Sunday, April 1, 2018



Alex Gray's stunning new Lorimer novel, set against the backdrop of the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, brings the vibrant city to life in a race to stop the greatest threat the city has ever known.

2014: The Commonwealth Games are coming to Glasgow and security is extra tight, particularly after a mysterious bomb explodes in nearby rural Stirlingshire. As the opening ceremony for the Games draws ever closer, the police desperately seek the culprits. But Detective Superintendent Lorimer has other concerns on his mind. One is a beautiful red-haired woman from his past whose husband dies suddenly on his watch. Then there is the body of a young woman found dumped in countryside just south of the city who is proving impossible to identify. Elsewhere in Glasgow people prepare for the events in their own way, whether for financial gain or to welcome home visitors from overseas. And, hiding behind false identities, are those who pose a terrible threat not just to the Games but to the very fabric of society.

Book Details:

Title: Silent Games
Author: Alex Gray

Genre: Mystery

Series: A DCI Lorimer Novel, #11 (Stand Alone)

Publisher: Witness Impulse (March 13, 2018

Page count: 368

On tour with: Partners in Crime Book Tours


Things you need in order to write: My Apple Mac laptop (MacBook Air), as I have palindromic rheumatism in both hands and wrists, so writing longhand is no longer viable. Normally I use a posture chair to keep my back as upright as possible but an ordinary wooden one suffices at times too. Most of all I need to have a clear mind and thoughts turned to my subject: no distractions!
Things that hamper your writing: Telephone calls with someone demanding my time, often a good friend whose call matters. And, long, manicured fingernails (not a regular occurrence, but they interfere with typing). And occasionally, one of the cats wanting to sit on my lap or asking for food.

Things you love about writing: The way ideas flood into my head as I write and my characters speak to one another as though simply filling my mind with their voices.
Things you hate about writing: Meeting a deadline if I have had problems keeping me from my desk, but really I hate nothing about the writing process itself.

Hardest thing about being a writer: Making time to see all of my family and friends. Demands on my time are many, and I do miss the freedom to jump into the car or go for a long walk any time I want since my diary is usually bulging with dates for events.
Easiest thing about being a writer: Making new friends. I am Scottish Chapter Convener for the Crime Writers Association, so I meet lots of new and existing writers. Also, attending so many festivals has greatly widened my group of writing friends, and I count myself lucky to know so many fabulous people around the writing world.

Things you love about where you live: So many, beginning with the house I bought 29 years ago. It is an old cottage with a large garden, roses growing on the south-facing wall and more than 45 species of birds visiting regularly. We can step outside the house and immediately go off for a country walk. The views from my study are spectacular with hills around and the most amazing dawns and sunsets. Despite living in a village, we are not far from the motorway and there is a train station that takes us into Glasgow in less than 20 minutes. Nearby is the Erskine Bridge spanning the river Clyde, and we can be at Loch Lomond in about fifteen minutes.
Things that make you want to move: My grandchildren, Eloise and Blake, as they need picking up from school twice a week and live an hour away. But that is always just a passing notion as I never truly wish to leave my beloved home.

Words that describe you: May include friendly, kind and generous.
Words that describe you but you wish they didn’t: Over-planning for everybody else and being impulsive.

Favorite foods: Seafood of most types especially crab and lobster. And I could have been a rabbit in another life, as I adore salads.
Things that make you want to throw up: Dill and anything with aniseed.

Favorite music:  Almost anything by Joni Mitchell, but I am particularly fond of her first album, Song to a Seagull and "Sisotowbell Lane" is possibly my favorite.
Music that make your ears bleed: I loathe rap.

Favorite beverage: Hmm, maybe champagne, but I have a weakness for Prosecco, and it was after the second post dinner bottle that my friend Lin Anderson and I dreamed up the wonderful festival, Bloody Scotland.
Something that gives you a pickle face: Pastis.

Things you always put in your books: Places I love in Scotland and want to share with my readers. Things you never put in your books: Words of very foul language.

Things to say to an author: “Loved your book, thanks for writing it.”
Things to say to an author if you want to be fictionally killed off in their next book : “Sorry, couldn’t finish it, kept falling asleep …zzzz.”

Most embarrassing moment: When I was appearing in the Royal Albert Hall to sing Carmina Burana and I lost my voice!
Proudest moment: When Bloody Scotland began in 2012, and I received a shower of accolades at the inaugural weekend. I will never forget the grin and thumbs-up from Val McDermid across the room at the opening reception. That, and William McIlvanney’s praise made me extremely proud.


From Chapter 2
It was worse than he could ever have imagined.
Even from the roadside, where a line of police cars was parked, Lorimer could see the devastation. Plumes of smoke and flames still rose from the heaps of broken trees, and as he emerged from the Lexus, his skin was immediately touched by flakes of ash drifting in the air. The smell of burning wood was overpowering, and he could hear the occasional crackle and hiss of fire beneath the whooshing sound from the firemen’s hoses as arcs of water were trained into the heart of the inferno. His eyes took in the gap in the hedge where the fire engines had broken through to reach the narrow walkers’ path, and the tyre marks on the verge. It would be replanted, no doubt, but the burning trees would leave a scar that would take far longer to heal.
‘Detective Superintendent Lorimer? Martin Pinder.’ The uniformed chief inspector was suddenly at his side, hand outstretched. Lorimer took it, feeling the firm once up and down as the officer motioned them to turn away from the direction of the cinders. ‘Sorry to call you out, but as I said, we needed someone to front this. And your name came up.’
‘But isn’t this a local matter?’ Lorimer asked. ‘We’re in the district of Stirling, surely?’
Pinder shook his head. ‘It’s bigger than you might imagine,’ he began. Walking Lorimer a few paces away from the line of cars, he dropped his voice. ‘And there is intelligence to suggest that it may have a much wider remit.’
‘Oh?’ Lorimer was suddenly curious. The telephone call had mentioned an explosion, the immediate need for a senior officer from Police Scotland and a request to keep the lid on things, but nothing more.
‘You said intelligence.’ He frowned. ‘You mean Special Branch?’
Pinder nodded. ‘I’ve been charged with giving you this information, sir. And doubtless your counter terrorism unit will already be involved.’ He licked his lips, hesitating, and Lorimer could see the anxiety in the man’s grey eyes.
‘We are given to believe that this is just a trial run.’ Pinder motioned to the fire behind them.
‘A trial run,’ Lorimer said slowly. ‘A trial run for what?’
Pinder gave a sigh and raised his eyebrows.
‘The Glasgow Commonwealth Games.’
Lorimer looked at the man in disbelief, but Pinder’s face was all seriousness.
‘That’s almost a year away. Why do they think. . .?’
‘Haven’t been told that. Someone further up the chain of command will know.’ Pinder shrugged. Perhaps you’ll be told once you liaise with Counter Terrorism.’
Lorimer turned to take in the scene of the explosion once more, seeing for the first time the enormous area of burning countryside and trying to transfer it in his mind’s eye to the newly built village and arenas in Glasgow’s East End. He blinked suddenly at the very notion of carnage on such a vast scale.
‘We can’t let it happen,’ Pinder said quietly, watching the tall man’s face.
Lorimer gazed across the fields to the line of rounded hills that were the Campsies. Glasgow lay beyond, snug in the Clyde valley; on this Sunday morning its citizens remained oblivious to the danger posed by whatever fanatic had ruined this bit of tranquil landscape. He had asked why the local cops hadn’t taken this one on, and now he understood: the threat to next year’s Commonwealth Games was something too big for that. And since the various police forces in Scotland had merged into one national force, Detective Superintendent William Lorimer might be called to any part of the country.
‘The press will want statements,’ Pinder said, breaking into Lorimer’s thoughts. ‘It’s still an ongoing investigation. Don’t we just love that phrase!’ He gave a short, hard laugh. ‘And there is no loss of life, so we can try for a positive slant on that, at least.’
‘They’ll speculate,’ Lorimer told him. ‘You know that’s what they do.’
Pinder touched the detective superintendent’s arm, nodding towards the figures milling around on the fringes of the fire. ‘Apart from you and me, there is not a single person here who has been told about the background to this event. So unless the press leap to that conclusion by dint of their own imagination, any leak can only come from us.’
When Lorimer turned to face him, the uniformed officer was struck by the taller man’s penetrating blue gaze. Fora long moment they stared at one another, until Pinder looked away, feeling a sense of discomfort mixed with the certainty that he would follow this man wherever he might lead.
Wouldn’t like to be across the table from him in an interview room, he was to tell his wife later that day. But there on that lonely stretch of country road, Martin Pinder had an inkling why it was that the powers on high had called on Detective Superintendent William Lorimer to oversee this particular incident.
Excerpt from The Silent Games by Alex Gray. Copyright © 2018 by Alex Gray. Reprinted by permission of Witness Impulse, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.


Alex Gray was born and educated in Glasgow. After studying English and Philosophy at the University of Strathclyde, she worked as a visiting officer for the Department of Health, a time she looks upon as postgraduate education since it proved a rich source of character studies. She then trained as a secondary school teacher of English. Alex began writing professionally in 1993 and had immediate success with short stories, articles, and commissions for BBC radio programs. She has been awarded the Scottish Association of Writers' Constable and Pitlochry trophies for her crime writing. A regular on the Scottish bestseller lists, she is the author of thirteen DCI Lorimer novels. She is the co-founder of the international Scottish crime writing festival, Bloody Scotland, which had its inaugural year in 2012.

Connect with Alex:
Website Twitter  |  Goodreads 

Buy the book: