John Callaghan


I was born in that most slandered of decades, the 50s, in that most slandered of cities, Glasgow.

Though, is it still slander if it's all true...?

I write what I would like to read, which is crime fiction (noir? Sure, that's what it says on my website,, with a sardonic edge. I seek to deliver vivid characters in a cityscape that itself (cliche-bomb alert) becomes one of them, enmeshed in plots that tease, mystify and delight.

Yes, there's some mayhem, but there are no ripping viscera, no splintering skulls; I don't need those to tell my tales. Yes, there are sexual encounters, because my characters have real lives, but I don't have a place in my books for lingering erotica; that's from a different menu and too cumbersome for what I want to say. So why are my books "for adults only"? That would be because of the dialogue - I love to tell stories through conversation, and in Glasgow (well, in crime) that requires profanity, great fuckin' torrents of it, often elaborate, intentionally inventive and sometimes funny.

I write because I want to tell the tale and to share it. What interests me: vivid atmosphere and sense of "place", memorable and powerful characters, intense plot, sardonic (that word again) humour, an inner darkness which informs but does not overpower the other elements, flawed heroes and public figures, a rhythm in dialog(ue) that tells the story on its own, a certain awareness of politics and current issues, without mistaking myself for The Guardian.

So, the books - seven novels thus far in a series focused on, and first-person narrated by, Glasgow private detective Stevie McCabe. No point in summarising the plots, because that information is on the relevant Smashwords pages, but the titles, for searching purposes, are:

Clip Their Little Wings
Every Stone A Story
Black Wind Blows
My Name Is Never Was
No Shadow In The City
Only Dangerous In The Breeding Season
No Such Thing As Destiny

Catch excerpts from these on the website above - - and of course on the Smashwords pages.

In the meantime, Stevie McCabe blogs and offers short stories in the style and setting of the novels at , which also includes several chapters from No Shadow In The City and Only Dangerous In The Breeding Season.

Where to find John Callaghan online

Where to buy in print


Say An Ave There For Me - the death of Stevie McCabe
Series: Glasgow Noir Fiction. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 98,180. Language: English. Published: September 29, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Hard-Boiled
The first stage of grief is denial... Of course he couldn’t be dead. Not my Stevie. This was a mistake, a lie, a misunderstanding, the world’s sickest joke. Everything was normal, and it was going to stay normal, always. Nothing had changed. How could it? Glasgow private detective Stevie McCabe's final case...
Low Words of Bad Intent
Series: Glasgow Noir Fiction. Price: $1.98 USD. Words: 32,670. Language: English. Published: December 14, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Hard-Boiled
15 short tales from the casebook of Stevie McCabe, private detective and mordant observer of the human condition. In stories peopled by the city's cast of rogues, new characters join familiar names on Glasgow's mean streets. Stevie McCabe takes them all on and the Glasgow Noir Fiction trademarks of dark, sardonic humour, biting dialogue and bleak reflection on our fallible species pepper the page
No Such Thing As Destiny
Series: Glasgow Noir Fiction. Price: $4.98 USD. Words: 103,660. Language: English. Published: November 21, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Hard-Boiled, Fiction » Mystery & detective » General
The Doune family were old money, so old they had a motto and a coat of arms. But that didn’t stop Lachlan Doune becoming a child killer 20 years ago, while still a child himself. Stevie McCabe plunges into a world where money and privilege is overlaid on Glasgow’s tapestry of drugs and crime, a convergence that breeds creatures breathing squalid life and miserable death over all they touch.
Only Dangerous In The Breeding Season
Series: Glasgow Noir Fiction. Price: $4.98 USD. Words: 105,790. Language: English. Published: April 3, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Hard-Boiled
My brother Johnny lives in Florida. He wants to keep it that way. To keep living, that is - the Florida part is negotiable.
No Shadow In The City
Series: Glasgow Noir Fiction. Price: $4.98 USD. Words: 105,870. Language: English. Published: August 23, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Hard-Boiled
Glasgow’s Southside scorches in the heat and the neighbourhood teeters, simmering and riot-ready. In the city's docklands, a taxi driver murders his family in a bloody daylight massacre. A bitter union dispute escalates into firebomb attacks and violence. Meanwhile, racist gangs seek violent confrontation after a white girl is raped and a Muslim woman attacked with acid. What can Stevie McCabe do?
Clip Their Little Wings
Series: Glasgow Noir Fiction. You set the price! Words: 107,990. Language: English. Published: February 6, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Hard-Boiled
Mired in the world of errant wives and petty personal transgressions, Stevie McCabe is suddenly asked to investigate the affairs of a local Labour MP and the murder of a junkie. Through the peeling tower blocks and smart sandstone tenements of the city, he pursues both cases knowing that the strict limits of coincidence are being bent and and broken by the ways in which the stories intertwine.
Black Wind Blows
Series: Glasgow Noir Fiction. You set the price! Words: 104,630. Language: English. Published: February 5, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Hard-Boiled
A case from Stevie McCabe’s past - engaged by a civil servant and his unlikely Asian-American partner, a simple case of unfair dismissal escalates when the former Soviet secret police become involved. But, nothing is as it seems, which McCabe learns as he uncovers quasi-official conspiracies, false trails leading overseas and the disappearance of huge sums of government money.
Every Stone A Story
Series: Glasgow Noir Fiction. You set the price! Words: 102,210. Language: English. Published: February 2, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Hard-Boiled
It’s a clusterfuck..... a missing woman, an earl, who also happens to be a Catholic bishop, with his young male companion facing the threat of a murder charge. The missing woman was his girlfriend, and also the daughter of a senior police officer, and the copper himself is out of control. And Stevie McCabe is in the middle of it.
My Name Is Never Was
Series: Glasgow Noir Fiction. Price: $4.98 USD. Words: 110,040. Language: English. Published: February 2, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Hard-Boiled
What is your life worth if you’re nobody famous? What would you give to be somebody…anybody? The fourth Stevie McCabe novel from Glasgow Noir Fiction finds the city of Glasgow providing a vivid backdrop for acts of mayhem, corruption and homicidal intent, in a landscape peopled by crooked police, gay brides, dying philosophers, spiritual gurus, teenage thugs and the missing.

John Callaghan's tag cloud

city    crime    dark    darkness    detective    florida    glasgow    grime    humor    mordant    murder    mystery    noir    sardonic    sardonic humour    scotland    short stories    urban