For November’s Playset of the Month, we give you Tartan Noir, by David Bradshaw:
There’s been a murder. A body lies dead in a run-down apartment. There are signs of a struggle. Broken furniture litters the floor. Two of the victim’s fingers have been cut off. There’s a human turd on the mantelpiece. Hang on, what?
Welcome to the world of Tartan Noir: fiction with a hardboiled, cynical, violent and frequently alcoholic view of crime in modern-day Scotland. There are good guys, there are bad guys but there definitely aren’t any heroes. Tartan Noir is about world-weary anti-heroes, deeply flawed characters with a variety of vices that would not normally be becoming of someone of their narrative stature. And while it is certainly hardboiled, there’s frequently an edge of wackiness that separates Tartan Noir from its American cousin. So pour yourself a dram of single malt and prepare to indulge in a little Tartan Noir.
This playset is heavily inspired by Scottish crime writers, in particular Ian Rankin and Christopher Brookmyre. Any of Rankin’s Inspector Rebus series and Brookmyre’s Where the Bodies are Buried and When the Devil Drives would be excellent fuel for your hardboiled, whisky-drinking anti-hero. For a touch of whimsical craziness, Brookmyre’s Jack Parlabane or Angelique de Xavia novels will provide excellent inspiration.