A Fred Buchanan Investigation
A rough diamond private detective is looking for someone’s missing teenage daughter, he lurches from one deadly encounter to the next, from being a cheap private eye to unwittingly uncovering a two-year-old mysterious disappearance, two murders, police corruption and a smuggling ring, he becomes the unlikely hero.
Fred Buchanan specialises in divorce and missing persons cases, has been getting crumbs from Mike McGiff, an old ‘friend’ and detective on the force, for years until Fred finds out that his supposed friend has been having an affair with his wife. Taking one last job from Mike puts Fred in the employ of an ageing TV star, Kitty Caldwell, who’s daughter, Summer, is lost.
Having found Summer quickly he thinks that this particular case is closed. But he is confronted by local crime kingpin, Jackie Donaldson, who seems to think that Kitty has employed him to solve the mysterious disappearance of her husband, Arthur, two years ago whilst on a trip North in his own small plane. He warns Fred off the case, telling him to take her money and disappear.
A day later, Kitty is murdered and Fred is in the frame as he was the last person to see her alive. This puts him on the defensive and he must now find out why Jackie Donaldson was so afraid of her, and solve her murder. As Fred lurches haphazardly from one false clue, often employing the same brutal tactics of the criminals he's pursuing, to another, he isn’t aware of what it is that he’s really investigating until he finds it, thinking at first that it’s about organised crime, smuggling drugs and women from Eastern Europe to work in Jackie Donaldson’s brothels, and linking him to Arthur’s disappearance and the smuggling ring. But Jackie is murdered soon after Fred visits him at his home. This time it’s Mike that warns him off, as he is in the frame for Jackie’s murder, he’s telling him as a friend to disappear.
However, spending most of the story chasing the ‘string’ of wrong clues, Fred eventually stumbles onto Arthur’s missing plane, and discovers the truth to who is behind the smuggling ring: Mike McGiff. Confronting Mike, who boasts that he’s the criminal mastermind feeding Scotland’s elite criminal fraternity not with illegal drugs and prostitutes but with counterfeit tobacco, cigarettes and alcohol instead, making millions in the process.
So, with one final explosive battle he finally frees himself from the one person that is trying to keep him from the truth, the one person that Fred trusted most of all: Mike McGiff.
Themes & Writer's Statement