Being one who believes that Amazon sometimes knows me better than I know myself, I bought one of the books, A Prayer for Barney Thomson and really enjoyed it. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the first book in the series, and the first book was no longer available, but I found the other Barney Thomson books on Amazon or in second-hand bookshops. The first book, The Long Midnight of Barney Thomson continued to elude me, but appeared on Amazon as “available in 6 weeks” about 6 months ago. I duly ordered a copy, and after numerous “Taking Longer Than We Expected” emails from Amazon, it finally turned up last month. It turns out that Lindsay’s previous publisher had dropped the books, so they’ve all been republished under his own “Long Midnight Publishing” imprint. He has an eager German publisher who is commissioning more books, including more Barney Thomson stories, so plenty to look forward to.
The stories are blackly entertaining and nicely twisted; the premise being that Barney (who is a barber) ends up being pursued by the police and accused of various murders that he may or may not have committed. Barney is a hapless victim of circumstance who is just trying to live a quiet life but life just keeps pulling the rug from under him.
Although Douglas Lindsay is from Scotland, he’s currently based in Belgrade, and wrote his first Barney Thomson novel while living in Senegal, West Africa. where his wife was working for the British Embassy.