Friday, 11 January 2013

Book: The Reluctant Detective by Sinclair Macleod

Glasgow insurance investigator Craig Campbell usually spends his working hours confirming the validity of claims regarding personal injury or property damage but his career takes an interesting turn when a grieving Mother asks him to look into the circumstances of her son’s death.

Rory Kilpatrick was a teetotal, focused and talented young man who turned up dead on a railway line after apparently falling over drunk.

Campbell soon discovers that there is more to the case than meets the eye and finds that this type of investigative work isn’t altogether different from his usual activities.

There is a comfortable flow to the story, helped greatly by the author’s obvious affection for the city of Glasgow. Being a native myself I was immediately immersed in this curious investigation which takes place in some very familiar locations.

Familiar and comfortable as the writing and location may be, make no mistake as to the serious nature of this novel. Things turn nasty when some unsavoury characters learn of Campbell’s investigation and he soon finds himself (and others around him) caught up in a very dangerous situation. 

Campbell is presented as a very likeable chap who almost jumps off the page when describing mundane tasks such as his weekly shopping trip and various household chores. The supporting characters are great too. There are too many to mention here but each one, whether good guy or villain, add their own unique qualities to the story.

In this self-published début Sinclair MacLeod has woven a cool tale of corruption and murder around some fine characters and a brilliant (ok, I’m biased) setting, making this an absolute must for any fan of the current crop of tartan-noir authors (Rankin, MacBride, Brookmyre) and a top recommendation for all crime fiction readers.

For more information on the author and his work, including more Reluctant Detective mysteries, check out

Ric’s Rating: Essential          


  1. Only a spit awa' from Coatbridge so know the toon well too and sounds like my kind of book

  2. I didn't know you were from Glasgow.

  3. I greatly enjoy your books, they have a charm and naturelness that makes them so accesible, and they always have a good story. Your dry subtle wit delights me and I love being taken back to Glasgow...I live on the south coast of England for now and I do get homesick. The characterisations are substantial and well rounded and your style is consistent and really connects with the reader. I wish you great success and recognition. Cheers!

  4. P.S 'Cassandra Calling' is also Magenta Wise.

  5. Hope you try it Tom.
    Yep, guilty as charged Alex.
    Thanks for stopping by Cassandra.


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