Book review: October Song

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In a manner reminiscent of Richard Hannay in John Buchan’s The Thirty Nine Steps, Coira Keir finds herself in Scotland fleeing from forces who would do her harm. But the near-future world depicted here is a lot more complicated than that described by Buchan one hundred years ago. Scotland has re-united with the United Kingdom after a long period of independence, explosions have been detonated and the Secret Service is hot on the trial of the suspects.

In this highly-charged environment the West Highlands and Islands offer some hope of avoiding capture because ‘North of Oban property crime is no longer looked at by the police.’ Pringle will take readers of this newspaper on a journey through very familiar haunts as the mystery deepens and unexplained events occur, with multiple characters including migrants in a camp. The pace is brisk as drones are deployed in the hunt for escapees from justice,

Pringle has a background as a journalist, musician and photographer and his descriptions of the Highland and Island landscapes are highly evocative. His well-written novel will engage readers and provoke fear in equal measure. For as Britain as a whole and Scotland in particular stand today on the cusp of a momentous and unclear future, October Song has tapped into this uncertainty and offers a future vision in thriller form which is at the same time highly political and often disturbing.

Ru Pringle: October Song is available on Amazon, including the Amazon unlimited subscription service.

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