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Hugh Rae - Novelist

He was born on 22nd November 1935 in Glasgow, Scotland. He was educated there at Knightswood School and worked as an antiquarian bookseller between 1952 and 1966, a period that was interrupted by National Service in the Royal Air Force. Since 1966 he has been a full-time writer and he is one of Scotland's most prolific novelists, writing under his own name and several others, including 'R. B. Houston' and 'James Albany', and 'Jessica Stirling' in his collaboration with Peggie Coghlan (b 1920). His early novels deal with the criminal underworld of Glasgow and the west of Scotland, and with the petty acts of unthinking violence that disfigure mankind. The dialogue is taut and well-paced in the tradition of American crime writers such as Raymond Chandler (1888-1959), the backgrounds are vividly and authentically portrayed, and the two detective protagonists, McCaig and Ryan, remain unsentimentally aware of their own shortcomings in coping with the organized world of crime and its origins in human deprivation. Many of the novels were based on real-life crimes and murders in Glasgow. Later Rae turned to writing historical novels and he collaborated in the production of the Jessica Stirling romantic sagas.

Works include: Skinner (1966); Night Pillow (1967); A Few Small Bones (1968); The Interview (1969); The Marksman (1971); The Shooting Gallery (1972); The Rock Harvest (1973); The Rookery (1974); Harkfast (1976); Sullivan (1978); The Travelling Soul (1978); The Haunting of Waverley Falls (1980); Privileged Strangers (1982) as James Albany: Warrior Caste (1982); Mailed Fist (1982); Deacon's Dagger (1982) as Robert Crawford: The Shroud Society (1969); Cockleburr (1969); Kiss the Boss Goodbye (1970); The Badger's Daughter (1971); Whiphand (1972) as R. B. Houston: Two for the Grave (1972) as Stuart Stern: The Minotaur Factor (1977); The Poison Tree (1978) as Jessica Stirling with Peggie Coghlan: The Spoiled Earth (1974); The Dresden Finch (1976); The Hiring Fair (1976); The Dark Pasture (1977); The Deep Well at Noon (1979); The Blue Evening Gone (1981).

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