Devil’s Cauldron by Alasdair Wham blog tour

Welcome to another blog tour review post. This week I am excited to tell you about Devil’s Cauldron by Alasdair Wham. This book has been described as ‘a belter of a story…dramatically entertaining’.


What would you do if you saw your father murdered and no one believed you? When he was twelve Finn McAdam, saw his father, a scientist, murdered. No one believed him. Now he has returned to his native Galloway to discover the truth. Wherever it leads him. Whatever it costs. But the conspiracy he discovers exposes a cover-up involving leading political figures and places his life in great danger. Some people are determined that the truth must not get out.


This is the first book I’ve read by this author, so I wasn’t certain what to expect.  But I was quickly drawn into the story, which turned out to be a tense, pacy read, with main characters who were desperate for answers.

It was action-packed, a thriller that kept the momentum going and I just had to keep reading to reach the end and find out what had happened. the story launches very quickly from one situation to the next, and you may well find you are afraid of missing something vital if you put it down. I also enjoyed the ‘local colour’ as there are descriptions of places in Scotland I know well, and plenty of interesting information if you want to make your own trip, or if you are, like me, mainly an armchair traveller.

I would award this book 5 stars.

5 Bonus points for mentioning Banchory a couple of times, too! 😉

I recommend this book for anyone who enjoys an intriguing puzzle to unravel.

I’d classify the book as a ‘clean’ thriller, there is some violence, but it’s not too frequent and there is occasional mild bad language, and no sex scenes.

Want to know more? Read on for a ‘sneak peek’:

Chapter One – Part 2

I couldn’t believe it. I felt vindicated, others would have to believe me now. Sis would be alarmed, of course, especially after last year, worried about what I was going to do.
Strangely, the wrath I had nurtured for all those years was not my main emotion. I was in shock. I gripped the railings, knuckles white, steadying myself. My mind was a whirl, planning my next move. Obviously, I couldn’t just run after him and attack him – first I needed to know more about him, find a place for interrogation, get answers to my questions, but then what?
Soon the familiar rage kicked in, barely suppressed trauma erupting as memories seared in my mind flickered into consciousness. Time for action. This was my opportunity, unexpected as it was, and I couldn’t risk losing him. Already he was about a hundred yards away, strolling down the main shopping street in the town – King Street. I crossed over the road and started to trail him, keeping in the shadows, dodging into shop doorways in my amateurish attempts to follow him without being seen.
I was a few yards behind as he reached the local Post Office. He strolled, steady pace, not a care. I could change that. I desperately wanted to. Then he disappeared into a newsagent’s. My breathing was laboured as I stopped outside the shop, pretending to gaze at the display of local books in the window but trying to peer inside. And there he was, paying for a newspaper, smiling at the shop assistant. She seemed charmed, oblivious to what he had done to my family.
I leant against the shop window, my head on the cool glass. My breath pulsed against it forming dancing patches of condensation that quickly evaporated. He emerged a minute later and headed down the street, a copy of The Times neatly folded under his left arm. He gave no signs of noticing me, only ten feet behind him, and then he stopped at the kerb, weaved between two parked cars and headed across the street to a cafe. I watched him for a minute and then followed. He stepped inside and by the time I reached it, he was being shown to a table by a wooden-slatted wall under a display of pictures of local scenes. There were several empty spaces and I followed him inside.
The waitress smiled, a young girl neat in her black trousers and white shirt, and I pointed towards a seat in the corner a few tables away from him. I sat down, the chair scraping on the tiled floor, but he didn’t look up. I grasped the laminated menu from its perch between the salt and pepper pots and looked at it trying to control my shaking hands.


Alasdair first two two novels were set in Islay and Mull (islands on the west coast of Scotland) and have proved very successful, rich in local detail with interesting plots.
His third novel, Devil’s Cauldron, is set in Galloway which is in south-west Scotland. He likes to write about places that he knows the best.

Before he turned to fiction, he produced a series of books exploring Scotland’s lost railways, a hobby that he enjoys  with his  sons and that took him all over Scotland.


You can find Alasdair Wham on these social media:






Author Interview with Denise Greenwood

This week, I’m really excited to be talking to the lovely Denise Greenwood about her new book, Crushed, which is out on November 18th, through Purple Pumpkin Publishing.

Denise 01

Hi Denise, and thank you for agreeing to be interrogated today about your work. With your latest thriller, Crushed coming out on 18th November, you’ve been pretty busy lately so perhaps you can  tell us a bit more about yourself.

What kind of books do you write? When do you feel you went from aspiring writer to writer, and how did it feel?

I write contemporary fiction (my first 2 books) but my latest novel is a thriller Crushed. Now that I’ve explored my darker side I find that I now feel at home there.

I remember as a small child sitting on a window ledge and reading a book which I became lost in. I still remember my wish – that one day I could write something that would make others feel as I did at that exact moment. When I was an adult I occasionally thought about my wish but it was merely a pipe-dream. Then, in 2007 while sat on a church pew, I was struck with an idea which I couldn’t shake off for weeks. In an effort to get the idea out of my head and onto paper I unleashed a hidden side of me that I’d forgotten about. I became that small child once again and I knew that wishes, no matter how old they are, mustn’t be ignored.  I jokingly refer to that year as my “mid-life crisis.”

I only feel that I went from an aspiring writer to being one when I’d finished a book, left it alone for a while and then read it with fresh eyes and objectivity. At that point the most important thing for me was that I’d accomplished something I’d once thought I would never be capable of. I had a sense of extreme well-being, as though some things in life do not reveal themselves until they are ready to.

What were your earliest influences? What did you read as a child?

As a small child I began with Mrs Pepperpot (my window ledge read). At that time I loved being able to become lost in her adventures. Then, I progressed through a set of 49 Bancroft abridged classics that were given to me and I was introduced to the world of the Arabian Nights and Little Women amongst others. I began to appreciate the art of wielding words. I discovered Henry Treece and his Viking stories and the art of drawing the reader into high emotions. From there, I went to Tolkien and it was a huge step up before not reading at all during my late teens. I was too busy doing all the things one is told not to. Then, while waiting for a train I found Hardy on a book rack and so began my deep love of classics.

What are you working on at the moment?

I’m into chapter 5 of a new novel and as I prefer my darker side I now want to see just how far I can go into it. I always spend a lot of time planning and researching my ideas and after the intensity of Crushed I knew that to enter that realm of darkness again (but in a unique way) I had to be totally immersed in my new characters and their stories. This is an excellent time of year to enter that zone without the distraction of sunshine.

As well as my weekly blog I’m also the short story writer for The Local Link magazine which is delivered to 10,000 homes in my area. I find that writing 800 words for a short story is a welcome distraction from writing a novel and the challenge is to entice the reader quickly then weave a story with a satisfying conclusion.


What can we look forward to in the future from you?

I’m part of the Outsiders on the Fringe Festival at The Baum in Rochdale. I’ll be entertaining an audience for 2 hours on the 26th November. I hope to add a snippet from that to my website to join my recent radio interviews.

I now live to create more stories and novels but I would like to pen a script at some stage. My memories of sitting on a window ledge are a comfort zone and I’ll always have that to think of but now I’d like to take myself out of that zone.


Who are your favourite authors?

Thomas Hardy and Dickens because they bring together characters whose strengths are often hidden until they are challenged. Robert M Pirsig because he delves deep into the psyche then entices the reader to join him in his quest to answer the big questions. I could return again and again to their books but there are so many authors out there who tap into the imagination that my already full bookshelves would collapse.

What do you do when you’re not reading?

Living in Littleborough, a village at the foot of the Pennines, I can go in one direction and find city life in Manchester or take another and find myself alone on the nearby Moors. It is a great location as a base but also it feels like being on holiday most of the time. The views and countryside are spectacular.

I like to explore, be it art galleries, markets, strange little bookshops, old buildings, cobbled villages or bohemian cafés nestled in the hub of the Manchester city scene. Music, art and film are a big part of my life.

What is your writing process?

I nurture my ideas and imagine possible outcomes for a long while before putting together an outline based on the images I see. Often being in a new place can trigger something and so I return to that place and take photos, notes and speak to people before I begin my research. I cherry-pick from everything I find to create a collage which I can then use to fill out my initial notes. From there I create a definite story line and overview of what each chapter should contain. Writing a book entails using all my visuals and notes as my foundation but I then allow myself to write freely within my framework. I have to get into the zone of being in the scene I visualise and the shoes of my characters so that they can take their first steps. At that point I step away and allow my characters and their stories to evolve. It is during this next phase that new ideas can emerge or my initial storyline can change. Although I am disciplined and like structure I also like the idea of turning things on their heads if I want to. I don’t like writing time-scales, preferring to have an overall target but write freely within that set timeframe.

Denise Greenwood, thank you so much for coming along, and all the best with the new book, and the next books!

You can find out more about Denise Greenwood and Purple Pumpkin Publishing by following these links:!crushed/cvlo

or follow Denise on Twitter:

or on Facebook: denise.greenwood16