The News

The Eagle's Way launches amid rave reviews

Jim Crumley's latest book, The Eagle's Way, launched in Dundee tonight in a celebration of Scottish nature writing at its finest. Jim's superb, evocative description of how nature's balance is readjusting in the wake of the sea eagle reintroductions is accompanied by Laurie Campbell's unrivalled photos of both golden and sea eagles.

You don't just have to take our word for it: Roger Hutchinson of the West Highland Free Press sums it up as "magnificent". "Crumley's knowledge and experience may be equalled by a few," he ventures, "but his writing is not. His books are sublime. The Eagle's Way is a beautiful, funny, argumentative narrative of praise to the eagle."

Ray Collier of the Highland News Group describes the book as "An enthralling combination of great writing and photos."

So what are you waiting for? Read it now, buy one for a friend, or borrow it from the library – or all of the above. You'll see why the Los Angeles Times calls him the UK's best nature writer.

Forthcoming appearances by Jim will be at the John Muir Trust's Wild Space in Pitlochry (5th April at 2pm) and the Watermill, Aberfeldy (17th April at 7pm). Look out for further events at the end of May at Aigas Lodge and Grantown-on-Spey.

An innocent man's terrible dilemma

Condemn his cousin to the guillotine...

…Or serve 40 years himself on Devil's Island?

The Guillotine Choice, the new novel by Michael J Malone, is the astonishing true account of one man’s experience of a hell on earth that few of us could ever hope to survive: the infamous Devil’s Island penal colony.

Packed with all the drama of The Shawshank Redemption and Papillon, The Guillotine Choice, published on March 13, tells the story of an uncommon man – Kaci Mohand Saoudi – whose dignity triumphed over despair in unimaginably horrific conditions. The novel was written in collaboration with Kaci’s son, Bashir Saoudi.

Bashir says, ‘My father’s life is an inspiration and serves as an education to all of our children. It has been a dream of mine for thirty years to have this story told, and my deepest thanks are due to Michael Malone whose eye for detail, his patience and his storytelling ability have all helped to make this book everything I hoped for.

‘I feel that I got to know my father better through the thirty years of research that went into this project. This book is a way to thank him and to say what I should have told him in the living years, that is: Dad, I love you.’ 

The novel begins in 1920s French-controlled Algeria, when Kaci Mohand Saoudi was in the frame for the brutal murder of his French boss. He is faced with a stark choice: win freedom by naming the killer and thus condemning him to the guillotine, or keep quiet and face a never-ending sentence in the infamous devil’s Island penal colony?

Kaci, just 20 years old, must choose between an eternity of guilt and shame... or a lifetime of physical suffering and mental anguish.

Contraband: Saraband's new crime fiction imprint

Saraband's new crime fiction imprint, Contraband, will launch in the Spring of 2014 with a promise to publish some of the most exciting new voices in crime, mystery and thriller writing.

Publisher Sara Hunt said, ‘Our new imprint will provide readers with a diverse selection of crime, mystery and thriller titles, ranging from pacy detective stories to intriguing enigmas. Most importantly, we want to publish a wide variety of styles so that readers can easily find the kind of book they know they’ll love, but also have the opportunity to take a leap and hopefully discover something new and exciting.’

Contraband will kick off in the Spring as it means to go on, with three very different titles: the astonishing true story of one man’s years in the world’s worst prison; a hard-bitten tartan noir; and a literary mystery novel set in France. 

Saraband, which won the inaugural Saltire Society Scottish Publisher of the Year Award in 2013, already has a great track record for giving a platform to talented authors, with the last twelve months in particular seeing the publication of exciting new literary fiction, engrossing non-fiction and moving memoirs. The new Contraband imprint will now see us building a strong list of talented crime, mystery and thriller writers.

Contraband’s first three titles (all available as print and ebook editions) are:

The Guillotine Choice by Michael J Malone and Bashir Saoudi. With all the drama of The Shawshank Redemption and Papillon, this is the astonishing account of one man’s experience of a hell on earth that few of us could ever hope to survive. March 2014.

Falling Fast by Neil Broadfoot. An edge-of-your-seat tartan noir thriller that sees crime reporter Doug McGregor uncovering a story riddled with secrets, violence, drug abuse, murder… and the ultimate taboo. May 2014.

The Disappearance of Adèle Bedeau by Graeme Macrae Burnet. An ill-at-ease outsider in small-town France is pushed to the limit by his own fevered imagination. July 2014. 

Additional information