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Book details
  • Genre:FICTION
  • SubGenre:Crime
  • Language:English
  • Series title:The Bleeding Heart Murders
  • Series Number:1
  • Pages:270
  • eBook ISBN:9780992621803

Up Roystonhill

by Rosaleen Orr

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UP ROYSTONHILL is a crime novel set in Glasgow’s dilapidated 'Mirkhill'. When wee RORY O'DONNELL is attacked and left for dead, SKY, a poetic tramp, is struck down and poor demented SISTER PHILOMENA is slaughtered, local cop and exercise freak, Detective Constable FRANK CHILDERS, is determined to track down the murderer. But MOTHER AGNES of the Convent of the Bleeding Heart is also on the case.
No-one can stay mad for long with FATHER HARRY, the charismatic priest at Saint Jude's. Though some consider his lifestyle unorthodox, the good works he does among the derelict winos of Mirkhill more than compensate for his occasional drunken binges, and his uneven temper. Certainly, MOTHER AGNES of the Holy Child always sees Harry's good side. She thinks him a kind of saint, a state to which she herself, large and plain, has always aspired. AGNES looks after rescued animals in the stables of the Convent of the Bleeding Heart. She also feeds the local tramps, among them the poet SKY HIGH, aka CHARLES LAVERY. Dublin born and Oxford educated, Charles Lavery is the former professor of poetry at Glasgow University, now declined into alcohol and drugs, trawling the seedy environs of Mirkhill, an ancient and ruined district of Glasgow, where dilapidated historic buildings and modern slums exist side by side. A true poet, inspired by the uneducated derelicts, and romantic ruins of the ancient churchyards they haunt, he rejoices in the name SKY HIGH bestowed upon him by the gang of down and outs who call themselves 'THE WANDERERS.' Youngster, RORY O'DONNELL, is savagely attacked at dusk, in a school art room, and left for dead. His shocking discovery by two cleaners leads to a series of murders and deceptions which embroil hardworking little MARTHA, comely VARRIE (a part time 'lady of the night'), the school chaplain, FATHER HARRY and MARIE LOUISE, a Page Three beauty in search of her lost family, and the disparate nuns of the convent next to the cemetery where the Wanderers gather. The subsequent death of SISTER PHILOMENA, an old nun suffering from dementia, leads MOTHER MARY AGNES of the Holy Child, and Detective Constable FRANK CHILDERS to the growing suspicion that a murderer walks among them. As the community gathers for the school production of ‘The Wizard of Oz’, Agnes is forced to confront her own preconceptions and look behind the curtain of her ‘holy’ community.
About the author
Award winning artist and poet, Rosaleen Orr, studied Painting at Glasgow School of Art under David Donaldson, Mary Armour, and Joan Eardley, where she won the William Hart Drawing Prize and the Guthrie Prize for portrait. She has had poems published in anthologies by Luath Press and, recently, by Kennedy & Boyd. She taught Art in two Convent Schools, and in the rough and tough East End of Glasgow. She was inspired by her pupils to write the poem ‘Up Roystonhill’, which won a joint first prize in the Glasgow University and Herald sponsored McCash Scots Poetry Competition. This poem has played its part in the writing of this, her first novel, of the same name. Her evocation of the seedier areas of Glasgow lends authenticity to the fast moving plot. Rosaleen Orr lives in Kilbarchan, a Renfrewshire Weavers’ Village, with her husband, the artist Robert Mulhern, where for five years they ran Studio Arts Gallery.
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