29 Scottish Novels to Look Forward to in 2017

29 Scottish novels to look forward to in 2017
Category: Reading

2017 is here. A New Year, fresh hope and publishing catalogues full of new novels to look forward to reading.  

We scanned all the catalogues we could find for January to Spring 2017 (and beyond) to see which Scottish novels we should start saving up for - and to apply subtle pressure on our librarians to order. In what looks like an exciting year for Scottish fiction, we found these 29 titles that we'll need to start making space for on our bookshelves.

If we've missed a title that's got you intently staring at the calendar, please signpost to it in the comments below so others can find it.

Happy reading in 2017! 

Empire Games by Charles Stross

Empire Games by Charles Stross

@CStross | January | Tor

Time Out has described Edinburgh-based author Charles Stross as, 'One of the defining phenomena of twenty-first century science fiction.' In his new novel Empire Games, Stross revisits and expands on the world he created in his Family Trade series. The story follows Rita Douglas whose latent genetic abilities make her a prime recruitment target for the Department of Homeland Security. Once activated, Rita's genetic code will give her the ability to visit alternate timelines to do battle with assassins travelling between alternate worlds to deliver death on a mass scale.  

Cast Iron by Peter May

Cast Iron by Peter May

@authorpetermay | January | riverrun

The million-selling author of the Lewis trilogy and the China thrillers is celebrating the New Year by bringing out the final instalment of his Enzo Files series. In this 'red hot finale', forensic expert Enzo Macleod is brought in to examine the remains of Lucie Martin, whose body was dumped into a lake in the west of France in 1989. Although a drought exposed her remains 14 years later, no-one was ever convicted of her murder. The toughest case of Enzo's career opens a Pandora's box of danger that threatens his and his family's safety. 


Wait for Me, Jack by Addison Jones

Wait For Me, Jack by Addison Jones

January | Sandstone

Addison Jones puts her own name on Wait For Me, Jack following the release of four novels and a collection of short stories, all written under the name of Cynthia Rogerson. It tells the tale of Jack and Milly who marry in 1952 near San Francisco and build a complex life together against a backdrop of 20th century tumult, and despite their own infidelities and American Dream nightmares.  

The Shipbuilders Daughter by Emma Fraser Book Cover

The Shipbuilder's Daughter by Emma Fraser

January | Sphere

Also emerging from behind a nom de plume in 2017 is Emma Fraser, who has released several medical romance novels under the name Anne Fraser. Her experience as a former nurse, and her research into early 20th century medical training, has inspired this novel on the life of Margaret Bannatyne. The daughter of a wealthy shipyard owner, Margaret wants to pursue a career as a doctor. Her father wants her to produce an heir following the death of his sons. Both are surprised when Margaret falls in love with Alasdair Morrison, a union man from her father's shipyard - and a thorn in his side. 

The Damselfly by SJI Holliday book cover

The Damsel Fly by SJI Holliday

@sjiholliday | February | Black and White

SJI Holliday draws on her experience of growing up in East Lothian to tell the tale of a small town coming to terms with the death of bright young student Katie Taylor. Her tragic demise is one of a series of dark mysteries that have befallen Banktoun. Can the new school counsellor, who has returned to the town to rebuild her own life, help DS Davie Gray and DC Louise Jennings solve the crime before a baying social media mob reach for their pitchforks? 

Written in Bones by James Oswald

Written in Bones by James Oswald

@sirbenfro | February | Penguin

When a body is discovered in a tree in Edinburgh's famous Meadows parkland, DI Tony McLean must figure out whether it fell from the sky (as it first appears to have done), been placed there, or was left there to send a message. Add to the mix that the body belongs to a disgraced ex-cop turned criminal kingpin who reinvented himself as a celebrated philanthropist, and you've got another cracking James Oswald thriller on your hands. How James Oswald finds the time to write so many novels while running a 350-acre farm, we'll never know.

Daughter of Lady Macbeth by Ajay Close

The Daughter of Lady Macbeth by Ajay Close

@ajayclose | February | Sandstone Press

Perth-based author Ajay Close has already notched up longlistings in the Orange Prize and Walter Scott Prize in her career to date. In her fifth novel, she turns her attention to the complexities of mother-daughter relationships. IVF is Freya's last hope of having a child, but her own mother has never told her who her father was. When Freya signs on at the fertility clinic she finds out the levels of deception of which she is capable. Perhaps she has more in common with her mother than she first thought?

Unspeakable by Dilys Rose

Unspeakable by Dilys Rose

March | Freight 

A creative writing teacher at the University of Edinburgh, Dilys Rose has an impressive writing resume including the Canongate Prize, McVities Prize and Scotland on Sunday Short Story Award. In Unspeakable, she takes inspiration from a true case from 17th century Edinburgh. In a world where the Enlightenment is yet to take root, Scotland's capital remains a city of religious authoritarianism. The novel reimagines the trial of Thomas Aikenhead, the last person in Britain to be tried and executed for blasphemy.

A Woman of Integrity by J. David Simons

A Woman of Integrity by J. David Simons

@JDavidSimons | March | Freight

Author J. David Simons's life sounds like a novel in itself. He has, in his time, worked as a lawyer in Edinburgh, a cotton farmer on Kibbutz Ashdot Ya'akov Ichud in Israel, a charity administrator, a university lecturer at Keio University, Japan, and a journalist for a multi-national publishing house. In his fifth novel to date, he tells the tale of one woman's growing obsession with the life of a silent movie star after her own acting career slides towards obscurity.

Still Dark by Alex Gray

Still Dark by Alex Gray

@AlexinCrimeLand | March | Sphere

Alex Gray is said to bring Glasgow crime to life in the same way Ian Rankin evokes Edinburgh. The co-founder of Bloody Scotland returns in 2017 with her latest DSI William Lorimer novel. It's New Year's Eve and Lorimer is called to a house after reports of gunshots. The carnage he finds there will leave him questioning his career and future with Police Scotland.

The Remnant by Charlie Fletcher book cover

The Remnant by Charlie Fletcher

@CharlieFletch_r | March | Orbit

Charlie Fletcher returns to writing for adults this year following his Carnegie Medal longlisting for the children's book Far Rockaway in 2015. His new release, The Remnant, is the final part of his Oversight trilogy. The Oversight of London has, for millennia, prevented the natural and the supernatural worlds from preying on each other. With its headquarters in ruins and its surviving members scattered far and wide, this secret society must battle for survival and face the harshest foe it has ever met: itself.

Ed's Dead by Russel D McLean Book Cover

Ed's Dead by Russel D. McLean

@RusselDMcLean | March | Saraband

Jen works in a bookshop, likes the odd glass of Prosecco, is a failed writer and has a rubbish boyfriend called Ed... whom she accidentally kills one night. Jen must work out what to do with his body and his possessions - big piles of cash and drugs - while dealing with her new 'Most Dangerous Woman in Scotland' tag. Russel D. McLean's new tale of modern noir sounds like it will be a proper treat come spring.  

Image of the author Mason Cross

Don't Look for Me by Mason Cross

@MasonCrossBooks | April | Orion

The bestselling author of the Richard & Judy Book Club-selected The Samaritan, Mason Cross returns with another instalment of his Carter Blake series. In it, Blake must break a promise he made to himself not to track down a woman whom he loved, and lost. When hitman Trenton Gage is tasked with finding the same woman, Carter Blake faces a race against time to find her first, and to protect the precious secret she holds. 

All the Galaxies by Philip Miller

All the Galaxies by Philip Miller

@PhilipJEMiller | April | Freight

Herald Arts Correspondent Philip Miller's second novel is described by his publisher as 'The Lovely Bones meets Margaret Atwood'. If that doesn't draw you in, then nothing will! After two failed independence referendums, Scotland has broken up into a number of autonomous city states. Amidst the chaos and protest, John Fallon's son Roland is killed by newly militarised police. When Roland's spirit is reawakened in the afterlife by his spirit guide - his childhood dog, Kim - he embarks on a quest to find his long-dead mother. Back on earth, his father's quest for justice over his son's disappearance takes him into a barely-functioning world of politics.  

Helen McClory

Flesh of the Peach by Helen McClory

@HelenMcClory | April | Freight

Exciting new talent Helen McClory won the Saltire Scottish First Book of the Year Award for her debut story collection On the Edges of Vision. In Flesh of the Peach we meet Sarah Browne. Fresh out of a relationship with a married woman, and grieving the recent loss of her mother, Sarah hops on a Greyhound to her mother's cabin in New Mexico instead of returning home to England. There she begins a passionate relationship with a man but as her emotional turmoil grows, there are warning signs that tragedy could ensue. 

Well of the Winds by Denzil Menrick Book Cover

Well of the Winds by Denzil Meyrick

@Lochlomonden | April | Polygon

Denzil Meyrick has slowly been building up a fanbase with his DCI Daley thrillers. In this latest installment, a man is stabbed to death in the shadows of warships on the shoreline of Kinloch. Years later the Bremner family disappear in Mary Celeste-style circumstances. When DCI Daley comes into possession of a journal written by his wartime predecessor, he must solve the murder to uncover the shocking events of the past and the present.

Want You Gone by Chris Brookmyre

Want You Gone by Chris Brookmyre

@cbrookmyre | April | Little, Brown

Spring 2017 brings with it Chris Brookmyre's new Jack Parlabane thriller. With a mum in jail and left to care for her young sister with learning difficulties, you'd think Sam Morpeth's life was hard enough. An online blackmailer has other ideas as they draw her into a trap from which she might not escape. Meanwhile, Jack Parlabane's career as a journalist is back on track but success has come at a moral cost and a debt is being called in. Thrown together by the same enemy, Sam and Jack are about to discover they have more in common than they realise.  

Alexander McCall Smith

Scotland Street 12 by Alexander McCall Smith

@McCallSmith | April | Polygon

Fans of Alexander McCall Smith's Scotland Street series can look forward to the twelfth installment of this much-loved series come April.  

Russian Roulette by Sara Sheridan

Russian Roulette by Sara Sheridan

@SaraSheridan | April | Constable

One of fiction's most stylish sleuths returns this April as Edinburgh-based author Sara Sheridan gives Mirabelle Bevan her sixth outing. Mirabelle's on-off boyfriend, Superintendent Alan McGregor, is taken off a gruesome murder case. With his integrity increasingly compromised, Mirabelle begins to doubt her partner and steps in to unravel the tangle of poisoned gin, call girls and high stakes gambling that surrounds the death in glamourous 1950s Brighton.

2020 by Kenneth Steven

2020 by Kenneth Steven

April | Saraband

Well-respected and widely-published poet, translator, novelist and children's writer Kenneth Steven will project today's turbulent times into an imagined future Britain in 2020. The country is at breaking point. Years of economic turmoil and bitter debate have created a febrile national mood. A mood where another terrorist attack could push the country over the edge. Saraband promises us a provocative literary thriller told in a variety of voices from across the political and social spectrum.  

John Niven Author

No Good Deed by John Niven

@NivenJ1 | May | William Heinemann

Irvine-born John Niven turns his whip-smart eye to the joy and pain of long-term friendships for his latest novel. He explores the strange currents of ambition,
loathing, pity and affection that flow between friends over the decades as they fail and succeed.

The Long Drop by Denise Mina

The Long Drop by Denise Mina

@DameDeniseMina | May | Little, Brown

In 1950s Glasgow, a household of women were found slaughtered in their beds. The police were convinced of their father William Watt's guilt, but he had a cast-iron alibi. To dispel all doubt of his innocence, Watt offered to pay for information. He got it through Peter Manuel, a career criminal. The two men spent 12 hours drinking their way through Glasgow's pubs but no-one knows what happened that night and the next time they met was in the High Court, where Manuel was defending himself against the murder charges. Denise Mina's new standalone psychological thriller promises to be an electrifying read. 

Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine by Gail Honeyman

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

@GailHoneyman | May | HarperCollins

Gail Honeyman, the inaugural recipient of our Next Chapter Award for as-yet-unpublished writers over the age of 40, caused a stir at the 2015 Frankfurt Book Fair with her debut novel Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine reportedly sold for a seven-figure (USD) sum. Eleanor Oliphant is one of the freshest, most memorable character voices to emerge in years. We can't wait!

Picture of Jenny Colgan

Spandex and the City by Jenny Colgan

@JennyColgan | May | Little, Brown 

Mild-mannered PR girl doesn't think much of the vigilante superhero 'Ultimate Man', especially after his superhero antics leave her balanced on his shoulder, exposing her knickers to the nation's press. However, Holly's 15 minutes of fame open her up to some seedy criminals who mean to do her harm. With no-one else to turn to, Holly only has one 'hero' she can call. Spandex in the City is one of two new releases by the prolific Irvine-born Jenny Colgan this year. 

The Fallen Kingdom by Elizabeth May Book Cover

The Fallen Kingdom by Elizabeth May

@_ElizabethMay | June | Orion 

Elizabeth May grew up just outside Los Angeles but found her home amongst the 'mysterious, dark, winding alleyways of Edinburgh and the fairy legends of Scotland'. This year, she is bringing her Falconer trilogy to an end with The Fallen Kingdom. Aileana Kameron, resurrected by fae magic, returns to the world she once knew with no memory and little control over her powers. Can she harness her dark new powers to save the human and fae worlds?


Shattered Minds by Laura Lam

Shattered Minds by Laura Lam

@LR_Lam | June | Pan Macmillan

Edinburgh-based San Franciscan Laura Lam follows up her 2016 release False Hearts with the start of a new series. It is set in a bleak near future and introduces Carina, a female 'Dexter' with a drug problem and a conscience. After a failed brain-mapping experiment with Sudice Inc., Carina is left craving killing and violence. She fights this impulse by taking Zeal, an addictive drug that lets her satisfy her dark urges in dreams. She wants to be left alone to self-destruct but new information about Sudice Inc. forces her to stand up and fight.  

The Health of Strangers by Lesley Kelly

The Health of Strangers by Lesley Kelly

@lkauthor | June | Sandstone

Lesley Kelly follows up on her 2016 McIlvanney Prize longlisting for A Fine House in Trinity with another Edinburgh-set standalone release. The North Edinburgh Health Enforcement team is having a hard time of it. They are struggling to contain a mutant strain of flu - and no-one likes them. When two female students die, they must face a barrage of questions about their actions, cults, and the mysterious involvement of overseas governments.  

Jess Richards

City of Circles by Jess Richards

@jesgrr1 | August | Spectre

Jess Richards grew up in Stranraer and was the first-ever recipient of our Ardtornish Estate residency - you can read 'Life Size', the stunning piece she wrote there, on our site. In 2017, she will release her third novel to date, City of Circles. It tells the enchanting love story of two circus performers: Danu, a tightrope walker in mourning for her parents; and Morrie, the charismatic hunchback who wants her hand in marriage.  

Neil Oliver holding his first novel Master of Shadows

The Black Glass by Neil Oliver

November | Orion

Following the 2015 release of his debut novel, Master of Shadows, writer, historian and TV presenter Neil Oliver once again forays into historical fiction this year. The Black Glass tells the story of the little-known man who changed the face of history from dangerous games of power and politics in the Tudor court, to magic and mystery in the palace of Elizabeth I.


 Looking for more brilliant Scottish novels? Check out our list of 30 excellent Scottish novels from 2016

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