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Dùn Phris

A Gathering


Not everyone is fortunate enough to return to their family origins; when I swung from Edinburgh into the Scottish Lowlands in 2016, downed pints and drams in Robbie Burns’ ‘local’ in Dumfries, rustled the grass and crumbled stone of a distant relation’s kirk at Closeburn, trekked along the dramatic north cliffs of Solway Firth, watched liners steam from Loch Ryan into the Irish Sea, and spied the iconic isle of Ailsa Craig off the Ayrshire coast, there was no option but to create a tale that, selfishly, wove all these threads and others into a tale to preserve them for posterity( (ie. me!). In a nutshell, here’s my confabulated premise:


‘ Left a widower by murder, lawyer James Kirkpatrick quits America to find his Scottish roots, and in Dumfriesshire he walks into the arms and charms of DCI persephone Rodriguez. yet Jame’s new home has ghosts of its past too. After the Battle of the Atlantic, within sight of the Bloody Foreland, every surrendered U-boat was sunk by naval gunnery.


What could this have to do with the disappearance of a young nursing auxiliary, found dead the day before the last U-boat was used for target practice? Found not by the authorities nor by anyone else for the last seventy years…’


* Not sure if the McNaughts, Kirkpatricks, and Sandersons ( my forbears) would be pleased with my story, but I do hope you may be!


Chris McNaught

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