Showing posts with label Clarence street. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Clarence street. Show all posts

Thursday, 12 November 2015

Betrayal: The Consequences by Sharon Browlie

This is the follow up to a book I enjoyed and reviewed earlier. The sequel is much shorter and i think the author has missed some opportunities. I decided to give it 5 stars anyway as it was a very good read. I always enjoy Sharon's descriptions of Edinburgh in the late 1980's. I've lived in the town from 1991 to 2011 and know all the land marks she describes. One of the places she goes to in this book was a nightclub called Cinderella's rockefella's in St Stephen street.
This is right around the corner from where Cameron grew up; Clarence street. Cameron would have known this building as a theatre, which it remained from it's opening in 1890 until 1915. Then it became a riding school, a cinema, a dance hall and in the 80's a nightclub. It burned down in 1991 and I lived in Clarence street at that time but had the misfortune to be on a family visit that evening and therefor missed the fire. (And by all accounts it was the fire of the decade!!!) Now the review of the book:
Betrayal: The Consequences by Sharon Brownlie on

I hugely enjoyed Sharon Brownlie’s debut novel, Betrayal, so I was looking forwards to the follow up Betrayal: The Consequences. We catch up with DI Brennan and her team at the day of Helen King’s sentencing. If Brennan thinks this will be the end of her involvement in the case she is mistaken. A heart wrenching letter from Helen lands on her desk shortly after she is taken off to prison. So is the sequel as good as Betrayal? I would have to say yes and no. The book was engrossing and Sharon brings her characters to life, we feel compassion for them and we understand them. The only reason I say no is because the book is very short and I think the author has left some obvious avenues unexplored. I wanted more of Brennan and her team and the carrot of a fresh case was not taken. I hope Ms Brownlie will come back to Gayfield police station as I think she has a great cast of characters here. Her descriptions of Edinburgh in the late 80’s are wonderful and provide a fantastic back drop for a gritty crime thriller such as Betrayal.

Monday, 13 January 2014

Clarence street

The location for the start of my book is Clarence street in Stockbridge which is a rather attractive part of Edinburgh. I chose this street as it would have existed when Cameron was a boy and because I used to live there, so I know what the flats look like from the inside. When I started to research whether it would have been plausible he lived there I found that before 1914 there is very little documentation about life in Edinburgh, so I had to keep things vague and just go with the few snippets I found.

I wanted Cameron's dad to work in the brewing industry as this was a major employer at the turn of the century in Edinburgh and my grandfather was also a beer brewer. Then I came across this fantastic photo and decided that Cameron's dad was a cooper and he would follow his dad as an apprentice when he left school, which in those days was at 14.
 A cooper was a skilled artisan and therefore well paid. The fact that these men are well dressed confirms that. This fits in nicely with the only thing I could find out about Clarence street in 1900; a sign writer lived there; also a skilled artisan.

Later in the book Cameron returns to Edinburgh and finds Clarence street much changed. The street is full of cars squeezed in between ugly black wheely bins.(in the photo you can just see the top of one) Unfortunately these eyesores became necessary as we had a problem with urban foxes and seagulls tearing open the bin bags. I quite liked encountering a fox now and then walking home at night. We even had a family of 5 foxes living in our back garden, and the cubs were very cute and playful but also very noisy. Hey Cameron, ever wondered what fox taste like?