My Scottish bookshelf – The redemption of Alexander Seaton
Shona MacLean’s debut novel seems to have been welcomed everywhere, and it certainly fits the bill for those seeking a thriller set in 1620s Scotland, well spread with historical detail. MacLean’s credentials include a doctorate in 17th century Scottish history and an uncle who is the famous author of Where eagles dare etc. It certainly has a striking opening – a man is dying in a dark street on a wet night in Banff, and two ladies of the night intervene. Seaton is the schoolmaster denied the minister’s job due to his sins, and the corpse ends up in his school-room. I was a bit disappointed when his sins were revealed I have to say – but I am half way through and have no idea who did it – obviously someone concerned with burgh politics, mapping, spies, and with a peculiar knowledge of foreign plants. Those interested in the period, and who know Banff and Aberdeen will be especially rewarded.