Dark Orchid

Dark Orchid

Life's about choices; choose to smoke, choose to go home or stay out, choose to study or fuck about, just don't complain to me when you end up a miserable bus driver. Its your fault. Galston McGee


Everyone wants to do the right thing. Sometimes doing the right thing can lead you down a path from which there is no return. Follow Galston McGee and James Bisset as they journey through 1970s Glasgow, white-collar fraud and organised crime. As their lives intersect, the consequences are deadly and catastrophic. Dark Orchid is a fast-paced story of love, greed, resurrection and revenge.


I was totally gripped by this book and read it in one day by the pool on holiday! The plot unfolds brilliantly throughout the story whilst the characters develop in gritty chapter after gritty chapter. The descriptions are so vivid that despite being in a scorching desert resort I could really imagine myself in a grey and rainy Scotland overlooking a steely river or in a cold and snowy Swiss resort with the smell of the pines all around. A fantastic read from a great new author. Gives any of the big names a run for their money and I highly recommend Dark Orchid for anyone who wants to be engrossed from start to finish. ~ Pipes, Amazon Review

I enjoyed this book a lot and read it in a couple of sittings as I was captured by the story and wanted to know how it all played out. It is a tale of three villains who are not all bad and another villain who is really bad. The very bad guy, Galston, has a character very well portrayed with plenty of background information and colour. There is a bit of breath holding violence in the story, but this is not glorified in any way. The pace of the story is good with plenty of movement, different locations and concise descriptions. The dialogue is authentic for Edinburgh and Glasgow dialects and I delighted in my favourite double positive denoting a negative ‘aye right!’ Apparently the only one in the English language. The three nicer villains seem to have come up with a money making crime which is virtually victimless and they use some of the gains for charity work, so you can’t help getting fond of them. Unfortunately the finalé leaves very little for any ongoing story or sequel but I’m sure this writer will come up with more and different directions for his future books. ~ J. A Skinner , Best-Book-Review.co.uk

This is so cleverly written I could not put it down. It is bloody and gross but impossible to ignore. ~ Carolyn Lanier, I Love a Mystery newsletter

A tense, gritty thriller weaving together the threads of friendship, betrayal, crime and passion. This modern update on the classic Robin Hood tale is a well-written, fascinating glimpse into the colliding worlds of white collar crime and gangland Glasgow. Strongly addictive...you won't be able to put it down. Michael J Shanks is a strong new voice in tartan noir fiction. ~ Nicola C Mackay , Amazon Review

This book is intense and powerful; but probably not one for the faint hearted. The opening scene is so realistic you would think you are there, struggling against the ropes that bind you helplessly to a cruel, slow and painful death, half swallowing the leather glove wedged in your mouth to stop you screaming. Such is the realism in the writing that throughout the book you find yourself wondering why we don't hear more about this sort of stuff on the news. The central character, Galston, is cold and brutal, and the detail and observation with which Shanks portraits him is compelling; almost a Hannibal Lecter but with a thick Glaswegian accent. Scenes are chilling but contain the sort of observation and insight that usually comes from personal experience. Flitting between time and space, a picture builds over many years of greed, sex, violence and revenge that includes everything from waterboarding, skiing in the Alps, bayonets drawn in sweaty pubs, to the seeming tranquility of the Caribbean Archipelago. Characters constantly surprise the reader with both their intentions and reactions; frequently begging the question 'what would I do in that situation?' The end comes unexpectedly, but leaving enough information to imagine a very satisfying end to a very evil life. A brilliant read and highly recommended. ~ Knotty, Amazon Review

Taut, brutal and gripping. An engagingly nasty piece of work. ~ Christopher Brookmyre, author Quite Ugly One Morning (1996) and President of the Humanist Society of Scotland

Michael J. Shanks
Michael J. Shanks Michael J. Shanks is a Scotsman, originally from Inverness, now living and working in Switzerland. Finance Director, Chartered Accountant & ...
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