Banana Pier is a pacy and disturbing novel set in the final frenzied days of Soviet communism in which fiction collides with fact. Moral ambiguities which underpin our society are revealed in a story of complex characters and unexpected links between Scotland, the Soviet Union and Northern Ireland, where global players are seen in their domestic settings and where some dialogue is in the Aberdeen dialect, Doric. It opens with a confused and obsessive tirade from Tommy MacHardy in conversation with journalist Ian Ross, who is investigating covert military activities in Ulster involving Brigadier Bell of TAGOil. Ross is determined to reveal the British government's role in Northern Ireland and its infiltration of paramilitary groups but attracts the attention of local detectives DI Bonnie Young and DS Dave Millar on the case of blackmail at TAGOil. The action switches between Scotland and the USSR where former Gordon Highlander, Coulthard, is introduced to small-time criminals Zhdanov and Dolgoruky, recent associates of computer expert and artist Alexei Grigoryev. Coulthard is purchasing 'scrap' hardware from disillusioned Soviet military officers but where are the weapons headed - and what has Coulthard got to do with the UK government? A gripping novel that will appeal to fans of political thrillers, Banana Pier is inspired by some of Alex's favourite authors, including John le Carre, Henning Mankell and James Hogg, whose work The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner Alex's novel has been compared to.
I'm Alex Chisholm. Well sometimes I am. One of the characters in my thriller is similar in that respect. That's where similarities cease.
Take a look at the cover of my novel. That's Banana Pier you see sticking out into the North Sea at Aberdeen harbor. Can you guess why it's called that?
Aberdeen's the UK's oil and gas city. It's in Scotland. Scotland is a small country some of you might have heard about. It produced the singer Annie Lennox and there's a connection. She and I appear to share relations from the tiny mountain village of Braemar. They went by the name of McHardy. One of the guys you'll meet in the book is a McHardy, though he spells his name Mac. But then he's good with names.
This is not a book about Scotland, although in a way it is. Then it starts to travel. Hold onto your seats as when the story takes off - it really goes.
Let me know what you think.