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Russell Robertson

Russell Robertson

Born in Scotland, Russell was among many things, a professional soccer player, an Insurance salesman, labourer and crane driver before leaving for Australia (the lucky country)
Business life in Australia has varied from roles as Marketing Manager, Senior Management Roles, Real Estate Principal to Company Director.
As a successful business man and director of a translation business he recently stepped down to concentrate on his next exciting venture, writing crime novels.

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Success! Windsor Place sold 40 pre-orders by April 19, 2017, was queried to 16 publishers, and will be self published.

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Windsor Place

A Harry Cram Novel

Edinburgh's underworld freezes when three people are found murdered in 66 Windsor Place.
Investigative Journalist Harry Cram is the prime suspect. Police Scotland and Cram run concurrent investigations. Who will be the first to solve the henious crime.
They will also have to deal with Edinburgh's most sadistic criminal who runs his organised drug ring from within Edinburgh's prison walls.

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Manuscript

Thriller Crime
72,000 words
100% complete
Brisbane City, Australia
2 publishers interested

Synopsis

When Harry Cram, an Investigative journalist returns from Australia to settle back into Portobello he has no idea that he will become involved in one of Scotland's most notorious revenge killings.

During a visit to prison to see a friend he bumps into an old school girl friend. They begin an affair that has to be hidden from her husband Alf "Billy Bunter" Hunter, one of Edinburgh's most sadistic and malevolent criminals, who is currently serving a long prison sentence whilst still running his drug dealing empire from within the prison walls.

On Friday the thirteenth of November, Harry's life is turned upside down when he finds his partner and her two daughters murdered in 66 Windsor Place. Now he has to deal with not only the police but also her criminal husband.

Harry and two close friends team up to create their own private investigation into the murders. Things become more complicated a week later when Alf Hunter's Solicitor is found dead at a beach south of Portobello with a single gunshot wound to the head.

DCI James Scully a lifelong friend of Harry Cram is put in charge of both cases jeopardising their long term friendship.

In the middle of all the turmoil Harry has to urgently visit China where his daughter from his first marriage is dangerously ill. While in China he receives some stunning information from his contacts in Shanghai that throws the investigation upside down. Systematically some of the people who may have the answers to the crimes start to die. 

The Scottish police force hold the key to solving the crimes. Or do they?


Audience

The potential market for this novel is geared to the age range of 16 - 80 year old which represents a potential of millions of people.

The primary target market can be defined as follows 

1 Scottish people in and around Edinburgh

2 Scottish people in Scotland

The secondary target market can be defined as follows 

1 Scottish people around the world 

2 Everybody  around the world

Author

A day without working on his novels is very rare for Russell who finds his greatest joy in creating characters and unfolding stories. He needs to fulfill his ambitions. Dreaming of being an author as early as his formative years in school, his fate took him via a long and interesting road to the present where he can now commit all his energies to writing fiction crime.
Russell emigrated to Australia over 40 years ago and has called Brisbane home since that time. Brisbane is the best place in the World to live. It is booming, there is this energy and dynamics that can be felt in the arts and culture.
The move has seen him kick many personal goals
Finding a character and a suitable name was at the top of Russell's priorities some two years ago when he finally made the decision and commitment to start his first crime novel. Within a few weeks he had decided on the character, his location and a planned series of books involving the character.
Harry Cram, Investigative Journalist was born.
His love of Edinburgh made the decision easy as to where his character would be based. His first 20 years in life living there and many visits to the old country has amassed oodles of local information for his character and stories.
He is also assisted and advised by a very experienced and retired Scottish detective in the more technical aspects of policing in and around Edinburgh.
Authenticity is important to Russell in his novels and you will find that almost all the locations, businesses and premises are actual places that can be visited.

Promotion

The initial funding from this campaign will be utilized for professional editing, graphic design and website development.

An extensive social media campaign including Facebook, Twitter and Blogs will be undertaken prior to the book launch which is planned for July 2017 to coincide with the Northern Hemisphere summer.

The second Harry Cram novel (Everlasting Guilt) will be released at the end of 2017 in time for the Southern Hemisphere summer and the busy book buying period of Christmas in both Hemispheres.



Competition

1  Rather Be The Devil - Ian Rankin

    Orion Books Published 2016

2  The Long Glasgow Kiss - Craig Russell

    Allen & Urwin Published 2010

3  Snapshot - Craig Robertson

    Simon & Schuster Published 2011

4  Laidlaw - William McIllvanney

    Hodder & Stoughton Published 1977

5. Hard Man - Allan Guthrie

    Houghton Harcourts Published 2007

There is absolutely no argument that the above mentioned novels and authors are in a class of their own and have contributed greatly to the Scottish Noir.

Harry Cram is also in a class of his own breaking the mould but not the rules. Edinburgh is ready for a new hero.


Samples

Chapter 11

Harry had worked for the Fairfax Corporation in Australia and had been successful in his investigative career in uncovering a couple of major scandals in corruption in the Queensland Police Force and the New South Wales Parliament. The Internet allowed him to freelance anywhere in the world and the contacts he had made in the industry were of great benefit. His career would have to go on hold at the moment. Today he needed to visit Bryson Kidd’s son.
The Craigmillar high rise flats in Edinburgh consisted of two grim grey concrete fourteen story towers.
One of the towers had recently been extensively refurbished while the remaining tower was still over run by squatters and druggies. Harry was wary as he approached the entrance to the building and was confronted by a tragic looking human being, obviously distressed, unclean and badly under the influence of drink or drugs.
'Got some change for a bus fare pal?' Mumbled the person. He sounded a bit loose in the top paddock.
Harry realised that if he wanted information he needed to meet with his demand.
'Sure, no problem, but I need to know where to find Tony Kidd.'
‘Never heard of him.’
Harry handed him a ten pound note.
'Tony Kidd? Now I remember, cool dude on the ninth floor.'
Harry handed him another ten pound note. 'Go buy yourself some food.'
The character grabbed the note with the speed of a lizard’s tongue. 'Aye right. By the way I made a mistake. It's the fifth floor. Door with a grill on it. Go left out of the lift.’
The entrance to the building was littered with used needles and discarded fish suppers. The smell was atrocious. Harry took a deep breath and passed through the entrance to the door leading to the stairs. No need trying the lifts, they would be inactive. Another obnoxious smell hit his nostrils as he opened the door and commenced his climb to his destination. Christ, how could anyone live in this hell hole?
The stairs were strewn with all sorts of rubbish and a couple of bodies obviously sleeping off their intake from late last night. The landing on the fifth floor was in no better condition, just more obnoxious smells.
The greed of the wealthy made the poor people poorer. It was the way of life in Scotland. Maybe it was time to exit Europe and get back to basics and help these poor souls.
There was no bell. He knocked on the door. His third knock stirred some movement and he could hear someone approaching the door. The door opened and he was greeted by a pathetic looking human specimen, who looked more like a ghost. Teeth were missing, scabs on her face, hair unwashed, eyes dilated and the smell was something you couldn't describe.
The young girl mumbled something like. 'Who is it and what do you want?'
'I'm here to see Tony, is he here?'
'Are you the Polis?'
'No, I'm a friend of his father. Tell him Harry Cram needs to speak with him.'
She looked at him through her opportunistic eyes. 'I can give you a great fuck for only twenty quid before you see Tony.' She lifted her dress up revealing all. It was not a pretty sight.
'I'll take a rain-check on that if you don't mind.'
'Okay, fuck it. How about ten and you can do whatever you want.’ She glanced back from where she had come from. ‘There is an empty bedroom back there.'
‘I don't carry cash on me and I doubt you take credit cards. Now please can you get Tony.’
'Fuck you bastard.'
She turned around and glided away as though she was on a cushion of air back to the black hole where she came from. Her legs didn't seem to move on the uncarpeted floor. She part reminded him of what they would call in Australia a 1770. From the back she looked seventeen but from the front she looked seventy.
A few minutes went by then a slim tall young man approached the door. 'Mr Cram, long time no see. What can I do you for?'
'Hi Tony, how about you meet me in five minutes in the park outside the building. I need some fresh air. I can't stay here one minute longer.'
'Aye, you get used to it after a few weeks. I'll see you there in ten.'
Fresh air had never felt as good as Harry stumbled out of the stairs and across the foyer into the welcoming smells of Edinburgh.
Sitting on a bench that was on its last wobbly legs, he was aware of being eyeballed from wherever there was a window and he knew he needed to deal with Tony quickly and get back to the normal world before he was approached by trouble. Sitting here was as enjoyable as making love in the middle of winter at the top of Arthur Seat, which he was looking directly at.
You have no idea how bad it becomes when you crave for a fix. Logic disappears, your mood becomes aggressive, selfishness becomes a priority and nobody, not even your family gets in the way. It creeps up and secretly possesses your desire and leaves you on the edge of darkness.
Those were the words Harry vividly remembered as he as he sat on the stone sea wall at Portobello beach last year listening to one of his best mates Geordie Fraser explaining his dark drug world. He died the following week from an overdose.
It made him somewhat understand the difficult times that drug and alcohol users had to deal with on a daily issue. It also allowed him to show compassion to them when most others ignored them and classified them as losers and lost causes. Empathy was a strength not a weakness.
Tony came wandering over to the bench. 'Sorry about the surroundings. The locals as you can see are not concerned with cleanliness or presentation.'
'Tony, you've got to get yourself out of here. You are better than this.'
'I know. I’ve spent the last year staring at the mirror trying to work out who I am and what am I doing. You know you need to experience anxiety to be free from it’
Harry studied the young man sitting on the bench. He was scruffily dressed, a bit unclean, unshaven but devoid of any drug signs.
'All druggies are motivated by self interest and dealers are no different. Why should I think that you are any different, you are a dealer.'
He threw Harry a look of disdain. 'Fair comment, but my long term self interest is to get out if this hole and help my Dad. And by the way I don't appreciate your attitude. Remember, what knocks you down makes you stronger.’
'From what I see at the moment you are not within cooee of achieving that. Put your pride in the pantry man and sort yourself out.’
‘Fuck you Mr Cram, I'll show you, just wait and see. Sure I indulge in the pastime now and then, but it helps with the insanity of it all. You know the drugs don’t release you without a fight.’
‘You haven't been visiting your Dad lately.'
'Bit difficult for me under the circumstances. I know he misses my visits. But I want to clean myself up before he is due for release. Then we can have a proper father and son relationship. I have plans to help set Dad and myself up in a small legit business.'
'All sounds good Tony, but you should visit him. Give him something to look forward to when he finally gets out.'
'Can't do that. I don't want to build up his hopes just to let him down. Tell him I'm getting myself sorted and when that's done I will visit him again.'
‘Why do you do this Tony?’
‘I do it for religious reasons.’
‘What do you mean?’
‘I worship money.’ He said with a sly grin.
Harry ignored his wicked sense of humour. ‘You know retribution has an extended evil memory.’
‘If you’re talking about Alf Hunter. I can deal with him. I have to deal with this my way. I have a plan and a girlfriend who will help me come though this successfully. Just tell Dad that I will get through this. Look, I have to get back. Give me your number and I will be in touch.'
‘Can I ask one more question, Tony?’
‘I don’t think I’ll be able to stop you.’
'The girl who answered the door, she's not the girlfriend is she?'
'For fucks sake, no. My friend is clean and lives in the country. I don't allow her to come here. She thinks I live in the other tower.'
'All right, if I can help in anyway, please contact me.’ He handed him a business card. ‘I owe it to your father. Remember, you’re a winner when you lose with dignity. Let's hope for your father’s sake that you succeed.'
'Sure, look after yourself and thanks for your advice.' And I’m so sorry about what happened to your girlfriend.’
Harry watched his Godson leave and hoped for all concerned that together they could turn this around for the better. He left the area with eyes penetrating his back

Chapter 25

This visit to the prison would be less pleasant than the previous time as Alf Hunter would not appreciate a second visit from the pigs and neither would the inmates, but Spencer and Darling were experienced enough to deal with any possible issues that may arise.
It had been a wild and windy night and today was negative five, so the car heater was on full blast as they drove along Dalry Road in Gorgie on their way to the prison.
'You still support that lot Andy?' Craig pointed towards Tynecastle Park as they passed the ground?
'Yes Craig, better than that shifty lot from Leith.'
'Well, Saturday's derby will see the best team win and I look forward to taking a tenner of you then, my dear Andy.'
'No chance.'
Craig switched the conversation to the task ahead. ‘I am positive that Alf Hunter will be quite hostile today, so we need to stay calm. We need to observe his reaction to our announcement of the death of his Solicitor.'
'You want me to play the dumb waiter today?'
'You got it in one. Seeing as you are suffering from the flu and shouldn’t really be here. He's easier to deal with if he only has to concentrate on one person.'
The turn off on the left to the prison was upon them so they indicated and turned into the prison driveway and then parked in visitor's area, locked the car and walked towards the entrance in the cold drizzle and wind. Not a pleasant day at all.
'The Governor must be busy today.' Spencer commented as they went through all the normal procedures except meeting the Governor before their meeting with Alf Hunter and quickly found themselves in the interview room alone awaiting their resentful guest.
They sat in silence for a few minutes before the door opened. Alf was grinning as he was lead to the vacant seat by the prison officer who winked at Alf before he left them alone in the room.
Alf didn't waste any time. 'Just had a lovely bacon roll have you? I can smell it in the air.'
'If you are going to throw shit at us then come up with something more original than that Alf.' DI Spencer replied
'You said one visit was suffice.' On my count this makes it two.'
'We said one visit on the matter of your wife and children's deaths. We are here on another matter that you might be able to shine some light on.'
'Like what?'
'Like, what you can tell us about your association with Reginald Buchanan?'
‘As criminals, we are ranked rather than linked in society. Cut the crap, I know about his demise. You can't keep that sort of news away from this place.'
'Then I'll rephrase the question. What can you tell us about his demise as you put it?'
'Can't tell you anything, except I heard he had died through the prison grapevine. Piece of advice for you sleuths. When all else fails read the directions.’
They both ignored the cryptic advice.
'Then the prison grapevine would have told you how he died then?'
'No, tell me how did he die?'
'We can't go into those details at the moment.'
The atmosphere was tense to say the least and Alf Hunter was playing it tough as they expected. He was also looking decidedly nervous, something they hadn't seen in him before.
The door to the main prison suddenly swung open and the officer who had brought the prisoner in called out 'Five minutes left gentlemen.'
Obviously one of Alf's friendly officers who had this prearranged.
'What business dealings have you had with Reginald Buchanan’s business partner Crawford Mills?' DI Spencer continued.
'Only met him a few times in the office when he was required to witness a signature. Apart from that all my dealings with the firm were with Reg Buchanan.
'So you never met outside the Solicitors office?'
'Never, what else do you want to ask? I’m getting very hungry.’
'What can you tell us about your association with Dolly Dyson?'
'Nothing other than the fact that he worked for me in the Gaylord Club a few years ago and he lives in Slaverville. What has that faggot got to do with any of this?'
'Maybe nothing, but you have helped to confirm his connection with you and that may assist us in our investigations. You have been most helpful.'
Both detectives could see that Alf realised that they had upset him up and he became more uneasy.
'I'm no grass, I just answered a question.'
'Sure, one last question before we go, 'Anyone in here have a grudge against you that may lead to some sort of retribution?'
'Not that I am aware of, do you want to ask them?
No, but I suppose you have an image to uphold.’
‘False people strive to present an image. Real people don’t give a fuck.’
‘It is our duty to ask these questions as we have received information that your life could be in danger.'
'Everyone's life is in danger in this place, I can deal with any situation and trust me, if what you say has some truth I would know about it.’
'Maybe.'
That single word riled Alf and at that stage he wanted to end the interview. He was to say the least visibly angry. He looked as though he was ready to go off like a frog in a sock.
He shook his head gently from left to right and at the same time licked his lips. A sign that he was about to explode.
‘Don’t even think about Mr Hunter.’ DS Darling warned.
'Okay if you have nothing more to ask I would like to return to my cell.’
As though it was beautifully and coincidently timed the officer re-entered the room. 'Five minutes are up gentlemen. Time for me to take the prisoner back to his accommodation.'
‘You seem to be a very angry person today, Mr Hunter.’ DI Spencer continued.
‘I’m not an angry person. I just have a violent reaction to stupid people.’
‘Thank you Mr Hunter for the information, you have been a big help to our investigations.'
If looks could kill. Spencer would be dead.
After the normal exit procedures they sauntered towards the car park.
'Jesus, I thought you said we needed to go easy on him, I thought he was on the verge of blowing up big time.'
‘What we do we know is that he was lying about Dolly Dyson and his meetings with Crawford Mills. We also know that he is now concerned more than ever about his safety in the prison and that may lead him to making mistakes.' Spencer stated.
'I agree on most of what you just laid out, but what makes you think he knows how Reginald Buchanan died?'
'Andy, if you look at your notes you will see that when I told him about the death and said we couldn't divulge the cause of death he didn't pursue how he died. Don't you find that odd? I think he knows how he died. What we have to do is join the dots to connect him.'

Chapter 49

The Brass Monkey pub in Leith Walk was not somewhere that Harry would have selected for a meeting with Raffles but it was his call and his local. Some would even suggest his second home. There was nothing wrong with the pub, just the location. Leith Walk and the surrounding streets were always impossible to find a car park. The landlord was easy going and well known for his lock ins at the weekend which went on into the wee small hours. Only locals were allowed access, definitely no strangers. Except of course the local plods. His investigative nose carried him onto the pub.
He picked a vacant bar stool at the far end of he bar and ordered a half pint of IPA from the barmaid while he waited for Raffles to arrive.
The barmaid seemed friendly enough even though she had more body rings than Long John Silver and more tattoos than any sailor he had ever seen.
Her red and blue hair was a stark contrast to her sickly white skin and her clothes looked like they had been personally selected from the local second hand gothic shop. As he stood at the bar sipping his half pint he wondered what the reaction would be when she was taken home to meet her boyfriend or girlfriend’s parents.
The place was reasonably quite. A group of old fellows were huddled in a corner with their half pints and dominoes. They both looked like they were made last century. A couple of young studs sat at the bar looking as though they were up to no good and an elderly man and woman were arguing about money near the poker machine. Yes, this was definitely Leith. Where else would you prefer to be on a Monday afternoon?
A hefty pat on the shoulder signalled the arrival of his friend. 'How are you auld yin? Mine's a pint of Tenants lager and get yourself another one while you’re at it.'
Harry coughed due to his heavy cold.
‘Sore throat sucks, eh Harry?
Raffles moved over to a vacant table and waited for Harry to shout the drinks and join him.
There was a slight kerfuffle going on at the front door as Harry arrived with the drinks.
'Don't worry about him. That's just Ali Khan better known as Sideshow Ali. He's the mad Orcadian. Totally harmless, virtually lives here. Wanders around singing "I swear to drunk. I'm not God" and talks to imaginary people. Never caused one spot of bother in all the years I have been drinking here. Couldn't organise a piss up in a brewery and perfectly safe. I think he's the one that John West rejected and he shops for everything on the five finger discount.’
He was the kind of person that was almost impossible to watch, while at the same time hard to tear your eyes away from. You imagined that if he took off his hat and smiled he would have straight hair and curly teeth.
'Nice place.' whispered Harry. 'I love Leith, I love its ugly beauty.'
‘C’est la vie.’ Replied Raffles.
'Anyway, I have the names of the Team Alf you asked for. Best not mention their names in here.' Raffles slid over a piece of paper. 'They're in there, don't know that it will help you much.'
'Thanks, much appreciated.'
Harry in turn handed Raffles an envelope. 'In there are the names of a couple of local bigwigs and some reasons why I suggest you look into them. I'm sure you'll find some juicy stories there. But be careful, they are powerful people with powerful friends in high places.'
'Why are you giving them to me?'
'I'm not going to be able to follow up on these at the moment and someone needs to carry on my investigations and nail them. I can't think of a better person than you to dig up any shit on them. They're nasty pieces of work and need to be brought to justice.'
'God be with you Harry, I owe you one.'
'Cut out the religious crap. It doesn't suit you. I bet the last time you went to church they tried to drown you. Just be careful, there is a lot of submarine activity going on there.’
‘What do you mean?’
‘Let’s say there is a lot going on under the water.’
Harry finished his drink and left Raffles ordering another. He knew he had buckley’s chance of getting out of there sober.
Harry made his way down to Leith Links where he had parked his car.
None of the names of the prisoners were of interest to him but the name of the non-prisoner was. Nugget Reid.

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  • Robert Darling on March 21, 2017, 3:19 a.m.

    Well done & wishing you a successful launch

  • Ray Schmidt on March 21, 2017, 11:19 p.m.

    Hope it all goes well mate. Cheers

  • Paul Naske on March 23, 2017, 8:26 a.m.

    It had better be bloody good mate. :)

  • Sheldyn Dixon on April 2, 2017, 10:24 a.m.

    Congratulations on this milestone Russell. I know that writing a novel has been a life goal for you and I hope you find it a rewarding experience.

  • Peter Badford on April 2, 2017, 10:32 a.m.

    Hoping there are more books to come...

  • Ben Thomas on April 2, 2017, 10:53 p.m.

    Congrats Russell.

  • Andrew & Maureen Arnaoutopoulos on April 3, 2017, 11:46 p.m.

    Well done Russell, look forward to reading the printed version.

  • Trish Fenly on April 4, 2017, 5 a.m.

    Hi Russell, good luck with the publication. Trish x

  • Sam Gantree on April 5, 2017, 6:25 a.m.

    Congratulations Russell =)

  • Garry Thistlewaite on April 6, 2017, 5:23 a.m.

    Hope the series goes Gangbusters for you mate and Yes we must catch up for a beer hopefully in the near future Cheers Garry Thistlewaite

  • Colin Spencer on April 6, 2017, 2:52 p.m.

    Russell, I hope that the streets of Edinburgh will pave the way to your next big success. All the best. Colin andLisa

  • Prem Menon on April 8, 2017, 3:13 a.m.

    Hi Russell, well done on your achievement. Looking forward to a good read. Best wishes
    Prem & Betty

  • Thomas Young on April 10, 2017, 3:56 a.m.

    Hi Russell, well done on this remarkable achievement.

  • Aileen Orr on April 17, 2017, 4:24 p.m.

    Hi Russell Good luck - this is from Alan and I. Aileen xo

  • Fergus Watt on April 18, 2017, 12:05 a.m.

    Coming from Edinburgh myself, and having read all of the Rebus novels by Ian Rankin, I am looking forward to reading this Harry Cram novel..
    I wish you all the best.

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