Past Imperfect John Matthew (Penguin £5.99) at it *

Less a .‘vi‘ooar‘r‘t tea" a

'.'.'l'io'5 dortrr', Past lmperfect ‘s a covpen Ag enoug" pageturner sbanr‘rtg three decades, two contrnents and a 'riOrgue's wortn of staffs It begLns with a C‘IIO murder in Provence and .‘Jeare’s severa strands o‘ plot around a ()S‘/(( oo/zle cc ""ecting taro srnaii onys and a kriier .‘xt‘O eeroys a cat’s ouota ot' wves

Pitching in some '. here between Coitn Dexter and the X-Fi/es, the use of pop reference to Signpost the skips in time may be heavy of hand, but the twists keep a-comin', and the Culprit rema-ns comfortaon Out of reach He even nas the tementy to become a French NIEP, a eve! of ‘.-.r.c-<edness one would think beyond even the call of the most accomplished multiple killer.

It aii 'nakes fOr a perfunctory thriller with considerable attention to character and 010:, but illlIQ to set it apart from a Y“yT1dd of other mystery hacks. rREi


Neil Gaiman (Headline £17.99 hardback/£9.99 paperback) i: t it

There is much to enjoy in this 'crumbs from the table of Neil Gaiman' (election of short stories, verse and screenplays. There is, however, an awful ot that is ‘.Ot worthy of this prolific and .iwspired writer and artist

Gaiman is a leading light in the fantasy

‘ct or‘ horror sta<es and r“ s ear crusao "(g .'.or< Sandman, ‘/7r Puncn s DE,O"C} 'eoroac", out in 3 ea , s t" rc: rate stu‘t' Too "any 0‘ Te stor es " o‘ rott'ng I‘.’IO" s (18"C8'S " r desperate attempt to re; se the "‘60 ea ‘0 < ta e and many seem structure ess ar‘o "a ‘- iOV'tieG

Occasionaw, anan does STV‘KC go o as in “Troii Brzdge’ ar‘c: ‘Lookhg For Tne G r.’, these gente, ."s gl‘tt'a nieces cot/d rivai anyt'tr‘g by Kunciera >r Koz "SKI in tner maturty d"G ber‘ect ‘orm This 's reany a cohectaov ‘or the Gaimae combietist Those nee. to e s work are adv2sed to ("EC-s out his remarkable back cata ogue IPDi

FUNEREAL FICTION Grave Robbers Robin Mitchell (Luath Press £7.99) a: i

Robin MrtCnei' 's an :nteresting teilox'; As well as be ng responsible ‘Or sett:ng up the Watchery Tom‘s and wr-t-ng several guide books aoom Ed:nourgh and its ghostly past, he stood ‘or Scottish Pai'i;ainent this year, finish-rig nznth out of the seventeen parties

Unfortunateiy, his first ioray nto fiction is somewhat less :nteresting, or accomplished, than the man niinseif The agOflrsiany ('Limsy plot reyozyes around Cammy, a gravedgger wno chances upon a fortune buried in a coffin This paves the way for a modern day Burke and Hare-type scheme whrcn, predictably, ends EH disaster

Grave Robbers is a flimsy story peOpied with caricatures rather than characters, and the dialogue is truly torturous Its only saying grace is tne way Mitcheli

. c e :3 (1&4 C v-‘C'

“Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the


Sir Richard Steel


in all Waterstone’s stores exclusive to The List


{1: {3 Sta: Kenneth MacDonald

An account of three dark days in the life of this brand new author, a crofter/fisherman from the Isle of Lewis, during his young days as a merchant seaman.

Absolutely gripping. A compulsive read. Highly visual and moving.This book cannot be put down and will stay with you for some time. (Eng)

\\'r\'l'l€RS“l'( );\' l-I'S

three ' dark ' days

To recieve a copy of this publication contact:


104 THE “ST 16 Dec 1999—6 Jan 2000

C x r C \A 5 “C3 u \ x, \ \ \l ’C C‘ )\ K ..\,cA A ( .1 CC: ‘3 o r: :C at t‘ \ \

TIME-TRAVEL TALE The Past ls Another Country

Frances Campbell (Citron Press £7.99) t i i k



S .- . .1 "' t ' v -;p\\0 ,r t ’S\ (is/it: \A S ' g t ' T ' 'K \1 ) v o i r c It t ' ' .

apertures :s sarn ’Jt‘t‘i at f' '9 i'i'i ‘.‘.I‘i3e i'ar‘e roam t" ‘3»:- r‘eg’itx:trr'zzg-ui \.\ se ..«':"‘a7‘ a":: sets about hr “gr”; 9Cs "~<~'ha '-I"“t"fl'i“s °., vk‘loOOs

This Qt. r's’y tat Is told :f‘ tract,

retereitces to the women: sf'iifmle .i‘. aoaptirtr; to these or‘L'ne'at-(r’i t "‘es A

hotel ((,r‘.(e_i>., Shuil. t'lt'ililt‘fl 9. ~i

SEASONAL COLL CTIO Faber Book Of Christmas

Simon Rae ed (Faber £9.99) s- ir tr r

In Simon Rae’s -ntrocract.on to this collection of Yuletide writings, ne gets his retaiiation in first, apoogismg for the omissions before we all go iOOKJ‘Q t’Or them So, here goes, AIIVTOSI the only complaint you cotild have \‘JI'IT his selection, is that there are perhaps too many extracts of the ye-orcie-Cnristmas variety,

Wesley, Dickens and God are among those writers who cannot be thought of Without noily and ivy, or the Jingle and the bells coining to mind But, wnile there are contemporary contributions from the likes of iyn Maxwell, Simon Armitage and Beniarnrn Zephaniah, wOuldn't it be great to read the festive thoughts of Irvine Welsh, AL Kennedy or Salman Rushdie, too7

Christmases at sea, in captivity, white ones, hot ones, arguments for and against A they’re all in here Rae wouid nave nad much fun and frustration in compiling these published ‘.‘.'Tft!flgS, but a specially-commissioned antnology

.\ ct Sci 1‘ tc. .t .\ 1‘0” \‘x:

FILM BIOGRAPHY Brando: A Life In Our Times

R chard SC"iC\€i (Parlor? £19.99 '1 ‘k i

t‘ ' 'S'. ult‘T'X‘tI

. tlt' . c't‘t} .t‘t} <1\ f'

at _ ' C. S.t:', i-‘(:' 0' D'ti (l0 ti it"t'al'. t' "(Etc/U 0' CK: "C oti't“.t" t" " \

Ut"°t)""<‘:"tt’\ " Sut" ‘\ t‘:\\ (S tl\ er

.- AHMZW 'ls‘: I}? A" ("n T"

ST'UOXJ/ arert’ront H s taiee' d oneo a‘te' t"a‘. not Branoo tame oat \ t" We Godfather and Last Tango in Par s oe‘Ore .t "a. y sans for goon, "‘5 as: fin v. as the r s b e The lsxano 0" Dr ’vloreau

Sc'rcke? s a ‘a't l‘eti

Rt" "0 silt‘ist‘ not t"e'e s a sat}, at fines ('onoesce'tdrno, tone to t"'s 'iostao t' I)‘()(;-’<‘.D’W I" ‘art, Schtkei's iah‘er‘tat o" "etarés one of B'a'ioo's "‘ost ‘arr‘o'..s ("es Icooéda beer‘ a <<>"‘.e"r:e' lo' St 1" («e "e a most was, t"e" stast‘t Revised, (it)r(}(}(‘(1(i"(l 'eoatkaoeriasa (o‘f'ee tan e t)()()\, Brando tr‘i'll‘Ol he the "-(iepti‘. b ograp"; St" t'xe ()':(; hai ‘. rote, but "e s aetioooteo i, -- irt‘o'rried about 'is Stil)i(‘(i aed .‘Jites i.‘.'tl"i autho'tty Most ir‘fooita'i‘. I)O"’thS, tne pictures are great l.Il'


Para Dale, Thorh D bore, Bria." Donaldson, Rodger Esar‘s, Isl es er rie', Kirsty Knaqgs, Har‘rialt I\.I(C11Ii, Aia" Ivlorrison Mark Robertson




Glasgow Noel Coward Centenary Evenin

\Vaterstone's. I53 I57 Sauchiehal Street. 332 ()IOS. (ipm. Free. A tribute to .\'oel (‘ots‘ard perl’ormed h} Martin 'I‘reacher. in his centenary year.


Malcolm Gluck Festival 'I'Iieaire.

I3 2‘) Nicnlsnn Street. 52‘) (Mill). 7pm. £1 ticket redeemable against price ol‘ hook. Festive \s'inc ILISIIIIL' \\ ith T/Ir' (iirrrrrli'urr \s'ine \\ ritcr ant author ol' Super/think 200!) (llodder & Stougliton £5.99) and .S'r‘nsulrrmu/ [Jr/Hid I I Iodder (Q Stollghtnn £le).


Catherine Brown miter-stone‘s.

I53» I57 Sauchiehall Street. 332 (HOS. lpm. l-‘ree. ('o-pi'esenter ol' Smi/riiirl's Lari/er and columnist l'or 'I'lie lIr'r'rr/rl. (‘atherine Bron it demonstrates recipes from her new hook .S'r'rillr's/I (rm/wry (Mercat Press I; l 3.99) which aims to modernise the style ol‘ Scottiin I'ood.



Ian Rankin Borders Books. 383 Buchanan Street. 222 77()(). .\'oon. _ liree. In anticipation of the forthcoming TV series with John Hannah playing Inspector Rehus. Rankin Visits Borders to sign copies (it. his books.


Celebration of Popular Twentieth Centur Songs Water-stone's. l53—l57 Sauchie tall Street. 333 ()IIIS. ()pm. Free. Singalone of Christmas songs led by performer Viartin 'I'rcacher.