Doug Johnstone (The Scotsman always rings twice, G2, 12 August) says that William McIlvanney is responsible for tartan noir. That seems unduly harsh. McIlvanney is a fine writer in many genres and surely could never have imagined that he was laying out the blueprint for the monster that is Scottish crime fiction. The genre in its classic form is comprised of: drink, sex, violence, monosyllables, more drink, rain, football, antipathy to humanity in general, so-called gallows humour and a few bodies. Brigadoon through the wrong end of the telescope and just as accurate a portrayal of Scotland and Scottish life. Johnstone mentions that McIlvanney is being published by Canongate. I would suggest that some of your readers might seek out their classics imprint, with writers such as Neil Gunn, Robin Jenkins, James Kennaway and many more. I would especially recommend Gillespie, by J MacDougall Hay – a neglected classic if ever there was one and noir to its very soul.Tom McFadyenGlasgowScotlandCrime © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds …read more

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