Police Scotland crime thrillers

Novels set in Edinburgh and wider afield in Scotland, starring detectives Scott Cullen, Craig Hunter, Brian Bain… and more. 

Note: Previously published as Scott Cullen, Craig Hunter and Cullen & Bain, this new series set simplifies the reading order. 

Current status: Watch this space for news…

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Dead in the Water
Book 1
Kindle & Paperback out now

The ghosts of the past stay dead. Don’t they?

Ten years ago, a case brought two cops together and drove a wedge between another pair.

As Acting DC Scott Cullen works with DC Craig Hunter to track down a witness who didn’t show during a court case, they stumble upon another crime. Two homeless women, dying of a suspected heroin overdose.

As they investigate, they uncover a far-reaching criminal empire, dealing death and misery to Edinburgh’s underclass. And come across another investigative team who may not be exactly on the same side.

Travel back to the past and uncover the roots of the troubles that bedevil Cullen and Hunter in the present day.

Ghost in the Machine
Book 2
Kindle, Audio & Paperback

Think you’re safe online? Think again.

DC Scott Cullen of Lothian and Borders CID has only been in the job three months. Young, eager to please and desperate to do good. So a missing persons case should be an easy case to solve.


Fresh from a messy divorce, Caroline Adamson’s future is finally looking up. Her son seems happy and she’s dating again. Trouble is, Cullen can’t find Caroline or the man she met on Schoolbook, the latest social network taking Edinburgh by storm.

When Caroline’s mutilated body is found, Edinburgh faces the reality of a serial killer hunting young women. The discovery of a second, connected victim leads DI Brian Bain to put Caroline’s ex-husband in the frame.

Cullen isn’t so sure and is determined that the right person faces justice. As things take a personal turn, Cullen must look closer to home for the answer — before it’s too late.

Devil in the Detail
Book 3
Kindle, Audio & Paperback

A missing schoolgirl. A haunted detective. A dark mystery.

When the body of Mandy Gibson, a young disabled girl, turns up in the affluent East Lothian town of Garleton, DC Scott Cullen finds himself caught in the cross-fire of competitive police politics as he tries to solve the case.

The heartbroken parents don’t hesitate to point the finger of suspicion at young Jamie Cook, a tearaway teen with a long history of run-ins with the police. But where is he now?

Could Mandy’s death be anything to do with the families of both the victim and the suspect belonging to a secretive religious cult run by an excommunicated priest? The only way for Cullen to catch the killer is by finding out the darkest secrets of this close-knit community, one family at a time.

Fire in the Blood
Book 4
Kindle, Audio & Paperback

A body in a barrel. A troubled cop. A family with secrets to hide.

DC Scott Cullen is disillusioned with the force and his insufferable boss, DI Bain, not least because he keeps being overlooked for a promotion. That is until he finds himself investigating not one but two decades-old cases when the mangled and unidentifiable body of a man is found in a barrel of aged Dunpender Distillery whisky.

The plot thickens when it is discovered that two men working at the distillery went missing within weeks of each other around the same time the barrel was filled nearly twenty years ago. As Cullen steps back in time to work out what happened, he finds himself steeped in twisted tales of family loyalties, lies and professional rivalries. But before Cullen can work out who the killer is, he needs to know whose body is in the barrel…

Stab in the Dark
Book 5
Kindle & Paperback out now

A dead body. A twisted car. A detective torn in two.

DC Scott Cullen likes to play hard and fast with the rules and while it might antagonise his colleagues and superiors, it gets results. But resistance to his cowboy attitude, coupled with fears about a forthcoming police restructure, mean that things aren’t looking good for the maverick cop, especially when his personal life begins to crumble.

When the body of a young man turns up in a totalled car in West Lothian at the foot of a shale bing, it looks like a straightforward case.

But when that seemingly accidental death turns into two undeniable murders and Cullen gets caught in the risky crossfire of several different investigations. When the case shines a light on the murky underworld of football hooliganism, things become unexpectedly too personal for comfort. Can Cullen work out what’s going on, or were his colleagues right about him all along?

Cops & Robbers
Book 6
Kindle & Paperback out now

A body found under ancient Edinburgh. A hidden serial killer.

Things are finally going well for ADS Scott Cullen. He’s just moved in with his girlfriend and, thanks to a merger at work, the promotion he craves is almost in reach. Just so long as he can keep out of trouble…

But then the severely decomposed body of a man is found amid the labyrinthine alleyways of Edinburgh’s Old Town with a screwdriver through his heart.

The investigation leads Scott to unsettled scores in the music industry, where bands and their bitter rivalries might just have turned murderous. Then things aren’t looking so good. Cullen’s relationship takes an alarming turn, just as the unsolved case begins to weigh heavily on him. Scott’s maverick tactics have helped him in the past, but will they come back to haunt him – and put others in danger?

Liars & Thieves
Book 7
Kindle & Paperback out now

Murder at Christmas. Tragic New Year. A novel in two parts.

In “Christmas Steps”, with the lure of a promotion dangled in front of him, Detective Constable Scott Cullen investigates the gruesome murder of a businessman on a cold Christmas Eve in Edinburgh.

Then in “Windchill”, Cullen’s peaceful return from holiday is scuppered when the body of a barman is found with a knife in his gut.

What seems to be a straightforward case of violent jealousy soon reveals itself to have much darker links; revelations of mounting debts, out of control gambling and organised crime lead to the discovery of another body.

Cullen sets out to solve the murders, but can he untangle the web? And has he really scuppered any chance of moving up the career ladder?

Cowboys & Indians
Book 8
Kindle & Paperback out now

A desperate cop. A broken body. A secret with deep financial roots.

With a series of serious crimes in Edinburgh puzzling police, a bloodied corpse is found in the shadow of Edinburgh’s Dean Bridge. Who is he? Did he fall or was he pushed? And why is he handcuffed?

As the victim is identified, the case only gets murkier. Detective Sergeant Scott Cullen of Police Scotland’s Edinburgh Major Investigation Team is sucked into the depths of the city’s lucrative financial services sector, facing up to some old enemies and creating some new ones. Just months into his new role, Cullen is torn by the trials of a management role, putting a friendship on the line.

As new leads take them no further forward, with far too many suspects, Cullen must conquer a world where nobody trusts anyone and all are out for themselves. Can he catch a killer who could be anyone?

The Missing
Book 9
Kindle & Paperback out now

A missing schoolgirl. A tormented cop. A family mystery.

Meet PC Craig Hunter. Ex-Army. Ex-CID. Back in uniform.

Fresh from his transfer back to Edinburgh’s Local Policing Unit, Hunter and his partner answer a straightforward domestic call out, which soon twists out of control when 16-year-old schoolgirl Stephanie Ferguson alleges abuse at the hands of her stepfather, Doug.

Hunter is soon working with ex-colleague DS Chantal Jain of Police Scotland’s Sexual Offences Unit to kick off the prosecution but, before a full statement can be taken, Stephanie disappears from hospital.

Now, Hunter must track her down. Where has she gone? Did she run? Or did someone take her?

Will Hunter get to the truth before Stephanie is silenced for good? And why does this case keep throwing up old enemies from Hunter’s past?

The Hunted
Book 10
Kindle & Paperback out now

A serial sex offender. Two driven cops. One whole mess.

DC Craig Hunter of Police Scotland’s Sexual Offences Unit. Ex-Army. Back doing the work that drives him, that makes a difference. Private Sean Tulloch. Squaddie. Monster. He charms women. Moves in, dominates them, abuses them. Under investigation by the Sexual Offences Unit and the Royal Military Police, his partner Paisley Sanderson receives a threat. Soon she’s in hospital and Tulloch is in the wind.

Now, Hunter and DS Chantal Jain must hunt Tulloch down before he can strike again. Where is he? How did he know they were investigating him? A simple trip to Portugal soon grows out of control. Will Hunter take down Tulloch before his already horrific crimes escalate? Are the Army Police really on their side? Is DI Bruce really hunting a missing child or do his intentions lie closer to Chantal? Can Hunter and Chantal overcome their very different but very similar demons? And, in Sean Tulloch, has Hunter finally met his match?

Heroes & Villains
Book 11
Kindle & Paperback out now

A lying ganglord. A troubled cop. A masked vigilante.

After a previous case got him sidelined to a strategic investigation, DS Scott Cullen of Police Scotland’s Edinburgh Major Investigation Team closes in on a long-time adversary. Dean Vardy, Edinburgh’s latest kingpin. Every time they close in on him, he gets off, aided and abetted by his lawyer, Campbell McLintock.

But this time Vardy goes too far.

Or does he? After a witness dies, Cullen is soon desperately trying to hold the case together, with Vardy’s conviction dangling by a thread. Will McLintock get Vardy off yet again?

But soon, Cullen and his team are facing a different threat. A brutal vigilante, doling out frontier justice and obeying no laws. Can Cullen catch a killer who could be one of their own?

The Black Isle
Book 12
Kindle & Paperback out now

A missing brother. Old friends. New Enemies.

When a bungled raid leads DC Craig Hunter back to his old unit in Edinburgh, he has a chance to rebuild his career on a new high-profile case.

When he receives a mysterious message from his brother, Murray, indicating he might have been killed, Hunter must head up to the Scottish Highlands, desperate to pick up his brother’s trail in the Black Isle, the mysterious stretch just north of Inverness.

But the more Hunter digs, the less hope he has of learning Murray’s fate.

What was Murray doing up there?

Was it connected to his lucrative YouTube channel?

Or worse, was it connected to the man housesitting for Murray — Hunter’s estranged father, Jock?

The Cold Truth
Book 13
Kindle & Paperback out now

Cullen, Hunter and Bain return in a three-part novel, where each of them must face the Cold Truth.

City of the Dead
Acting DI Scott Cullen faces his worst fear – managing DS Brian Bain, his old boss and notorious loose cannon. But when Cullen is called through to Glasgow to investigate a murder, Bain is back on his home turf.

A body found in an industrial bin, soaked in bleach and naked except for an adult nappy. Amid an ongoing investigation into similar crimes, but stopping short of murder, can Cullen rise above Bain’s behaviour and solve the crime?

World’s End
When a body turns up in an Edinburgh supermarket, Acting DI Scott Cullen must dig into the victim’s life—and his own recent past.

While DS Brian Bain is in charge of investigating the supermarket and its staff, including the tainted meat scandal of a few years ago, he’s also scheming away, trying to solve the case before his boss.

But will Cullen’s goal be thwarted by Bain’s game? Will Bain save the day? And will they catch the killer before they strike again?

Hell’s Kitchen
“Ach, it’ll be fine.” Famous last words that leave DS Brian Bain trapped across the other side of the Atlantic from where he needs to be. Recording a podcast while the world ends.

“This is a nightmare.” Shoved back into operational policing to manage the lockdown in Edinburgh, Acting DI Scott Cullen is faced with some ghosts from his past. Ghosts that kill.

And with Bain thousands of miles away, can his long-standing plan come to fruition? Or will events dictate his actions?

The Dead End
Book 14
Kindle & Paperback out now

Cullen, Hunter and Bain return in The Dead End, a two-part novel that will end the career of one… And maybe the life of another…

Gore Glen
When a leading Scottish politician doesn’t turn up at work one morning, it seems like a simple missing persons case to Brian Bain. But then a big news story lands and things don’t seem to be so clear cut.

Meanwhile, the discovery of a body in Midlothian’s Gore Glen leads DI Scott Cullen on a wild chase through nearby Gorebridge and across southern Scotland, while the press close in on Cullen over choices made on a previous case, unearthed during a new mysterious podcast about the police.

Is there a connection between the two cases? Will Cullen be able to catch the killer before they strike again? And will the ghosts of Cullen’s past come back to haunt him?

The Last Drop
A dead student in a bath. A missing killer, hiding more than her location.

When the body of a postgraduate student is found in an ice-cold bath, DI Scott Cullen and his team must hunt for the flat’s tenant. But she doesn’t want to be found, hiding more than just her location.

Meanwhile, Brian Bain is nearing the endgame in his mission to bring down Cullen, aided and abetted by DS Luke Shepherd, another person who is hiding the truth from Cullen.

Will Cullen find the killer? Will Bain succeed in taking revenge? Will Shepherd achieve closure?