The Storm Without by Tony Black

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This is an elegiac noir for the memory of a place, delivered in a prose as bleakly beautiful as the setting.


Still recovering from the harrowing case that ended his police career, Doug Michie returns to his boyhood home of Ayr on Scotland's wind-scarred west coast. He hopes to rebuild his shattered life, get over the recent failure of his marriage and shed his demons, but the years have changed the birthplace of the poet Robert Burns.

When Doug meets an old school-days flame, Lyn, he feels his past may offer the salvation of a future. But Lyn's son has been accused of murder and she begs Doug to find the truth.

Soon Doug is tangled in a complicated crimeweb of corrupt politicians, frightened journalists and a police force in cahoots with criminals. As he uncovers illicit smuggling activities at the town's port and falls firmly on the wrong side of eastern European ganglords, the problems he left behind in Ulster are now the least of his worries. Only Burns' philosophical musings offer Doug some shelter as he wanders the streets of Auld Ayr battling The Storm Without.

"This is the Great Scottish Novel, got it all and just a wee shade more ... Classic."
--Ken Bruen, author of HEADSTONE

"Highly entertaining, fast paced and tightly, almost sparingly, written"
--Undiscovered Scotland

Praise for Tony Black

"Black's dialogue and atmosphere crackle with authenticity."
--The Times

"If you're a fan of Rankin, Mina or Welsh this is most certainly one for you."
--The Scotsman

"Tony Black's first novel hits the ground running, combining a sympathetic ear for the surreal dialogue of the dispossessed with a portrait of a city painted in the blackest humour."
--The Guardian

"The enigmatic Dury continues to be the punk rocker of the Scottish crime scene - anarchic, rebellious and never afraid to shove his Doc Martens where they're not wanted."
--Daily Record

"Tony Black is my favourite British crime writer and Gus Dury the genre's most interesting protagonist. Like his previous books, LOSS has the power, style and street swagger that makes most of his contemporaries a little bland by comparison."
--Irvine Welsh

About Tony Black

See more books from this Author
Tony Black is the author of 12 books, most recently The Last Tiger. The Tasmanian-set novel tells the story of the demise of the Tasmanian tiger. Whitbread-winning author Paul Sayer called the novel, "A rare and heartfelt fable." Barry Graham, Winner of the American Library Association book of the year, said The Last Tiger is "Tony Black's most brilliant and resonant novel so far." Tony Black has also written three crime fiction series, a number of crime novellas and a collection of short stories. His next crime title is Artefacts of the Dead. For more information, and the latest news visit his website at: or his blog:
Published April 2, 2013 by McNidder & Grace. 170 pages
Genres: Travel, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Crime. Fiction
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Reviewed by Cathi Unsworth on Jul 10 2012

This is an elegiac noir for the memory of a place, delivered in a prose as bleakly beautiful as the setting.

Read Full Review of The Storm Without | See more reviews from Guardian

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