A LOCAL entertainment venue in Inverness is to feature in a new mystery novel by a former Met cop.
A preview of The Night Watch, a new mystery novel by Black Isle-based writer Neil Lancaster, has revealed that the Inverness Crazy Golf (ICG) near Bught Park has been included in the book’s narrative, which will be released in September . .
Gus MacDonald, owner of ICG, said he didn’t expect his character to play a significant role in the book.
“We really like to show a genuine interest in everyone who comes here, so we get to know many of our customers well.
“Neil always comes down to take his son to the skate park and we started chatting. One day I remember asking him what he did for a living, and he said he was a retired cop turned writer and he was writing his next book, so I cheekily asked him if I could be there, and he said yes!
“I thought he was just going to mention us for a bit of fun, but apparently there’s a character named Gus and he has a bit more of a role in the book than I thought, so
“I had a few snippets from Neil that told me what kind of character I would be in the book so… it’s going to be interesting to see it in print!
“It was kind of funny, I had actually bought his book and a few times I took it down and pretended to read it when I saw him come in, so it was a good time. is a very nice guy.
“It’s certainly nice to think this could put us on the map, we’ll have to wait and see!”
Neil Lancaster, who is gaining recognition with his Max Craigie series, said: “I got to know Gus on frequent visits to his coffee and tea stand at Inverness Crazy Golf while my son Ollie was playing skateboarding at the park next door. We had a chat and when he found out I was a mystery writer he bought my books and said some nice things about them. When he suggested using the land golf course in one of my future books, I was so taken with the idea that I decided to use it as the setting for some important scenes from the book I was writing, The Night Watch, which will be released in September.
“Then I decided that since he’s such a lively person, I should probably mention him, because there might be some fun dialogue to be had. Once I introduced Gus into the book, his importance to the book. “plot suddenly (and unexpectedly) grew and her cameo role became a character in her own right. It was great fun to write, and we’ve laughed about it many times since. I even managed to bring Gus’ mother, Bet, in the book for a quick scene.
“It was a real bonus to the story and added extra tension and conflict. No spoilers, but the ‘Gus’ I created has some similarities to the ‘real’ Gus, but he also has no more differences. I can promise you all that all the ‘shady’ character traits I’ve given the one in the book are just a figment of my wild imagination!”
In an interview for Highland News and Media’s Northern Bibliosphere podcast, Mr Lancaster explained how much he enjoys using places recognizable by the local community in his books.
You can listen to the full episode on the player below: