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The Storm Without: A Doug Michie Novel (A Doug Michie Mystery) [Paperback]

Tony Black
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
Price: 5.59 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

5 July 2012 A Doug Michie Mystery
Still recovering from the harrowing case that ended his police career, Doug Michie returns to his boyhood home of Ayr on Scotland's wind-scarred west coast. He hopes to rebuild his shattered life, get over the recent failure of his marriage and shed his demons, but the years have changed the birthplace of the poet Robert Burns. When Doug meets his old school-day flame Lyn, however, he feels his past may offer the salvation of a future. But, Lyn's son has been accused of murder and she begs Doug to find the truth. Soon Doug is tangled in a complicated web of corrupt politicians, frightened journalists and a police force in cahoots with criminals. Only Burns' philosophical musings offer Doug some shelter as he wanders the streets of Auld Ayr battling The Storm Without. PRAISE FOR TONY BLACK 'Black's dialogue and atmosphere crackle with authenticity'. The Times. 'If you're a fan of Rankin, Mina or Welsh this is most certainly one for you.' The Scotsman

Frequently Bought Together

The Storm Without: A Doug Michie Novel (A Doug Michie Mystery) + Truth Lies Bleeding (Di Rob Brennan 1) + Murder Mile (Di Rob Brennan 2)
Price For All Three: 19.97

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Product details

  • Paperback: 170 pages
  • Publisher: McNidder & Grace (5 July 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0857160400
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857160409
  • Product Dimensions: 20 x 13 x 1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 201,910 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Tony Black is the author of 12 books, most recently The Last Tiger. The Tasmanian-set novel tells the story of the demise of the Tasmanian tiger.

Whitbread-winning author Paul Sayer called the novel, "A rare and heartfelt fable".

Barry Graham, Winner of the American Library Association book of the year, said The Last Tiger is "Tony Black's most brilliant and resonant novel so far".

Tony Black has also written three crime fiction series, a number of crime novellas and a collection of short stories. His next crime title is Artefacts of the Dead.

For more information, and the latest news visit his website at: or his blog:

Product Description


This is an elegiac noir for the memory of a place, delivered in a prose as bleakly beautiful as the setting. --The Guardian

This is the Great Scottish Novel, got it all and just a wee shade more... Classic. --Ken Bruen, author of HEADSTONE

Another masterclass in Tartan Noir. --Daily Record

About the Author

Tony Black is Irvine Welsh's favourite British crime writer. The author of six critically-acclaimed crime novels he was a national newspaper journalist before turning to writing novels. His second novel in the Doug Michie series, The Inglorious Dead, will be published in May 2014.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ayr-raising 29 Jun 2012
Tony Black's book `The Storm Without' takes a slight deviation from the police procedurals he's been releasing of late.
It's tells the story of a man returning to his home town of Ayr, having made decisions in the past that leave him unsure of his direction in life.

As he arrives in the town, he sees a familiar face, that of an ex-girlfriend. She's waiting at the bus stop, so he pulls over to offer her a lift. The old chemistry hasn't completely gone and they end up going for coffee. Turns out her son is being charged for murder and that he needs some help to prove his innocence.

The good news is that our man Doug Michie is a seasoned hard-man who has spent time in Ulster working for the RUC in Belfast. It means that when the trail leads him to some powerful and dangerous people, he's not entirely out of his depth.

There are many things in this book that will seem familiar to fans of lone-wolf detectives and private-investigators. These will make you feel very much at home. You may get whiffs of Ken Bruen or fleeting moments of déjà vu from older stories.

How then, does Black make his character stand out from the rest?

Michie is partial to Robbie Burns. He knows his work and likes to quote him from time-to-time to illustrate his thinking. He's also a guy who pays attention to the world and will use the things he remembers to illustrate his points. And he's a pretty reflective sort, finding that returning to his home town raises questions about his life, his value to the world and his mortality.

It's also slightly different in that this was first released in serial form.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Scottish writing at its gloomiest best! 15 July 2012
By McDroll
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
First of all, I've got a confession to make, I'm not from Ayr, I'm from Kilmarnock and if you know anything about Ayrshire, where Tony Black's angst riven new novel is set, then you will be aware of the bitter rivalry between the two towns. If we're talking football, then Kilmarnock easily comes out top; industry, then Kilmarnock used to win hands down but if it was an ice-cream cone you were after then Ayr was your place.

Days have changed though for both of these proud towns. Industry has all but vanished from Kilmarnock and the gloss of Ayr as a holiday destination is certainly now very ragged around the edges.

In The Storm Without, Black examines the demise of a once proud town, home of the greatest poet the world has ever known, Robert Burns. Seen through the eyes of Doug Michie, a police officer just returned to his home town after many years in Northern Ireland, the town that he once knew has all but vanished, leaving only a ghost-like trace of the bustling market town of his memories.

It's not only the town that Michie finds has degenerated in his absence, but the good people of Ayr themselves, as fake now as the cheap cigarettes, corrupt and soulless where the murder of a young girl can easily be blamed on an innocent boy and his own mother seeks oblivion in the bottom of a bottle.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A very short read 7 Dec 2012
This book is so short! To me, it is a sketchy first draft that is missing all the padding that builds a story up. An easy read in an afternoon and evening.

On researching further, I did discover that this was first serialised in a Scottish newspaper, which accounts for its' shortcomings, and, on further research, I find a whole host of full length Tony Black novels which beckon seductively - because I do like the gritty realism of crime novels based in Scotland, and this west coast setting is as dreich and dark as it gets.

So, from my point of view, not a massively brilliant read in itself - but a good introduction to Tony Black.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Storm Without 26 July 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
`Irvine Welsh's favourite British crime writer.' That is one hell of plaudit to live up to, but Tony Black has proven time and again that he is fully deserving of it. He's a writer with an unflinching eye for brutality, adept at spinning out stories of lowlife transgression which often reaches into the higher echelons. People trafficking, dog fighting, police corruption are a few of the things he touches on, and that's just the Gus Dury series. Hot on the heels of his second police procedural Murder Mile, Black has released The Storm Without, a standalone novella.

Doug Michie rocks up in his old hometown of Alloyway, the birthplace of Robert Burns on the Ayrshire cost, trailing a black cloud. He's been drummed out of the Royal Ulster Constabulary for reasons he'd rather not go into, his marriage is over and his drink problem is in a steady holding pattern. On top of all that his aging mother needs attention that neither of them particularly want him to give. On the edge of town he runs into old school friend Lyn and his homecoming gets complicated.

Lyn's son Glenn has been arrested for the murder of his girlfriend. They had a history of domestic altercations and his reputation was hardly spotless, so it's an open and shut case. Lyn believes he's innocent, naturally, and Doug is drawn into doing some digging around. He may be out of the police, but the police isn't out of him.

It doesn't take long for Doug to realise Glenn's being fitted up. The old town has changed a lot since Doug left - faded and degenerating, awash with counterfeit cigarettes and East European girls trafficked in to service the locals behind closed doors.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Good
Interesting story but requires too much local knowledge which fortunately I have.
Too much reliance on street names and districts of Ayr. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Mr. M. Munro
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable read
Enjoyed the book and journey through Ayr. Look forward to reading more of the series in the future. Good stuff.
Published 5 months ago by PaulD
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent story line A Must Buy
Book was exactly as described and was in perfect condition, just like new. The book was received very quickly and was here before the 6th December. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Anne MacLennan
4.0 out of 5 stars The storm without
Was good to read a book based where am from Ayrshire am a first time reader of Tony black and would recommend this book enjoyable read
Published 11 months ago by KIRSTY MITCHELL
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved!
Riveting. Now one of my must-read authors. Sometimes you find a writer who you just dig. I dig this man!
Published 17 months ago by M Ellis
4.0 out of 5 stars Can,t put down
Excellent well written book and plot.
What a joy it was to read without any bad language. As a Christian I find bad language very offensive and a lot of authors don,t seem to... Read more
Published 17 months ago by Alexander Hepburn
3.0 out of 5 stars Good start.....
As a crime novel it paints a bleak picture of Scottish life. Read better and read worse, could develop into a good anti hero series in time.
Published 17 months ago by tupsley1349
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
Was looking forward to reading this after seeing several good reviews, both on Kindle and elsewhere, but found it a disappointing read. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Er Er er er (There's Ayr over there)
My knowledge of Ayr is pretty much restricted to trips to the beach as a child and latterly trips to Somerset Park when St Mirren were visiting. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Al V
4.0 out of 5 stars Storm Without
It keptme turning the pages, but not as eagerly as some. Nonetheless, I really enjoyed the read, and would recommend it.
Published 18 months ago by Wilf McDonald
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