Blood in the Glens

True Crime from the Scottish Highlands by Jean McLennan

Blood in the Glens is a fascinating collection of true crime stories from the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. Murders and unexplained deaths happen wherever there are people and, despite its sparse population, the Highlands have had more than their fair share.

Now Jean McLennan investigates some of the most chilling crimes committed in the north over the last sixty years. There’s ‘The Casanova Killer’, ‘The Butler Did It’,’The Ladies’ Man’ and  ‘Beyond Reasonable Doubt’, the case of Totsie Sutherland who was brutally murdered on the Black Isle. And there are the unsolved crimes which still baffle detectives and the public, like the high-profile murder of banker Alistair Wilson in Nairn who was shot on his own doorstep in 2004. Police did eventually recover the gun used in this horrific killing, but no motive has ever been discovered and the killer is still free.

This is a unique collection of cases from the north and an intriguing and authoritative look at the background to each crime, the motives of those involved, the crimes themselves and their repercussions.

This was a good read! Ms. McLennan is a retired lawyer and honorary sheriff in Wick. She explains the workings of Scottish law and their judicial system, which is quite different from England and the US. The cases she chose to include were interesting and varied. I always thought Scotland didn’t have much of a murder rate but when you compare the numbers, US population of 322,762,018 (as of the end of 2017) to Scotland’s 5,373,000 (4/2016) it’s probably fairly comparable to us.

I’ve been to many of the places where these crimes took place and it made it that much more interesting to read about them! It was a real education in peeking in on how they worked a case and solved it in such vast and difficult terrain in the Highlands. You should try to get a copy if you like true crime!




2 thoughts on “Blood in the Glens

  1. The two countries have very different ways of collecting data and logging crimes. A push in the UK will be logged as a violent crime even where no harm is done. I’ve calculated that you are more than twice as likely to be murdered in the US than in Scotland and most murders in Scotland are committed by someone the victim knows. The website below is very interesting, you will have to scroll right down to get to the interesting statistics.


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