I’ve been a university lecturer, actor, director, TV presenter and held Writing Fellowships at three Scottish universities. My novels are set in Scotland. So far, there are five in my police procedural series: Material Evidence, Rough Justice, The Darkness, Shadow Selves, and Unsafe Acts. The Figurehead is a crime/romance story set in 1840 and kind comments and requests from readers led to its sequel, The Likeness. Both won Chill With a Book Readers’ Awards in 2018. The Sparrow Conundrum is a crime spoof. It was the winner of the 2011 Forward National Literature Awards’ ‘Humor’ category. The Darkness came second in the ‘Mystery’ category.
I've written and performed skits and songs at the Edinburgh Festival. Three of my short stories have appeared in the CWA’s annual anthologies and one was chosen for 2010’s Book of Best British Mysteries. My radio and stage plays have been produced in three countries and I’ve written a prize-winning verse translation of Molière’s Sganarelle. I co-authored Just Write and, for Pearson Education, I’ve written Brilliant Study Skills, Brilliant Essay, Brilliant Dissertation and Brilliant Workplace Skills.
So far, I’ve published one novel for children, The Loch Ewe Mystery.
Where to find Bill Kirton online
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Smashwords book reviews by Bill Kirton
Acts Beyond Redemption
on Feb. 08, 2016
As a fan of Ms Burke’s non-fiction, I was curious to see how she handled the transition to genre fiction but in very few pages I was so caught up in the story and fascinated by the central female character that all I wanted to find out was what happened next. It’s a teasing, furiously fast-paced story of political and personal intrigue in which power is exercised through torture and murder. The narrative jumps tantalisingly back and forward in time, adding layers to the puzzles of who’s doing what to whom. The violence is brutal, the characters all live and work in situations where deceit and mistrust are the norm and there are hints that the levers are being pulled by people in the highest places.
At the centre of it all is Sheila, a stunningly attractive woman who has all the men she meets bar one under her spell, subjecting them to extremes of bliss and torment. So powerful is she that, when she’s absent from the narrative, the reverberations of her plotting are still felt and her absence itself seems like a threat. Then comes a sort of double denouement. The first provides answers to most of the questions that have been posed and (deliberately) offers a scenario which sits slightly uneasily with what’s preceded it. Then, just as we’re beginning to understand the sinister nature of this seemingly final resolution, Burke introduces another narrative twist which cunningly prepares the ground for a sequel. It’s a gripping, page-turning read.