The book is our second Malone book, both in the Scottish hard-boiled genre and featuring Ray McBain. The story starts with him in filing hell, where he realises two unsolved cases could be linked, but nobody wants to know. And both involve women who insinuate themselves into vulnerable families. Children get hurt and unless McBain can get someone to listen more children are at risk.
Malone's first book Blood Tears was our best selling book so far. I think this one is better. I'm not knocking the first book but one particularly critical review really helped us iron out some difficulties with Malice. Even bad reviews (and mostly they were not!) can be useful!
We also had fun again with Michael Malone's natural Scottish diction. We want the book to retain a Scottish flavour but not lose any English readers. One pre-publication reader was American, who reminded us that not only Scottish diction can lose readers, but so can English lose American readers. What do Americans call ladders on their tights? (The "on" is Scottish, by the way.) We did not have fun with mixing past and present tenses. It seemed like a good idea at the time but caused the author and me a great deal of editorial toothache.
But we have a great book and those who have read it so far agree.
Scottish Waterstones is behind this one, especially Ayr of course, as is Blackwells in Edinburgh. You won't find many copies in English bookshops - not yet anyway - but English (and American) readers really can enjoy Scottish crime novels and, like Rankin and MacBride, our Scots almost speak proper English ...sae dinna be feart.