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I write historical crime fiction and history. I was born in Edinburgh and brought up there and in Aberdeen. I have an MA and PhD in Scottish History from Edinburgh University. I'm the author of a series of historical crime novels set in late 17th century Scotland featuring investigative advocate John MacKenzie, based on a real historical figure, and his side-kick Davie Scougall. I'm also the author of The Price of Scotland, a prize-winning history of Scotland's Darien Disaster. I live in Midlothian with my wife Julie.

The MacKenzie books are first and foremost crime fictions but they are also a journey through a fascinating but paradoxical period of Scottish history - a time of religious fanaticism, witch hunting and blasphemy trials when the green shoots of the Scottish Enlightenment first appeared.

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