Before Dundee gumshoe J. McNee took on his first case in The Good Son, another Scots private investigator operated out of the offices at 1, Courthouse Square, Dundee. His name was SAM BRYSON, and he was crime writer Russel D. McLean’s first attempt to create a hardboiled detective in a modern Scottish setting.
Sam shares a lot in common with McNee he’s cynical, world weary and not averse to the odd moment of violence. But unlike McNee, Sam’s darker side is tempered by a loving relationship with his long-term girlfriend an American philosophy professor called Ros and a number of close friendships that define his world and stop him from falling deep into the darkness that always seems one wrong step away.
Sam first appeared in the short story, "The Death of Ronnie Sweets," where he was asked to look into a violent assault by the distraught parents of a young student. His second appearance introduced a fictional Dundee underworld, notably the long running rivalry between two sets of brothers the Kennedy’s (named by their crime-lord father for JFK and RFK) and Omar and Yafit (whose surnames are never known). Sam would encounter both sets of brothers across several stories, refusing to take sides in their turf wars.
Sam is idealistic (perhaps foolishly so), and given to fits of violence when things don’t go his way. It is implied in early stories that he may drink too much, but this is soon tempered (perhaps due to Ros’s influence). He is loyal to his friends and loved ones and will do anything to defend them, as witnessed in "What Friends Are For."
"Davey's Daughter," first published in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine in 2008, was supposed to be the final Bryson story. But he returned on 2011 with the story "Flesh and Blood," published in the e-collection Collateral Damage. Further stories are planned with the character depicting the events that would lead to his leaving the Investigation racket.
The author writes for Crime Spree Magazine, The Big Thrill, At Central Booking and Crime Scene Scotland. His short fiction has been published in crime magazines and web sites (including Thrilling Detective) in both the US and the UK. He lives in Dundee, Scotland. Where else?
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