Published by TWA Corbies Publishing
Charges headlong through a battered world of chancers, small-time drug-dealers, neighbourhood hoods and Hooray Henrys in 1983 Thatcher’s Britain. A wryly accurate and hilarious account of a young Scotsman on the make, determined to survive the Thatcher years.
Summer 1983, Margaret Thatcher has been triumphantly re-elected and Martin Duff is leaving Glasgow University, degree in hand, to join 3 million others on the dole. Back in his hometown of Dundee there is no possibility of a job and worse, having fallen foul of the Unemployment Benefit Office, no prospect of a giro either!
The city has fallen a long way from the days when it built great ships and Duffy rejoins the ranks of the underclass, eking out his time and worrying about his scallywag younger brother Ned’s troubles with drug gang bosses. Duffy recruits fearsome uncle Jimmy to deal with the problem. In court to hear of Ned’s latest brush with the law, he is contacted by Parky Gates and Solly McCabe – crime bosses from Milngavie – and in cahoots with his pal Ian, is set up as a skunk cannabis farmer based in a derelict Angus farm at Nether Balbungie.
But Ned returns from jail determined to get involved and when he is snubbed, rats them out to the rival local drug gang, the Hannans. The police arrive, the inland revenue Gestapo are on their tail, the landlords are after back rent, the electricity board wants to investigate massive unpaid electricity use in the area, both drug gangs are after them. More people are after them than pursued Al Capone in his heyday.
They manage to escape, disguised as pirates – with the entire skunk harvest inside a vintage split-screen orange VW campervan – and high (in all senses of the word) society beckons. Soon they are hobnobbing with Chelsea toffs, partying with the yahs and looking forward to spending their expected millions – once they can find a buyer.
Part scabrous comedy, part political fable, In A Dead Man’s Jacket charges headlong through a world of chancers, small-time drug-dealers and Hooray Henrys where the class divide yawns ever wider and the ship of state is sinking fast.
Andrew Murray Scott is a fiction writer based in Broughty Ferry on the sunny east coast of Scotland. His first novel, Tumulus, won the inaugural Dundee International Book Prize in 2000 and received warm reviews of the “vibrant new voice in Scottish fiction” variety and was described as “a tour-de-force”.
Andrew has published five novels to date: Estuary Blue (2001) from the same publisher, Polygon, The Mushroom Club (2007), The Big J (2008) and In A Dead Man’s Jacket, Andrew’s first e-novel, which is available for both Kindle and Kobo e-readers.
Previously a journalist and now a media professional, Andrew has also written a number of non-fiction book titles including biographies of counter-culture icon Alexander Trocchi, The Making of the Monster (1991, reprinted in 2012) and John Graham of Claverhouse, Bonnie Dundee (1989, reprinted 2000) the charismatic leader of the first Jacobite rebellion in 1689, whose letters Andrew also collected and edited for the Scottish History Society. Andrew also edited a collection of Trocchi’s unpublished writings, Invisible Insurrection: A Trocchi Reader, reprinted in 1996.
He has written non-fiction books on the life and times of the city of Dundee including a popular and much-reprinted concise historical guide, Discovering Dundee, a post-war social history, Modern Dundee, a two-volume cultural history of the city, titled Dundee’s Literary Lives, as well as a quirky volume of 50 evocative 20th century photographs, The Wee Book of Dundee.