FROM murder mysteries to histories revisited, there's a lot to look forward to reading in 2022.

The National has compiled some of the most exciting Scottish books due out in the coming months.


The Long Knives by Irvine Welsh

The famed Trainspotting author is back for the second instalment in his detective series which kicked off with Crime back in 2008.

Now, in The Long Knives, Detective Ray Lennox is left to unravel the truth behind an MP who is found dead in a Leith warehouse.

The politician has made many enemies throughout his career, known as a vicious, racist and corrupt man.

As Detective Lennox searches for the culprit, and tries to leave his personal feeling aside, the brutal attacks grow around Edinburgh.

READ MORE: Scottish crime writers' McIlvanney Prize announces 2021 longlist

Published by Penguin, The Long Knives will be available to order from August 25.

Young Mungo by Dougie Stuart

The Scottish author is still riding high from the success of his debut novel, Shuggie Bain, which won the prestigious Booker Prize in 2020.

His second book follows the dangerous love of two young men on each side of the sectarian divide in Glasgow.

Set in the city’s housing estates, the book will showcase working-class life, explore sexuality and touch on the hyper-masculine, violent world the two men find themselves in.

The young men dream of escaping the city as Mungo works to hide his true self from his family and friends.

Published by Pan Macmillan, Young Mungo is expected to be released on April 14.

The New John Rebus Thriller by Ian Rankin

Best-selling Scottish author Ian Rankin is back with another expected hit in his famous John Rebus series.

It comes after Rankin signed a deal with publisher Orion to write two more of the books, which have sold more than 30 million copies worldwide.

The tartan noir writer has so far kept the title and plot of the upcoming book secret but fans are expected to be able to follow retired detective Rebus’s next appearance come October.

The Second Cut by Louise Welsh

Those in need of some mystery will be delighted to hear about the return of Louise Welsh’s award-winning debut novel.

Some twenty years on from The Cutting Room, this grisly Glasgow-set story will follow auctioneer Rilke as he tries to keep out of trouble.

But after the suspicious death of a close friend, he finds himself the only one who wants to investigate it.

READ MORE: Irvine Welsh reveals he's turning Trainspotting into a stage musical

Celebrated Scots author Val McDermid called the book “dark, funny and humane”, saying she won’t read a better one this year.

Published by Canongate, The Second Cut is due out on January 27.

Companion Piece by Ali Smith

Described as “Scotland’s Nobel Laureate-in-waiting” by Irish Booker Prize winner Sebastian Barry, Ali Smith’s new novel explores companionship in all its forms.

It follows the author’s unique quartet of novels – Autumn, Spring, Winter and Summer – which were written as close to real-time as possible between 2016-2020.

They provided commentary on everything from the #MeToo movement to the refugee crisis and Covid.

In her new novel, Smith promises to capture the present time with a bold spirit while looking to the future.

Published by Penguin, Companion Piece will be realised on April 7.


Preventable: How a Pandemic Changed the World & How to Stop the Next One by Devi Sridhar

The University of Edinburgh professor of global health rose to prominence during the coronavirus pandemic.

Now, the Scottish Government adviser is out with her first book for the general public in 2022.

In it, she will use the Covid-19 pandemic to show how global politics can shape our health.

The scientist uses her expertise and personal experience as a public health communicator and government adviser to set out a vision for how the world can better protect itself from inevitable future health crises.

She will call out what she sees as a false narrative of health versus the economy, and will compare some eastern Asian countries who handled the virus comparatively well with countries such as the UK, which suffered from high death Covid tolls.

The Year the World Went Mad: A Scientific Memoir by Mark Woolhouse

The epidemiologist takes the reader through his experience as an expert dealing with, and often being ignored by those in charge.

An adviser for the Scottish and UK governments, he warned Scotland in January 2020 to urgently begin preparations to protect the nation from the virus.

READ MORE: Gerry Hassan and Cathy Agnew appointed to book festival body board

The professor goes on to tell the story of an insider and his frustration with politics, and the missteps in dealing with the pandemic which have seen thousands of people die as a result.

Woolhouse warns the world not to repeat the same mistakes it made when the next pandemic comes around.

Published by Sandstone Press, The Year the World Went Mad will be available from February 24.

The National:

Daughters of the North: Jean Gordon and Mary, Queen of Scots by Jennifer Morag Henderson

The poet, biographer and playwright’s new book aims to reframe the turbulent history of Mary, Queen of Scots and the Earl of Bothwell by focusing on his lesser-known first wife, Jean Gordon.

She extricated herself from the marriage, surviving the intrigue of the Queen’s court and became the Countess of Sutherland, the most powerful woman in the North.

Daughters of the North, published by Sandstone Press, will be released on March 17.

The Instant by Amy Liptrot

The Wainwright prize-winning author follows up her bestselling book The Outrun as she up sticks from her quiet isolation in Orkney.

Liptrot takes us through her time in Germany as she searches for love in Berlin, writing an intimate account of her time there.

Through her quest, she observes the city’s wildlife, nightclubs and its streets as she explores love and lust away from home.

Published by Canongate, The Instant will hit online and in-store shelves on March 3.