“Future Projects”

Searching for a file for a short story I’ll be posting here soon as part of the Halloween Shorts: Team Mushens WFC2013 Editions, I stumbled upon a word document from 2005 enigmatically titled ‘Future Projects’.

There are only two stories in there, and I can’t remember who I put it together for – possibly my agent at the time, Dorothy Lumley. The first story was Roald Dahl-esque concoction called Felix and the Giant Bath, which I may write one of these days. The second was this:

The Lost Soul (working title)

Eighty years ago, a group of young men made a deal with a demon. They sacrificed a young woman to gain longevity and riches. Now the spell has been broken and the demon is coming for their souls.

Set in present day Edinburgh, this is detective fiction with a paranormal slant. Detective Inspector Anthony McLean is a fast-track CID officer, headed for great things. He is asked to head the investigation into the body of a young woman found bricked up in a room of an empty house in an exclusive neighbourhood. When the body is discovered to be over eighty years dead, the investigation is reigned back, and when one of the city’s wealthiest old industrialists is brutally murdered, McLean is moved onto the new investigation.

He can’t forget the dead girl, however, and as he digs deeper into the past, he becomes more and more convinced that there is a link between her and the recent murder. But to accept that link means to also accept that there are things in the world that could never be filed on a police report. Things that could seriously jeopardise his smooth progression up the promotion ladder.

Soon more bodies are piling up; all elderly men who have been the power behind the city’s economy for decades. Pressure is mounting to find their killer and McLean’s future is on the line.

As the truth is uncovered, McLean realises that one of the original group is hidden, his soul lost. He must track down the missing man before the demon starts to cut a swathe through the city. But how do you find a man who has hidden from himself?


Ring any bells?

5 Responses to “Future Projects”

  1. M. McMillan November 27, 2013 at 12:41 am #

    reigned or reined in? sorry to be picky

    • jameso November 27, 2013 at 9:20 am #

      Picky is good. We like picky! I would probably catch that error now, but I just cut and pasted the original document. As someone who has worked with horses all his life, I would say you could rein back as well as in. Very difficult to reign either of those ways though. Thanks.

  2. Susan O'Toole October 4, 2015 at 4:58 pm #

    Just wondering when the 6th Inspector McLean book is due out, I tend to use audible and loved it when I listened to the 1st book, but have now finished, and loved, each of them.
    I too live in Fife but desperate to move back to Cambridge where my 2 eldest children are and my 3 grandchildren. But like you, house has been on market for about 9mths and I am losing the will to be here ,is a nice home for a young couple or family to grow into, 4 bed det,in very quiet cul-de-sac. but hey ho,, At least I can listen to your books and lose myself in the stories.
    I will have been through each one twice soon and hopefully there will be a 6th soon :):) x

    • jameso October 4, 2015 at 6:31 pm #

      Hi Susan,
      Book six is scheduled for publication on 11th February 2016. Currently the title is The Damage Done, and hopefully that will be the one it keeps. It’s been through a few! It should be available as an audiobook at the same time, hopefully once more narrated by the wonderful Ian Hanmore. I’ve been trying to sell my house in Wales for five years now, give or take, so I feel your pain. Hopefully you’ll find a buyer soon and be able to move back to Cambridge – not all that far from where I grew up!

      • Susan O'Toole October 5, 2015 at 2:08 pm #

        Thank you so much for you fast reply :):) I am now looking forward to February and as you say the narration is great, really draws you in, he has a real talent in making you get so involved in the book.
        Mind you, it is your fantastic writing and mind that draws us to be so desperate for the next novel :).

        I lived in Cambridge for just over 40years, moved up here 4 years ago, was worst move we ever made. Not because it isn’t a beautiful place , I was born in Scotland and spent all school holidays in Fife area as my dad was originally from Markinch, and until his death he was in Anstruther.One of the most peaceful feeling places I feel at ease there.
        But my heart is now back in Cambridge, and seems my life is on hold until blooming house sells.
        So please keep my brain lost in your wonderful world in Edinburgh and Inspector McLean’s world.

        Hope yours sells soon too, I never thought I would still be here so near to Christmas, my daughter needs me to help with my grandsons childcare, and I feel like I deserted them by moving up here now :(, but will be going down in couple of weeks time as she has been called in ( eventually ) for a big operation she needs to have, so I will get more than just the odd few days at a time. Also stop her from trying to get back to work too soon!!
        Also gives me a reason to feel needed again 🙂 xx
        I’m ranting now,lol.


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