisked away from a deserted Edinburgh beach by a skinny stranger on New Year's Day. (You may recognise Hilda as Pearce's dog from Hard Man and Kill Clock).

Also included are three bonus stories: Your Mother Should Know (from the Pulp Ink anthology); Bye Bye Baby (from Shattered: Every Crime Has A Victim) and Call Me, I'm Dying from A Hell of a Woman: An Anthology of Female Noir.

Also just published on Kindle is a revised version of Savage Night, a Tarantino-inspired crime thriller about a blood feud. According to the Observer, it's "a black comedy akin to the work of Christopher Brookmyre and Douglas Lindsay..." and "if you have a robust sense of humour, you'll love this." I hope so! You can download it in the UK here, but it's not available for North American readers, sorry.

And also now available is the paperback version of Bye Bye Baby, my police thriller novella. This is my bestselling book due to publishing an ebook version in late 2010 that became a top ten Kindle bestseller. It's the story of an investigation into a very unusual kidnapping. Ian Rankin has described it as a "quick, taut thriller ... not a word is wasted" and Stuart MacBride says it's "a terrific read and a great premise from an excellent writer", which are very kind words from two such fine writers of police procedurals. I have a lot more to say about Bye Bye Baby and its impact on my writing over at my Criminal-E blog. Please pop on over and take a look.


November 1st marks the launch of my new publishing company, Blasted Heath, co-founded with Kyle MacRae. Check out our website where we'll be offering massive discounts on our launch titles all week! Or you can order them via Amazon UK or Hope you enjoy!



Portobello, Edinburgh


6.00-8.00pm DALRIADA on PROM

DOUG JOHNSTONE, writer, musician and journalist, talks to Allan Guthrie about his new novel Smokeheads. This event includes a whisky tasting in collaboration with the Scotch Malt Whisky Society


11.00-12.30pm LIBRARY


Join MARIANNE PAGET, new writer; FRANCIS BICKMORE, Senior Editor Canongate Books; and ALLAN GUTHRIE, Literary Agent, author and editor, in a workshop about getting published.


My prison novel, Slammer, is now availble on Kindle for the introductory price of 99p.

Young prison officer, Nicholas Glass, is finding the stresses of his new job increasingly hard to handle. Bullied and abused by inmates and colleagues alike, each day is getting longer than the one before. When a group of cons uses outside help to threaten his wife and daughter, he agrees to do them a "favour". But as their threats escalate, and one favour leads to another, he grows ever closer to breaking point.

The print edition received some very nice reviews, such as:

"SLAMMER succeeds in brilliantly turning the genre on its head in a book as inventive and groundbreaking as it is magnificently written." The Scotsman

"Those who enjoy the darker side of the genre are in for some serious thrills with this." The Guardian

"an absolute masterpiece, really should be at the top of everyone's "must-read" list" EuroCrime

And I'm delighted to say that the new, revised Kindle edition has been receiving some very kind words too.

Ray "Beast of Burden" Banks has provided ten cracking reasons to buy the book. If links could blush, this one would be scarlet.

And if that isn't enough to convince you, here are a few more very generous comments:

"Clever and engaging" -- The Crime of it All
"Cracking stuff" -- Daz's Short Book Reviews
"Mind-blowing tale" -- Midnight (Top 100 Amazon reviewer)
"Masterpiece of modern noir" -- Jay Stringer
"One of the best noir novels ever" -- Chris Rhatigan
"an amazing book" -- Heath Lowrance
"The reach and scope of the book is immense" -- Nigel Bird
"a brilliantly written, claustrophobic classic" -- Paul D Brazill
"top-notch noir from a favourite author"-- Lauren Winters
"tense, superbly written slice of desperate life" -- Dubin
"terrific Tartan noir" -- BookRambler
"a fascinating portrayal of a character under stress" -- Mike Gerrard

Thanks to one and all! Hope you like the sound of it.


Two-Way Split has received some very nice mentions since the Kindle release at the end of June. Thank you one and all!

Les Edgerton, at his writing blog, says: "this is a novel that is enormously entertaining. The words such as “riveting” and the phrases such as “couldn’t put it down,” or “this was a page-turner,” are overused in assessments like this—many times, undeservedly--but dang it, all of those and more apply to this novel. I couldn’t put it down; it was riveting; it was decidedly a page-turner… and I’ve become a huge, huge fan of Guthrie."

Luca Veste at Guilty Conscience says: "'Two-Way Split' was a complete surprise to me. I didn't know an awful lot about it when I started reading, but straight away I was pulled in. Guthrie has superb knack of setting the pace early, the story never drags. The way the story unravels, you're never sure of what will happen next, no words wasted or spent overly describing anything incidental, it is a fast paced, edge of your seat thriller."

There's also an interview with me at the Guilty Conscience blog.

AJ Hayes at Octogeek says: "In Two Way Split, Mr. Allan Guthrie with a maniacal laugh, knocks your derby clear off your head, sends it flying with the wind and announces that people, events and even life itself always come down to the jagged edge of a two way split. Buckle your chin strap and hang on, troops. You’re in for a RIDE!"

There's another interview with me at Anthony Neil Smith's Herman's Greasy Spoon.

And a Russian review from Ray Garraty at Endless Falls Up: "Two-way Split is Allan Guthrie's debut novel, and it's hard to believe. The book is so masterfully written, so there is lots of energy here, that it can be seen: the author is a great writer. Very, very good book."

Declan Burke at Crime Always Pays says: "Fans of classic crime writing will get a kick or five out of TWO-WAY SPLIT, and we’re talking classic: Allan Guthrie’s multi-character exploration of Edinburgh’s underbelly marries the spare, laconic prose of James M. Cain with the psychological grotesqueries of Jim Thompson at his most lurid … The result is a gut-knotting finale that unfurls with the inevitability of all great tragedy and the best nasty sex – it’ll leave you devastated, hollowed out, aching to cry and craving more."

Jay Stringer at Do Some Damage says: "If James M Cain wrote a heist story set in Scotland, the result would read a lot like Two Way Split. It's a book that sets the fuse on page one and then runs like hell, and you won't find a better debut crime novel."

There's yet another interview with me at Audacious Author.

Daz's short book reviews says: "[Guthrie] masterfully blends all these ingredients together with fast paced and gritty descriptive writing. He simmers several plot lines until boiling and mixes them all together to create a fantastically enjoyable novel. Another great creation from one of Scotland’s finest crime writers."

And finally here's a piece I wrote as part of Dead End Follies excellent Ten Rules To Write Noir series.

TWO-WAY SPLIT is 99p from Amazon UK and 99 cents from Amazon US


TWO-WAY SPLIT is now available on Kindle from Amazon UK and Amazon US for 99p/99c.

It's a dark, slightly surreal, blackly comic ride on the coat tails of a clinically psychotic ex-concert pianist turned armed robber who's stopped taking his meds.

You'll find some more info on it over at my crime fiction ebook blog, Criminal-E.

Robin Greaves is an armed robber whose professionalism is put to the test when he discovers his wife has been sleeping with a fellow gang member. Robin plans the ultimate revenge, but things go from bad to worse when the gang bungles a post office robbery, leaving carnage in their wake. Suddenly they are stalked by the police, sleazy private eyes, and a cold-blooded killer who may be the only one not looking for a cut of the money.

Praise for TWO-WAY SPLIT

"Seek him out and buy his book." Ian Rankin, creator of Inspector John Rebus and author of THE COMPLAINTS

"Excellent." George Pelecanos, author of THE CUT

"In the tradition of Irvine Welsh and Ian Rankin, Allan Guthrie chronicles life in the underbelly of Edinburgh with dazzling grace. TWO-WAY SPLIT is a hard-edged, fast-paced noir thriller with outstanding dialogue and plenty of unforgettable bad guys. It's Scottish crime fiction with a unique American hard-boiled twist." Jason Starr, author of THE PACK

"… all the beauty of BLUE VELVET and all the insanity of WILD AT HEART" Ray Banks, author of BEAST OF BURDEN

"With razor-sharp characterisation and an evocative sense of place, the novel's pace never relents: the supremely damaged characters that Guthrie conjures up are seldom let off the hook, and stew throughout in their fetid juices. Dark and splendid." The Guardian

"...a memorable and stunning and pitch-perfect debut and one you should grab forthwith. I can't remember a first novel this good in a long, long time." Mystery Scene

Amazon UK, Amazon US


Criminal-E is my blog for crime eBooks. Here are some recent posts if you'd like to check it out.

Bill Cameron interview: Puppy Love Noir

Paul Bishop interview: Croaker: Kill Me Again

Jarrett Rush interview: Chasing Filthy Lucre

Neil White interview: Cold Kill

Helen FitzGerald interview: The Donor

Ray Banks interview: Gun


19th June: I'm interviewed by Richard Godwin for Chin Wag at the Slaughterhouse.

22nd May: Tony Black interviews me for the newly resurrected Pulp Pusher

18th May: Mark Edwards interviews me for Indie IQ.


I'll be back in Harrogate for more writing workshops and a panel. Click here for the full program. Details of my events below:

Thursday 21st July, 9.30-11.30 and 1.45-3.45
2 hr Intensive Writing Workshop with Stuart MacBride & Allan Guthrie
Following their appearance on last year’s programme, two of the UK’s most successful crime authors come together again to lead a hands-on workshop aimed to expand any writer’s toolkit. Click here for the full 'Creative Thursday' program.

Friday 22nd July, 2pm
The Festival’s New Blood panel is now renowned for showcasing the great talents of tomorrow. It’s the crime fiction equivalent of Vanity Fair’s Young Hollywood edition. Nick Stone, Allan Guthrie, Cathi Unsworth and Mark Mills were all past graduates of the panel as debut novelists. Where are they now? At the top of their game. Chair Martyn Waites finds out about their experiences on the road to success.


McDroll describes Killing Mum as "a fast fix of guns, blood and fire", as well as providing a superbly succinct summary of the plot at I Meant To Read That while Benoit Lelievre says it's "a strong, wild ride of a novella that you will want to finish in one setting... A great addition to your noir collection" at Dead End Follies.

B.C. Bell enjoys Slammer, writing this about it at Tales of the Bagman: "Honest to God, about once a year some book comes along, I devour it in a day or two, and I’ll just be stunned. Some of these I’ll get to in the future, not to mention some stuff that’s just plain strange—even by Science fiction standards. But this, this jewel of a novel, crawled right up out of the muck and strangled me with a sardonic wit so beautiful I didn’t even mind."

And Glenn Harper is also most generous with Hard Man at International Noir. "Guthrie's the most unrelenting of the "tartan noir" writers, and the funniest, in his uniquely violent style. The writing is clear and crisp, each character with his own personality and style as the narrative moves among them. If you're up for the combination of pain, darkness, and comedy, Guthrie definitely delivers, better than anyone else I can think of."


Most flattered indeed to be included in Benoit Lelievre's Top Ten List of Writers Who Deserve More Recognition. And equally flattered by his terrific review of Bye Bye Baby. Another review of Bye Bye Baby comes from Babs Hightower, who also interviews me at her review site here.


For the duration of Read An eBook Week (March 6-12th), the voucher code RE100 will give you 100% off the cost of Bye Bye Baby and Killing Mum from Smashwords.


The 2011 Tannahill Event
07 Mar 11 19:30 - 20:30
What is the role of the hero or heroine in Scottish crime fiction and the graphic novel? Is the genre of crime fiction in the context of contemporary Scotland the best place to explore the issues of heroism and villainy? Do we need heroes and villains, in Scotland? Come and take part in a discussion with prizewinning, bestselling novelists Allan Guthrie, Denise Mina and Glasgow University writer-in-residence Louise Welsh, chaired by Dr Matt McGuire of Glasgow University’s Scottish Literature unit.


Bye Bye Baby spent almost all of February in the Amazon UK Kindle store top ten! The paperback version is now scheduled for publication on Nov 22nd of this year.


Plans are well underway to have my novella, Kill Clock, available as an eBook within the next few weeks. First step in the process was to have a new cover designed. Once again I invited JT Lindroos, the designer of the new jackets for the two previous novellas (as well as the very first edition of Two-Way Split back in 2004) to perform his magic. He duly obliged. This is the wee gem he came up with.




As of 12th Feb, Bye Bye Baby has been in the top 10 in the UK Kindle Store at Amazon for a week! A huge thanks to everyone who's bought a copy.

There's an extended interview with me up at Spinetingler Magazine on the fascinating topic of e-publishing, and a shorter interview over at You Would Say That, Wouldn't You? where there's also a terrific short review of Killing Mum.

There's also a very smart review of Bye Bye Baby ("a mystery about mysteries") at Albert Berg's Unsanity Files, and a couple more of Hard Man ("a book of two paces: the contemplative and the berserk") at The Hat Rack and ("you'll slide ever downwards on a trip of psychadelic paranoia") at I Meant To Read That.


A new interview with me at the excellent Kindle Author blog.


I've just set up a new eBook blog called eBooks That Sell that hopes to introduce new and interesting books to a wider audience. A crime-specific e-book blog is pending.


BYE BYE BABY received an honorable mention in Spinetingler Mag's Best Crime/Mysteries of 2010. Great list, as ever.


The digital editions of BYE BYE BABY and KILLING MUM are now available at the knockdown price of 72p/99 cents each.

Killing Mum: UK Kindle, US Kindle, Smashwords
Bye Bye Baby: UK Kindle, US Kindle, Smashwords

Receiving ten grand as down payment on a hit isn't that much of a surprise to Carlos Morales. After all, arranging contract killings is his business. But he never expected that someone might want his mother dead!

What's equally troubling is the fact that the anonymous package arrived addressed to 'Charlie'. Only two people call him by that name: his wife and his mother. Has his wife just hired him to whack her mother-in-law? Or is his mother just looking for some help to put an end to her misery? Or maybe there's another answer entirely.

One thing's for sure: Carlos is about to find out.

When a seven-year-old boy disappears after school, the case is handed to Detective Frank Collins. He's been looking to lead a high-profile case for a while, and sets out determined to prove his worth. But the missing schoolboy is only a trigger for another crime. Someone is intent on exploiting the boy's grief-stricken mother. And they have plans for Frank Collins too.

"...a dark, clever, funny and sad story which races along to reach a smart conclusion. A tough and lovely slice of the hard side of life." You Would Say That, Wouldn't You?



"A story that moves quickly, in short chapters of crisp prose, with plenty of plot turns to hold the attention, and characters you can love and others you can hate... Like Guthrie's full-length novels, Bye Bye Baby is sly, noir as all hell (more noir than some, actually), and it just might bring a tear of pity to your eyes. It's a police procedural filled with incident and back story, and man, what an ending." Detectives Beyond Borders

"...a purely original, funny, sharp piece of writing. It has a plot that develops in an unorthodox, non-linear fashion--hardly resembling many of the police procedurals I've read. It's often noted that Guthrie is one of the top working mystery writers, and he certainly lives up to that reputation..." Death By Killing


The print publication of my police procedural novella, BYE BYE BABY, has been put back to 2013. For those who don't wish to wait till then, there's now a digital edition available for the Kindle and for various other electronic formats from Smashwords for $2.99.

"It involves a kidnapping, though there's never been a kidnapping quite like this one." Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine

When a seven-year-old boy disappears after school, the case is handed to Detective Frank Collins. He's been looking to lead a high-profile case for a while, and sets out determined to prove his worth. But the missing schoolboy is only a trigger for another crime. Someone is intent on exploiting the boy's grief-stricken mother. And they have plans for Frank Collins too.

"The approach is so fresh that it makes the whole thing feel like the first time I've read a police story" Do Some Damage


A day-long crime fiction creative writing workshop

Thursday 22nd July 2010
The Crown Hotel, Harrogate

Improve your writing technique courtesy of the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival’s creative writing course for aspiring writers. Hone your novel and short story writing skills with a day-long programme of workshops and seminars led by bestselling crime writers, publishing industry professionals and real-life crime experts.

The programme includes:

Stuart MacBride & Allan Guthrie
2 hr Intensive Writing Workshop: Character, Narrative and Voice
Two of the UK’s most successful crime authors come together to lead a hands-on workshop aimed to expand any writer’s toolkit.

Joseph Finder
2hr Intensive Writing Workshop: Suspense: How to Create and Maintain It
Get to grasp with one of the hardest aspects of the genre to get right with guidance from the award-winning international thriller writer.

D-I-Y Research: Forensics
Quiz three world-renowned forensics experts.
Professor Dave Barclay, Dr James Grieve and Dr Lorna Dawson from the Macaulay Institute have worked on some of Britain’s highest profile murder cases, this is an exceptional opportunity to ask the forensic questions your novel needs answered.

Dare you enter the Dragons’ Pen?
Four brilliant publishing industry professionals. Two minutes to convince them your novel is worth reading. One audience full of your fellow would-be writers watching how you fare. Our literary version of the popular TV show, the Dragons’ Den, is not for the faint-hearted.

We are offering a limited number of places to Creative Thursday participants with a completed concept for a crime novel the opportunity to pitch their book to two powerhouse agents, Jane Gregory of Gregory and Company and Peter Robinson of Rogers, Coleridge & White, and two highly-esteemed editors, Julia Wisdom of HarperCollins and Daniel Mallory of Little, Brown.

Fail to excite the Dragons’ interest and you’ll be going back to the drawing board – but if your pitch rouses their keen instincts then they will vie with each other for the privilege of being the first to read a synopsis and first chapter of your work. But be prepared… it takes a lot to impress our Dragons!

Saturday 24th July, 3.30pm
The Crown Hotel, Harrogate

Pretty much every writer of crime fiction is held up as “the next Ian Rankin” at some point – is it journalistic shorthand, or just laziness? The man himself (the real Ian Rankin) talks fiction, friction and identity crises with four of the biggest contenders for his throne: Paul Cleave (New Zealand’s Ian Rankin), Allan Guthrie (Scotland’s, erm, other Ian Rankin), Alex Gray (the female Ian Rankin) and Chris Simms (the Mancunian Rankin candidate).


"Pick up Savage Night and read the first couple chapters. You’ll probably think you’re in for a standard revenge tale. But then the point of view shifts. And then chronology goes out the window. When it’s over, everyone’s paid a terrible price. It’s wild, vicious, bloody and frighteningly funny.

Then take Slammer, about Nick Glass, a rookie prison guard unable to find respect in the eyes of his family, co-workers or the inmates in his charge. He’s used and pushed around, forced to smuggle drugs into the facility and that’s just the beginning. While playing it straight with the yuks, he goes for your gut with surgical precision and it reads like printed crank. When Glass finally shatters, nobody is safe.

And if you think his novels go to unexpected places, they’re nothing next to his utterly unpredictable body of short stories..."

More here


"These stories run the gamut from straight noir to the utterly bizarre. Lethal strippers, trailer park crackers, drug whores, animals in various relationships with humans...all fodder for Hendricks' fertile imagination. Let's face it. You know you're in foreign territory when a story begins with the line, 'The day he flushed his meds and purchased a dress for his iguana, Gregory Waxman's real problems were over.' "

Mike Dennis reviews Vicki Hendricks's Florida Gothic Stories



"I've been reading a lot of modern noir writers, and while many of them have impressed me only two or three have absolutely thrown me for a loop and made me re-think my game. Allan Guthrie is one of those writers." Heath Lowrance on Slammer at Psycho-Noir

"All I could do as a reader was hold on tight and get to the end. That’s no hardship. Not a word is wasted. The characters are real, where they live and how makes sense. They tell us about themselves not in what they say but in what they do, how they act, the way they move from one decision to another." Nigel Bird on Killing Mum at Sea Minor


Brian Greene talks to Larry Withers, the maker of the excellent new David Goodis documentary. "When my mother died in 1986 we discovered the marriage certificate and divorce decree among her papers related to her marriage to David Goodis. There wasn’t much else to go on. It wasn’t until one of my sisters came across a copy of Difficult Lives, a small volume by James Sallis that we learned the real identity of Goodis and true nature of their relationship. It was shocking, to say the least." Larry Withers


"SLAMMER, an absolute masterpiece, really should be at the top of everyone's "must-read" list." Click here for the full review.


Tom Piccirilli's The Coldest Mile and Charles Willeford's The Woman Chaser
reviewed by Mike Dennis


Orkney Library, MacGillivray Room
March 6th, 2pm
Allan Guthrie and Stuart MacBride deliver a workshop for crime writers

Aye Write Festival, Glasgow
March 13th, 12.30pm
Denise Mina’s Still Midnight follows DI Alex Morrow, an up-and-coming Glasgow cop. An elderly man is kidnapped when a group of armed men hold a terrified family at gunpoint and demand millions of pounds. Searching for dark secrets she also has to contend with her half-brother Danny making his name in Glasgow's criminal underworld. She discusses her work with Allan Guthrie whose latest novel, Slammer, sees young prison officer Nicholas Glass finding the stresses of the job increasingly hard to handle, bullied and abused by inmates and colleagues alike. When a group of cons use outside help to threaten his wife and daughter, Glass agrees to help them out with a 'favour'.

Philip Larkin Centre For Poetry And Creative Writing, Hull University
March 16th, 7pm -- Staff House
Allan Guthrie, voted Theakston’s Crimewriter of the Year, finds weird relish in the seamy sides of Edinburgh. Robert Edric traces high crime through Hull and the East Riding in his  ‘Song’ trilogy – ‘like being gripped by a police-issue leather driving glove’ – Mail on Sunday. How does the energy of a city feed crime fiction? With special guest appearance by Nick Quantrill launching his debut novel Broken Dreams, featuring Hull’s private investigator Joe Geraghty.

Erin Arts Centre, Port Erin, Isle Of Man
April 24th, 6.30pm
Allan Guthrie joins forces with fellow crime writers Stuart MacBride and Donna Moore for an evening of readings, interviews and Q&As. The Isle of Man winner of the CWA Young Crime Writers’ Competition will also be announced during the evening. Tickets are available from the Erin Arts Centre Box Office and the Lexicon Bookshop in Douglas.


Flashlight Worthy: Best Crime Fiction of 2009

Euro Crime: Top 2009 Reads

Bookgasm: Best (And Worst) of 2009

Bookspot Central: Best Mystery/Crime of 2009

Mysteries In Paradaise: Our Best Reads in 2009

Big Beat From Badsville: Favourite Reads of 2009

Bitter Water Blog: Best Crime Novels of 09

Independent Crime: Best of the Year

You Would Say That, Wouldn't You: Best Crime Fiction 2009


Mike Dennis offers his reviews of three modern and three classic noir novels.

Ray Banks's Sucker Punch

Megan Abbott's Die A Little

James Ellroy's Blood's A Rover

Gil Brewer's The Squeeze

David Goodis's The Blonde On The Street Corner

Harry Whittington's Web Of Murder


Available from July 2011


"Slammer is a wonderfully executed novel. It is reminiscent of Guthrie’s first novel Two-Way Split, but it is better and executed with a higher skill set. It is short, 263 pages, but it does not lack meaning or story. The prose is hardboiled, lean and smart. The dialogue is crisp, and the atmosphere is weighty and oppressive. It is a fine example of the new noir: a hopeless, distraught and shameless (in a good way) vision of [the] human condition."
Click here for the full review.


Slammer is now officially released in the US.

There's a new interview with me at Hardboiled Wonderland.

And Bookgasm has just posted a terrific review: "This is Guthrie’s masterpiece to date, grim and brutal in tone, cunning in design and flawless in the telling. He keeps the numerous plot turns both exciting and believable. There is a surprise twist in the middle of the novel that stuns the reader and makes the pace even faster. SLAMMER could pretty much be filmed as is. Years from now we’ll look back on this one as a major leap forward in Guthrie’s career. SLAMMER is not only artful, it’s real art."


"...Slammer is a gripping psychological crime novel. When we speak of those on the forefront of dark fiction -- those whose work scares people at a fundamental level; and those whose work we are hard pressed to try to define and pigeon hole, but can’t --Guthrie’s name is near the top of the list, and Slammer proves why." For the whole review, click here.


"Written from the perspective of the victim, this thrilling collection of stories by some of Scotland’s leading crime writers, such as Lin Anderson, Ray Banks, Christopher Brookmyre, Karen Campbell, Gillian Galbraith, Alex Gray, Allan Guthrie, Stuart MacBride, GJ Moffat and Louise Welsh illustrates the devastating impact of crime on the lives of ordinary people. The crimes featured range from fraud and house break-in to domestic abuse, rape and murder, and the stories invert the expected crime genre formula by focussing on the victims of the crime rather than the perpetrators and the investigators. With an introduction by Ian Rankin, this is both a moving and chilling account of the concequences of these sorts of atrocities. All the writers have donated their royalties to the charity, Victim Support Scotland."


"This innocent-looking little book is easily read in an hour or two. It is another fantastic whirlwind of violence and intrigue from Allan Guthrie, who is fast becoming a master in his genre. It hits you a powerful punch in the very first paragraph and just gets darker from there on in." Click here to read more.




"Established authors Allan Guthrie and David Wishart will be joining with relative newcomers Beatrice Colin, Alan Clements and G J Moffat to talk about their own work and the books which have been an influence on their lives with readers from all across Fife."  Saturday 7th Nov, 10.00, Rothes Halls, Glenrothes. More details here.


Slammer is now available in the US.

"Hard-boiled and then some, with no reprieve for the emotionally squeamish. Guthrie has more plot twists up his sleeve than a Vegas card shark, and each is as clever as it is horrific." Kirkus Reviews

"Edgar-finalist Guthrie explores the tenuous division between truth and desperate fiction in the mind of a rookie prison guard in this gritty thriller... Guthrie's visceral style is a perfect match for the grim setting. Fans who prefer their crime fiction ultra hard-boiled will be rewarded." Publishers Weekly

Two heavyweight author interviews up on the site. Tony Black interviews Nick Stone, and Nick Stone interviews Tony Black.


Ed Gorman
"Guthrie packs his prose with real suspense, his usual droll take on human venality and enough surprises to keep you turning the pages quickly. A really nice piece of crime writing."

International Noir
"another fine contribution to hard-core noir by one if its finest contemporary practitioners"

Two events lined up with Stuart MacBride and his inflammable beard at the Shetland Wordplay festival.

5th Sept at 10 am, TWO HOURS TO KILL, a crime writing workshop, free but ticketed, and limited to 20 places.

6th Sept at 3.30 pm, "two of Scotland's leading crime writers form a killer double act to read from their work and answer your questions." Tickets £5/£3.50


Craig McDonald interviews Allan Guthrie about the editing of Tower by Ken Bruen and Reed Farrel Coleman. Excellent novel, due out in Sept from Busted Flush Press.


"With nothing to attract in the sepia-tinted cover image of a hefty bunch of keys, for two months I passed over my copy of Slammer, moving it ever lower down the bookstack as I reached for more appealing titles. I was greatly deluded. Bedazzled by the polish and glitz of new literary fiction releases, I nearly missed out on one of the best thrillers of the year." Read more here.



Matthew Loukes is next up in the New Writers section of Noir Originals. You can read an extract from his second Slim Gunter novel, Goose Flesh, as well as check out his piece on Jack Black's classic You Can't Win.

"After reading the synopsis, you may think you know what this book is about and you may even think you have some idea of how it will progress. You'd be dead wrong. In fact, this isn't even a prison story in the usual sense of that term. 'Slammer' isn't just about a physical prison; it's about all the prisons, external and internal, that confine a young man who suffers bullying and abuse and extortion. While some events occur within the prison where Nick works, Nick himself becomes the figurative prisoner of more forceful characters, and he's also a prisoner to those he loves. This is a dark jigsaw-puzzle of a book where mirrors and memories are not to be trusted anymore than Nick can trust the prisoners out to take advantage of his weaknesses."
Read the full review here

Short Selling: Allan Guthrie and Ray Banks in conversation. Answering important questions, such as, "If you only had a fiver, what would you spend it on?"


"Dark, warped and funny, and with a surprising number of twists and turns for such a short book... Loved it."
Big Beat From Badsville

"short, sweet and totally fucking hardcore -– a real live one-sitting read. Nobody working today has Guthrie’s way with black humor and sweat-drenched suspense."
Bookspot Central

"a solid effort" Independent Crime

Allan Guthrie talking about SLAMMER with Alex Dickson for Smooth Radio's Smooth Bookcase program.


The short story anthology Uncage Me is now available from Bleak House Books, featuring Allan Guthrie's 'The Turnip Farm'. Edited by Jen Jordan with an introduction by John Connolly, the anthology also features stories by Scott Phillips, Christa Faust, Victor Gischler, J.A. Konrath, J.D. Rhoades, Declan Burke, Brian Azzarello, Steven Torres, Stuart MacBride, Simon Kernick, Patrick Bagley, Greg Bardsley, Stephen Blackmore, Tim Maleeny, Nick Stone, Martyn Waites, Talia Berliner, Maxim Jakubowski, Gregg Hurwitz, Blake Crouch, and more.


Big interview about writing, agenting and publishing. Click here for more.

Welcome to Noir Originals

Allan GuthrieWelcome to NOIR ORIGINALS, the home of Allan Guthrie on the net.

Allan Guthrie is an award-winning novelist, literary agent with Jenny Brown Associates and co-founder of publishing company Blasted Heath. He has sold over 100,000 copies of his self-published ebooks. He lives in Edinburgh with his wife, Donna, and two Maine Coon cats, Rudi and Lola. Click here to read more about Allan and his books. Or click below for information on specific titles.

Slammer (2009)
Savage Night (2008)
Hard Man (2007)
Kiss Her Goodbye (2005)
Two-Way Split (2004)

Bye Bye Baby (2010/11)
Killing Mum (2009)
Kill Clock (2007)

NOIR ORIGINALS was established in 2003 as an author showcase and ezine dedicated to noir and hardboiled fiction. Within its pages you'll find dozens of author profiles and interviews, articles, reviews, and novel extracts. For current discussion of crime fiction and ebooks, be sure to check out Allan's blog, Criminal-E.

Click here to sign up for Allan Guthrie's Newsletter.

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