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.
"Great book, and I'm an atheist."
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"
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....
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.
Maverick ex-cop Quint Dalrymple returns to investigate a series of gruesome murders in a near-future independent Edinburgh, in 2033. The Council of City Guardians has been forced to relax its grip on citizens and the borders are no longer secure. Then a human heart is found on a football pitch. Quint Dalrymple is called in, just as a citizen's headless body floats down a canal. He uncovers a link to the planned referendum over Edinburgh joining a reconstituted Scotland. But who is behind the killings?
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.
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"
Quintin Jardine's 26th Bob Skinner mystery sees the Edinburgh sleuth plunged into a gruelling new case in which no score will go unsettled. Former Chief Constable Bob Skinner has uncovered his fair share of crime scenes over his 30-year career. But few have affected him quite as much as the horrifying sight he finds stowed in the back of a stolen car that collides with his own on the outskirts of Edinburgh.
"The Dream Team"
Bob Burns is an old-fashioned kind of Scottish sleuth, more interested in catching villains than promotions. But when his enquiries into a murder are blocked by his bosses, he wonders if he should risk losing his career by carrying on his investigation. Encouraged by an attractive, maverick forensic scientist, and assisted by a keener-than-bright young constable, Bob does it his way. The trail leads them from Scotland to Mallorca, where intrigue and mayhem mingle with the crowds at a fishermen's fiesta.
"Just for Fun"
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.
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.
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…
"Great golf, great mystery!"
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.
With his boss recovering from a heart attack, Deputy Chief Constable Bob Skinner is filling his shoes - and that means more time behind a desk. But he's about to be provided with more drama than he could ever want. One of the world's most ruthless terrorists is on his way to Edinburgh - and he can only have one thing on his mind: the forthcoming conference of world heads of government.
Skinner's Thursday Legends amateur football team has more to worry about than aching backs and dodgy knees. Is someone targeting this disparate group of colleagues and friends in some bizarre scheme of retribution? Or is the murderer one of them?
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.
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!"
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.
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.
DCC Bob Skinner has a failed marriage on his hands and a death on his conscience, but little time to deal with either as he faces the biggest challenge of his career within the secret corridors where dark power is wielded. Four crimes, four crises: can Skinner and his people solve them?