Bill Kirton

The Likeness

The Likeness
Title: The Likeness
Author:
Published: October 14, 2016
Author's Twitter: @carver26
Aberdeen, 1841. Woodcarver John Grant has an unusual new commission - creating a figurehead to feature onstage in the melodramas of a newly-arrived theatre group. Simultaneously, he’s also trying to unravel the mystery of the death of a young woman, whose body has been found in the filth behind the harbour’s fish sheds. His loving relationship with Helen Anderson, which began in The Figurehead, has grown stronger but, despite the fact that they both want to be together, she rejects the restrictions of conventional marriage, in which the woman is effectively the property of the husband. As John works on the figurehead, Helen persuades her father, a rich merchant, to let her get involved in his business, allowing her to challenge yet more conventions of a male-dominated society. The story weaves parallels between the stage fictions, Helen’s business dealings, a sea voyage, stage rehearsals, and John’s investigations. In the end, the mystery death and the romantic dilemma are both resolved, but in unexpected ways.

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Material Evidence

Material Evidence
Title: Material Evidence
Category:
Author:
Published: July 11, 2007
Author's Twitter: @carver25
This is the first in a series of police procedurals set in North-East Scotland and featuring DCI Jack Carston. A woman’s body is found at her home. She died of a gunshot wound, had been brutally raped and all the clues point to the husband being the culprit. As Carston investigates, however, the main puzzle facing him is who the woman really was. Husband, colleagues and acquaintances variously picture her as a frigid menopausal woman, a highly-sexed lover, a shrewd investor and manipulator, a valued financial adviser, an embarrassment to her employers, a sad, unstable person. Before he can solve the crime, he must first reconcile all these images to establish her real identity.

Assessed for Awesome Indies

The Darkness

The Darkness
Title: The Darkness
Category:
Tag:
Author:
Published: August 12, 2012
Author's Twitter: @carver24
For Andrew Davidson, tragedy marks a turning point… He’s a respected G.P. but when his brother is found with his throat cut, his thoughts turn to anger and revenge. Known villains, who have evaded justice thanks to the efforts of Cairnburgh’s cleverest lawyer, begin to disappear. For rape victim Rhona Kirk, getting on with her life means taking control… She starts a new life in Dundee but haking off her past is difficult, and the men she’s connected with also go missing. When the threats start, she accepts help against her better judgment. For DCI Jack Carston, solving the puzzle is a race against time… He searches for the links between these vanished persons, aware all the time of his own darker impulses and sensing the bond between himself and the vigilante. What he finds is beyond his worst imaginings.

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Awesome Allshorts: Last Days, Lost Ways

Awesome Allshorts: Last Days, Lost Ways
This superbly written short story anthology showcases talented Awesome Indie authors from around the globe. Though from a variety of genres, the stories are all entertaining, contemporary and thought-provoking.   Indulge your taste for good fiction with this short story anthology by authors with bold new voices. Though from diverse genres, the stories share a contemporary and contemplative feel that will linger long after the reader has read the last one. Awesome Allshorts showcases talented authors from around the globe, many whose novels have received multiple honors, including Awesome Indies approved status. Stories selected by Tahlia Newland, Dixiane Hallaj and Richard Bunning.

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The Figurehead

The Figurehead
Title: The Figurehead
Author:
Author's Twitter: @carver22
Aberdeen, 1840. As John Grant is creating a figurehead combining the features of two women, he also uncovers the evils behind the death of the shipwright who employs him.<br> Return to an age where sail was being challenged by steam, new continents were opening, and the world was full of opportunities for people to be as good—or as evil—as they chose. When the body of a local shipwright is found on the beach, neither the customers and suppliers he cheated nor the women he molested are surprised. But the mystery intrigues woodcarver John Grant, who determines to seek out the truth of the killing. His work and his investigations bring him into contact with William Anderson, a rich merchant—and his daughter Elizabeth. Commissioned to create a figurehead that combines the features of two women, John eventually uncovers a sordid tale of blackmail and death as, simultaneously, he struggles to resist the pangs of unexpected love.

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The Sparrow Conundrum

The Sparrow Conundrum
Title: The Sparrow Conundrum
Categories: ,
Author:
Published: August 12, 2012
Author's Twitter: @carver22
An ex girl-friend, an exploding garden, two wrestlers, multiple homicides, a sociopathic cop, and fragments of a postman. All waiting for Chris Machin – codename Sparrow. Satirical absurdity at its funniest. Chris Machin may think he’s just a teacher, but the bottom feeders in Aberdeen squabbling over North Sea oil and gas contracts prefer to use his code-name – Sparrow. When his garden explodes he takes flight, unleashing various forms of Scottish mayhem.  More complications are added by his ex girlfriend and a sociopathic policeman whose hobbies are violence, making arrests and, best of all, combining the two. Several murders later, two wrestlers, a road trip to Inverness, a fishing trawler, a Russian factory ship, and some fragments of a postman complete the enigma of… The Sparrow Conundrum. Winner of the Readers’ Choice Award for Humor and Satire at Big Al’s Books and Pals 2012. Also winner of the Humor category in the 2011 Forward National Literature Awards. “… an over the top, thoroughly hilarious send-up, brilliantly realised and tremendously enjoyable. I laughed constantly, was horrified, was admiring and totally entertained all at once. It reminded me, in the best possible way, of the work of Tom Sharpe … writing that will have you spluttering on trains as you try not to laugh out loud”. Catherine Czerkawska, author of The Curiosity Cabinet, The Physic Garden and many others.

Assessed