Slains Castle, the Bullers of Buchan, Cruden Bay and the heritage village of Fittie once again provide the backdrop to most of the action, as Soul Search – the latest instalment in The Buchan Trilogy – continues the compelling story of three ordinary people caught up in a pioneering neurological experiment that veers out of control.
Judy’s first novel, And I Am You, has been described by reviewers as “Buchan Noir at its best”, “brilliant and enthralling”, “unputdownable” and “beautifully written”, while many readers have expressed their enjoyment of her descriptions of the North-east land and seascapes in all their moods.
The early reviews of Soul Search are equally as encouraging, with reviewers commenting on its: “gripping storyline, wonderfully told and full of beautifully-descriptive characters, fascinating intrigue and fantastic twists”, as well as the book’s continuation of the “strong sense of place on the wild Buchan coast that makes these stories so special”.
For Aberdeen-based Judy, a retired journalist, business writer and former editor of Leopard magazine, the decision to base her novels in her native North-east was a ‘no-brainer’.
She said: “Having some of the world’s most beautiful, dramatic and heritage-rich locations on my doorstep, I see them as the ideal backdrop for a story like mine.
“Sometimes benign, sometimes sinister, depending on the time of day and the weather, such environments influence the action of a novel and become characters in their own right.”
As a fan of quality crime and psychological fiction, Judy acknowledges that her own books are “quirkier than your typical examples of those genres”.
She explains: “The premise of The Buchan Trilogy is purely speculative, as the neurological procedure at the centre of it doesn’t exist in real life and was inspired by an age-old philosophical thought experiment.
"However, the outcome – the devasting effect it has on all three of the main characters – is entirely plausible and I like to think their panicked reactions would be those of real people living in today’s world.”
She adds: “The cataclysmic ending of And I Am You meant that Soul Search had to become part-psychological thriller, part-police procedural – how’s that for a mixed-genre offering?
"But it was a natural evolution and I’m happy to break through boundaries, if that’s what the story requires.”
Judy is now working on Head Haunted, part three of The Buchan Trilogy.
And I Am You and Soul Search are available in Kindle and paperback formats from Amazon and selected Aberdeenshire outlets, including Better Read Books in Ellon.
Orders your at www.amazon.co.uk
You can find keep to date with news on Judy and her books by visiting her Facebook page at www.facebook.com/judymackiebooks/