In an era of hardening religious attitudes and explosive religious violence, this book offers a welcome antidote. Richard Holloway retells the entire history of religion - from the dawn of religious belief to the 21st century - with deepest respect and a keen commitment to accuracy. Writing for those with faith and those without, and especially for young listeners, he encourages curiosity and tolerance, accentuates nuance and mystery and calmly restores a sense of the value of faith.
Duchlan Castle is a gloomy place in the Scottish Highlands. Late one night the body of Mary Gregor, sister of the laird, is found in the castle. She has been stabbed to death in her locked bedroom. The only tiny clue to the culprit is a silver fish's scale, left on the floor next to Mary's body. Inspector Dundas is dispatched to investigate. The Gregor family and their servants are quick to explain that Mary was a kind and charitable woman, but Dundas uncovers a more complex truth.
"Solid "Golden Age" Mystery"
The horrific suicide of a successful Lithuanian entrepreneur shocks newly appointed Chief Constable Bob Skinner and his colleagues. Why would a man with everything to live for take his own life? As enquiries begin, a mystery girl, drugged and incoherent, is dumped in a health centre by a mysterious Galahad, who promptly disappears. Who is she, who is he, and where has he gone? Is it coincidence that most of the massage parlours in the city have suddenly closed overnight?
When supermodel Annette Bordeaux is found battered and strangled in her Edinburgh flat, former Chief Constable Bob Skinner's old team instantly have a global case on their hands. The victim's husband, world-renowned footballer and recent Merrytown FC signing, is quickly discounted as a suspect. But there are others in the club with less watertight alibis....
The body of a murdered woman is found washed up on Cramond Island near the mouth of the River Forth. Days later detectives are called to a flat in Edinburgh; the kitchen is covered in blood, and the occupier is missing. When the name of the woman from Cramond Island is revealed, it stirs unwelcome memories for those who knew her, Chief Constable Bob Skinner most of all. Now based in Glasgow, he has no reason to become involved in the linked cases.
A plane explodes mid-flight and plunges to disaster from the Scottish skies, the British and American defence secretaries among the victims. Now Edinburgh’s Deputy Chief Constable Bob Skinner must lead the most high-profile investigation of his career. The means of destruction is apparent from the start, but the investigation quickly grows more puzzling. When Skinner himself is wrenched from the case, his colleagues struggle with the mass of clues while he fights for his life, trapped with the secret horrors of his past.
As head of Edinburgh’s CID, Detective Chief Superintendent Bob Skinner has seen it all…but even he is shocked by the savagely mutilated corpse discovered in a dark alleyway. The victim is identified as a successful young lawyer, and the motive for the brutal death remains a mystery. Then further seemingly random killings in the city begin to suggest a vicious serial killer on the rampage. But when the lawyer’s fiancée is also murdered, Skinner realises that someone is in deadly earnest.
"A good story"
A small time crook stumbles upon a body hanging from a tree; a veteran from a Belgian marching band is killed in a hit and run incident and another dies of an apparent heart attack.
First the joyous birth of Skinner’s son… Then the grim reality of murder in ones of Edinburgh’s prosperous suburbs. A man has been found knifed in a luxury villa. The victim had run a chain of launderettes, saunas and pubs throughout the city, but for some time the police suspected these to be the front for a drug-distribution network.
"Get rid of the baby! And the accents!"
1818, Carluke, Lanarkshire. Mathew Fleming returns home to Scotland following heroic service at the Battle of Waterloo. After seven years away, he is a ghostly presence to those he left behind. But Mathew is ambitious and soon becomes a man of influence in his country and beyond. Yet through all his success, he still hides the loss of his one true love. When a terrible act of murder occurs, Mathew must choose between the rule of blood and the rule of law.
"An excellent story and the perfect narrator"
The killing was an expert hit. Three shots through the head, as the lights dimmed at a celebrity concert in Glasgow. A most public crime, and Edinburgh Chief Constable Bob Skinner is right in the centre of the storm. The crisis finds Skinner, his private life shattered by the shocking end of his marriage, taking a step that he had sworn he never would. Tasked by Scotland's First Minister with the investigation, he finds himself quickly uncovering some very murky deeds...
"A great Scottish Police Procedural!"
Edinburgh, Yuletide 1743. Seconded back from the wars in Europe to captain the city’s town guard, Robert Catto fears his covert mission to assess the strength of the Jacobite threat will force him to confront the past he tries so hard to forget. Christian Rankeillor, known as Kirsty; her surgeon-apothecary father; and his apprentice, Jamie, are committed supporters of the Stuart cause.
Every August thousands of tourists and performers flood into Edinburgh for its famous festival. But this year, on the very first day, an explosion rocks Princes Street, and a man is killed. A few hours later, a threatening letter is delivered to the Secretary of State – apparently from a freedom group – demanding political separation from England. Assistant Chief Constable Bob Skinner, head of CID, quickly assembles his team, with SAS backup.
In the house of a Roman Catholic bishop a man lies in a pool of blood. Out in the bishop’s diocese the quiet life of parish priest Father Vincent Ross is about to be thrown into turmoil by a terrifying revelation. There are ugly scandals being hidden by the church, and a murderer is on the prowl. The police and the authorities are groping in the dark, but Father Ross has been given special information that he cannot disclose to anyone.
The opening of an elite country club, marked by a prestigious golf tournament, turns to chaos when a man is found dead in the clubhouse jacuzzi – with his throat cut. When the murder is linked to a legendary witches’ curse, Assistant Chief Constable Bob Skinner thinks it’s fantasy. He’s more concerned with harsh reality than East Lothian’s past as a centre for witchcraft. But when another body is found, he must uncover the disturbing truth beneath a dark mythology…
"So-so. Suffering as a series"
Deputy Chief Constable Bob Skinner could be forgiven for thinking that someone is out to get him. With his marriage already on the rocks, he suddenly finds his private life plastered across the pages of a tabloid. And then a woman already linked to Skinner by tragedy is found dead, with her young son a kidnap victim. Skinner finds himself at the centre of a deadly maze of conspiracy and unless he can clear his name he stands to lose everything.
After a tip-off, a man's body is exhumed from a shallow grave in Edinburgh. Murder surely, yet he died from natural causes, so, case closed? Indeed was there ever a case? But Chief Constable Skinner and his people keep on digging. Who was the man, why was he buried so reverentially, and by whom? Meanwhile corruption is discovered within the force, and an investigation launched.
When an Edinburgh car showroom is torched, leaving a charred body among the burnt-out luxury cars, Deputy Chief Constable Bob Skinner wonders if a life of crime has finally caught up with one of the city's most elusive villains. But the corpse turns out not to be that of Jackie Charles, the owner of the showroom, but his wife Carole. Skinner now finds himself on the same side as his old enemy. However, Skinner's number one priority is a murder much closer to home.
Still reeling from the tragic death of their much-loved colleague, Skinner's men are about to discover that a disturbed serial killer is still at large and very close to home. DCC Bob Skinner and his men get a call informing them that the body of a young woman has been found on a golf course. The way she has been laid out is uncannily familiar; the body has been "composed", just like the bodies of three other young women in a previous case. Could it be the work of a copycat killer?
In Edinburgh's old Parliament House, an armed robbery trial is about to take a macabre turn. While the lawyers tussle over the evidence, the judge suddenly collapses in mortal agony--the victim of an apparent heart attack.