glasgow noir fiction

the Stevie McCabe crime novels




no such thing as destinyno such thing as destiny website reflection image

It was the sound that caught me short, a sharp creak of rope straining in the wind, clutching against a middle branch of the mountain ash by the side of the drive.

Twisting in the fatal clutch of a noose hidden now, biting into his purpling flesh, a man dangled, limbs a-droop, bobbing in a marionette dance of indecision, head turning like he was saying no to a question nobody had asked him.


The Doune family were old money, so old they had a motto and a coat of arms. But that didn’t stop Lachlan Doune becoming a child killer twenty years ago, while still a child himself.  Stevie McCabe knows nothing of why Lachlan, released from psychiatric care after a long incarceration, calls for his services, and has no chance to find out before the  client is found hanging from a rowan tree outside the family mansion, his alcoholic sister too wasted to  notice.  

When Lachlan’s will is read, the shocking revelation is that his  millions have been left to the mother of the child he killed decades before…but that bequest is worth nothing, because the fortune has already been stolen. McCabe, facing his own issues of family and relationships, begins to wade through the bleak, tortured history of a clan weighted down by decades of murder, wealth, suicide, infidelity and violence.  Truth is illusory and nothing stays the same for long in their dark world of lies and fear.  

The veteran detective plunges into a world where money and privilege is overlaid on Glasgow’s tapestry of drugs and crime, a convergence that breeds creatures breathing squalid life and miserable death over everything they touch. Can McCabe discover a seam of truth running through the mother lode of decay?


NO SUCH THING AS DESTINY, the seventh Stevie McCabe novel

To order a copy, please go to the Glasgow Noir Fiction STORE

You can sample No Such Thing As Destiny by clicking below

No Such Thing Sample 1

No Such Thing Sample 2 



only dangerous in the breeding season

I parked the Sonata behind Johnny’s jeep and stepped from the car into the hibiscus-scented heat. The night was clammy with moisture rising out of the damp land and drifting from the tropical storm that still lurked out to sea. Cicadas clicked and whirred their abdominal song somewhere in the dark.

The movement was barely perceptible, a shiver off to the right among the bougainvillea that trailed up the sides of the apartment block. Something... someone...shifted weight and the plant trembled.

Johnny was fumbling for keys, head down, as the shiver became a shudder and a flickering figure stepped sideways half out of the shadow. No possible way to see that except as a threat. I lurched forward, yelling.


What does family mean? Everything? Nothing?

Private detective Stevie McCabe finds himself 5000 miles from home answering a distress call, deserting the hard streets of Glasgow for the seductive palms of Florida’s

Gulf coast. Brother Johnny is in trouble with the law, guilty of theft and fraud through a corrupt pyramid scheme, left to face the consequences by a partner who crashed his Cessna into a swamp, but that’s not Johnny’s biggest problem...his problem is that he laundered funds through the venture for a druglord, a high-value target for police. So: face the penitentiary for his financial crimes...or plea bargain for deportation by incriminating the gangster at the risk of his own life?

But it’s not just family loyalty that drives Stevie McCabe, because some of his brother’s fraud victims were organised crime figures from back home in Glasgow – and he “helpfully” mentioned Stevie’s name while doing it: both brothers are now threatened equally by law and disorder in two countries as cultures blend and clash in a melee where there are no victories, only flavors of defeat.

...and a hurricane is raging across the Gulf towards Florida, threatening to blow everybody’s plans away...




you can sample only dangerous in the breeding season by clicking below

Only Dangerous Sample 1

Only Dangerous Sample 2



Glasgow Noir Fiction publishes the crime novels of John Callaghan.


I was born in that most slandered of decades, the 50s, in that most slandered of cities, Glasgow.

Though, is it still slander if it's all true...?

I write what I would like to read, which is crime fiction (noir?...that's what it says on this website), with a sardonic edge. I seek to deliver vivid characters in a cityscape that itself (cliche-bomb alert) becomes one of them, enmeshed in plots that tease, mystify and disturb. 

Yes, there's some mayhem, but there are no ripping viscera, no splintering skulls; I don't need those to tell my tales. Yes, there are sexual encounters, because my characters have real lives, but I don't have a place in my books for lingering erotica; that's from a different menu and too cumbersome for what I want to say. So why are my books "for adults only"? That would be because of the dialogue - I love to tell stories through conversation, and in Glasgow (well, in crime) that requires profanity, great fuckin' torrents of it, often elaborate, intentionally inventive and sometimes funny. 

I write because I want to tell the tale and to share it. What interests me: vivid atmosphere and sense of "place", memorable and powerful characters, intense plot, sardonic (that word again) humour, an inner darkness which informs but does not overpower the other elements, flawed heroes and public figures, a rhythm in dialog(ue) that tells the story on its own, a certain awareness of politics and current issues, without mistaking myself for The Guardian. 

So, the books - seven novels thus far in a series focused on, and first-person narrated by, Glasgow private detective Stevie McCabe. No point in summarising the plots, because you can read that information on the relevant pages, but the titles are:

Clip Their Little Wings

Every Stone A Story

Black Wind Blows

My Name Is Never Was

No Shadow In The City 

Only Dangerous In The Breeding Season

No Such Thing As Destiny

In the meantime, Stevie McCabe blogs and offers short stories in the style and setting of the novels at , which also includes several chapters from No Shadow In The City.


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You can also find all the novels in digital format on Amazon and Smashwords for around £3GB / $5US.

Amazon provides for its own Kindle platform, but Smashwords offers books in several e-formats, including PDF and plain text.