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Jude’s Top 5 Alternative Books set in St Andrews

I just love reading a book set in a place that I know, or in a place I plan to visit. The details of the location add such realism to the storyline. Jude Innes of J&G Innes, the stunning independent bookshop at 107 South Street, loves a good local read as well, and she’s written us a list of her favourite books set in St Andrews. If you’re planning to visit St Andrews soon, or just fancy a trip down someone else’s memory lane, why not pick up one of these fantastic books?

In alphabetical order…:

Adoring Venus by Lorn Macintyre (out 18th June 2011)

Alan Mackilligin, a recently bereaved professor at the University of St Andrews and an authority on the portrayal of the nude female form in Greek sculpture, embarks on a passionate affair with an 18 year old student, with disastrous consequences. Apart from portraying this famous town, Adoring Venus explores the physical and emotional gap between the generations, and the poignancy of the ageing process.

Death of Lomond Friel by Sue Pebbles

When Rosie, a successful radio presenter, hears that her father has had a stroke, her life is thrown into disarray and she finds herself making reckless decisions that make little sense to those around her. As she strives towards building some kind of future for herself and her father, he quietly plots his own death …Set on the east coast of Scotland, (although it doesn’t say it is set in St Andrews the author told me!) the novel covers events in the weeks following the stroke and the lives of this small cast of captivating but very real characters. Exploring the impact of memory and conscience, it tackles a family at a time of crisis, delving into the complexities of emotions and family history with compassion, humour and grace.

Distant Echo by Val McDermid

Powerful and atmospheric psychological thriller from the multi-award-winning Val McDermid. That night in the cemetery. The girl’s body in the snow, her blood scarlet against the white ground! 4am on a freezing Fife morning and four drunken students stumble upon the body of a woman lying in the snow. Rosie has been raped, stabbed and left for dead in an ancient Pictish cemetery. And the only suspects are the four young men now stained with her blood.

Twenty-five years later the police mount a ‘cold case’ review of Rosie’s unsolved murder and the four are still suspects. But when one of them dies in a suspicious house fire and another in a burglary gone bad, it seems that someone is pursuing their own brand of justice. For the remaining two there is only one way to avoid becoming the next victim — find out who really killed Rosie all those years ago!

Eye for an Eye by Frank Muir

When The Stabber’s sixth victim is found with his head nailed to the ground, DI Andy Gilchrist knows his failed investigation is about to cost him his career. The windswept streets of St Andrews provide the setting for the grisly attacks of an unhinged serial killer. Six men have been brutally murdered, all known wife beaters, stabbed through the left eye. Suspended from the case and desperate to redeem his reputation, Gilchrist embarks on a desperate hunt for the killer. Alone and on the wrong side of the law, any mistake could be his last.
This is the first in a series.

When Europa Rode the Bull by Barbara Berot

When Annie d’Inard receives a letter from the Red Cross, indicating that she may be positive for the HIV virus, the fragile relationship she has with her husband of nine years is shattered. In the devastating aftermath, she is unable to escape the haunting images of her past: the traumatic rape in her freshman year of college, her subsequent journey of self-recovery to St. Andrews, Scotland, and the bittersweet memory of a young man named Andrew, with whom she shared a love interrupted by fate. And when she returns to St. Andrews after separating from her husband, she finds that fate has once again intervened. When Europa Rode the Bull is an erotic tale of betrayal and loss that spans two decades and traverses two continents. It is a suspenseful, often heartbreaking story that explores the mercurial nature of love and commitment, and what can happen when a man and a woman — married to other people — rediscover the abiding passion of their lives.