The News

New updated editions of first novels in Glasgow to Galilee trilogy by J David Simons

New versions published six weeks before the release of The Land Agent, which is Simons’ concluding novel in his canonical Scottish-Jewish trilogy


J David Simons, Scotland’s pre-eminent Jewish novelist - whose novel last year, An Exquisite Sense of What Is Beautiful, was a bestseller - has re-edited the first two books in his magnum opus, the Glasgow to Galilee trilogy.

Both books are being re-issued by Saraband on 11 September 2014, before the publication of the trilogy’s finale, The Land Agent, published in hardback on 23 October 2014.

The Credit Draper, shortlisted for the McKitterick Prize, follows young Avram Escovitz, who is shipped off to Scotland in 1911 to escape conscription into the Russian army. Living in the heart of Glasgow’s tight-knit Jewish community,
he dreams of playing for Celtic until World War I intervenes and he is sent to work as a credit draper, peddling goods on credit to Highland villagers. A stranger in a strange land, Avram is faced with the challenges of setting up a new business and capturing the heart of a Highland lass. But how easy will it be to shake off his Jewish roots?

The Liberation of Celia Kahn begins in Glasgow, 1915, against the background of rent strikes, anti-war sentiment and a revolution brewing in Russia. Celia, a young Jewish woman from the Gorbals, discovers a taste for protest, female solidarity, and the empowerment of women made possible by birth control. Her political sensibilities are fired up even further by a personal trauma, while a new love affair
presents difficult choices.

Touching on issues of identity, displacement, community, feminism, alcoholism, socialism and idealism, these novels provide a valuable literary record of a community that has so far been unjustly neglected in fiction. More than that, though, Simons has given us two unforgettable stories deserving of a wide audience.

Falling Fast shortlisted for Deanston Scottish Crime Book of the Year Award

PLUS the ultimate treat for a crime fiction fan… Author Neil Broadfoot celebrates Deanston shortlisting by offering one lucky reader the chance to appear in the sequel to Falling Fast


Falling Fast, the debut crime thriller by Neil Broadfoot, has been shortlisted for the Deanston Scottish Crime Book of the Year Award, placing him alongside some of the top names in Scottish crime fiction, including Chris Brookmyre and Louise Welsh.

To celebrate, we’re running a competition for one lucky reader to appear as a character in the second book of the Falling Fast trilogy, due out in 2015. To qualify, simply tweet why you liked the book along with #FallingFast before 31 August 2014. Neil will pick the tweet that he likes the best and the winner will see their name appear in his next book.

The winner of the Deanston Scottish Crime Book of the Year Award will be announced on 20 September at Bloody Scotland, Scotland’s International Crime Writing Festival, which takes place in Stirling from 19 to 21 September.

Neil said: “Being shortlisted for the Deanston is an absolute honour – and totally surreal. The crime-writing scene is bursting with incredible talent and great people at the moment, and to be plucked from all those brilliant writers is a humbling experience. I’ve been a fan of Bloody Scotland as a reader for years, to be here now on the shortlist is just fantastic. Bloody brilliant, in fact.” 

Falling Fast was also a Dundee International Book Prize finalist last year. From its shock opening to the final jaw-dropping twist, Falling Fast draws the reader into the world of Doug McGregor, a crime reporter juggling two stories: the hunt for a convicted rapist and the grisly death of a prominent politician’s daughter. Working off the record with insider contact and sometime sparring partner DS Susie Drummond, Doug uncovers secrets, brutal violence, drug abuse, murder – and the ultimate taboo.

The other shortlisted titles are: Flesh Wounds by Chris Brookmyre;
 The Amber Fury by Natalie Haynes; Entry Island by Peter May;
 A Lovely Way To Burn by Louise Welsh;
In The Rosary Garden by Nicola White. 

Contraband's gripping new literary mystery novel


The Disappearance of Adèle Bedeau is the new literary mystery novel by Graeme Macrae Burnet, who as a winner of a Scottish Book Trust New Writer’s Award is one of Scotland’s most promising literary talents.

The novel offers something different. Set in the unremarkable French town of Saint-Louis, with the maladroit Manfred Baumann as its main character, The Disappearance of Adèle Bedeau effortlessly conjures up an otherworldly atmosphere that simultaneously intrigues and unsettles.

In the novel, we meet Manfred Baumann, a loner and socially awkward. He spends his evenings surreptitiously observing Adèle Bedeau, the sullen but alluring waitress at his local bistro. But one day, she vanishes into thin air.

When Georges Gorski, a detective haunted by his failure to solve one of his first murder cases, begins investigating her disappearance, Manfred’s repressed world is shaken to its core and he is forced to confront the dark secrets of his past.

The Disappearance of Adèle Bedeau is a compelling psychological portrayal of a peculiar outsider pushed to the limit by his own feverish imagination. It is by turns haunting, strange and mesmeric – and destined to achieve cult status. 

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