I'm not sure what compels people to write short stories. Perhaps it's because they don't take as long as novels. That's not to say they're easier to write, though. A well-crafted short story is a very difficult thing indeed to pull off.
You can be the judge of whether I've managed it ever. A couple of these have been published by the wonderful Spinteingler magazine, so that must count for something.
Because I have a tidy mind, I've arranged these in something of an order. Well, it made sense to me at the time. Get with the clicky for some short-form goodness.
Before I embarked upon the magical work that is Natural Causes, I tested my crime/supernatural thriller writing skills with a series of short stories. One of these ended up being the inspiration for Natural Causes, and is confusingly called Natural Causes. It was published by Spinetingler Magazine in 2006.
Spinetingler published a second McLean short story, Jenny, in late 2011, but the rest of the series have only briefly seen the light of day, for limited periods, on the Sir Benfro blog. They are presented here, now, for your edification.
A collected edition of these stories will be made available just as soon as I've got the time. Keep your eyes peeled for it in the books section.
No-one mourns the death of the Obituary Man, a burglar who targeted the homes of the recently deceased. But the manner of his death - crushed by a falling cast-iron toilet cistern - is odd enough to attract the attention of DI Tony McLean.
The body of a young woman is found walled up in the basement of an old Edinburgh mansion. A prominent local figure is brutally murdered. An illegal immigrant cuts his throat in a city centre pub. As violence descends upon the city, Detective Inspector McLean must think the unthinkable. An ancient evil has been freed, and only if he accepts that it can exist will he be able to stop it.
Frankly I'm getting a bit bored of writing these short descriptions. The story itself will only take you fifteen minutes to read, so why not do that instead. You'll enjoy it. Honest.
Everybody knows Job. The old tramp wanders the streets whatever the weather, and if you ever stop to talk to him, all he asks is 'do you know where it is?' No-one pays him much heed, no-one remembers their meeting a few minutes after it's over.
A young man dead, discarded with all the other garbage. Just another nameless, faceless rent boy no-one will miss. But the search for clues to his identity leads DI Tony McLean in unexpected directions, new leads on old cases, deals that even the vice squad knew nothing about. It's almost as if the dots had been laid out just ready to be connected. But by whom? And why?