I know I’m not alone in having had horrible experiences of being compelled to read books in primary school that I hated. But, hopefully, I’m also not alone in having discovered some great ones. For me The Hill of the Red Fox by Allan Campbell McLean stands out. We read it, I think, in Primary 6 and it stays with me yet. Which is a good thing. On one memorable occasion one of our authors failed to turn up at the Spirit of Moray Book Festival. The audience, however, didn’t! It fell to me to entertain them and I did that by using an excerpt from this book.
It all starts when Alasdair is on the train from Glasgow to Mallaig en route for Skye, the birthplace of the father he scarcely remembers. On board he encounters two men, each chilling in his own way, who leave the train in dramatic fashion and leave Alasdair with a crumpled note saying ‘Hunt at the Hill of the Red Fox MI5’. Allan Campbell McLean’s classic thriller is as exciting today as it was fifty years ago. The Hill of the Red Fox is published by Kelpies Classics.