Known as the father of forensics and a likely influence on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, real-life police inspector James McLevy is here reinvented by David Ashton in a thrilling mystery - the fourth in a series - set in dark, violent Victorian Edinburgh.
LONDON HAD SHERLOCK HOLMES.
THE DARK ALLEYS OF EDINBURGH HAD INSPECTOR McLEVY.
1887. The streets of Edinburgh seethe with anarchy as two gangs of students rival each other in wild exploits. After a pitched battle between them, an old woman is found savagely battered to death in Leith Harbour.
Enter the Thieftaker - Inspector Jame McLevy. With Constable Mulholland at his side, he scours the low dives of the waterfront and then sees the tendrils of the case spread to more respectable nooks and crannies.
When the inspector encounters Robert Louis Stevenson, author of Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, in the city to bury his deceased father, the two recognise each other as fellow travellers, observers of the dark side of human nature and both hopeless insomniacs.
Glimpses of the murderer indicate a slender, androgynous figure with a silver cane, which is used to lethal effect. A dancing killer non unlike Mr Edward Hyde.
PRAISE FOR THE INSPECTOR McLEVY SERIES
Mclevy is a sort of Victorian Morse with a heart, prowling the mean wynds and tenements of the endlessly fascinating city. David Ashton impeccably evokes Edinburgh so vividly that you feel the cold in your bones and the menace of the Old Town's steep cobbles and dark corners - Financial Times
An intriguing Victorian story... elegant and convincing - The Times
McLevy is one of the greatest psychological creations and Ashton the direct heir to Robert Louis Stevenson - Brian Cox, CBE - Award-winning actor
David Ashton's writing is excellent, his characters thoroughly convincing and his narrative grabs you - The Sherlock Holmes Society
Ashton's McLevy is a man obsessed with meting out justice and with demons of his own - Scotsman
A real page-turner - Sunday Post
Dripping with melodrama and derring-do - Herald
DAVID ASHTON was born in Greenock in 1941.
He studied at Central Drama School, London, from 1964 to 1967, and most recently appeared in The Last King of Scotland and The Etruscan Smile. David started writing in 1984 and he has seen many of his plays and TV adaptations broadcast - he wrote early episodes of EastEnders and Casualty, and twelve McLevy series for BBC Radio 4.