Val McDermid to write Polygon’s next Darkland Tale

  29 Sep '23   |  Posted by: Birlinn

Polygon’s celebrated Darkland Tales series will continue to expand with the latest novel to be authored by renowned Scottish crime writer Val McDermid. This series of dramatic fictional retellings from key moments of Scottish history, myth and legend has seen successful works from some of Scotland’s best-known authors, including Denise Mina, Jenni Fagan, and Alan Warner, with a fourth from playwright David Greig coming this month. In 2024, readers can look forward to seeing Val McDermid’s inspired take on one of Scotland’s most intriguing and complex female villains, Lady Macbeth.

This anticipated novel will be Val’s interpretation of the true historical character behind the Shakespearean myth, Gruoch ingen Boite, a strong woman shaped by hard times, holding her own amidst the power struggles of ruthless, ambitious men. Readers can expect a propulsive and dynamic retelling of this figure who has been blurred, and wronged, by Elizabethan drama. 

UK and Commonwealth rights were acquired by Polygon editor-at-large James Crawford, from Lizzy Kremer at David Higham Associates. 

Crawford commissioned Polygon’s acclaimed Darkland Tales series, and he commented on the upcoming book, saying ‘I had always conceived the Darkland Tales series with writers like Val McDermid in mind. We want to bring together the absolute best of Scottish writing with some of the most famous stories and characters from the country’s history and myth – which makes the combination of Val and Lady Macbeth an absolute blockbuster. Her reinterpretation promises to be something truly special, offering an electrifying new perspective on an old tale. I can’t wait for it to make its way into readers hands.’

Val McDermid said, ‘I’m excited to be part of the Darkland Tales project. Excavating the real Lady Macbeth from Shakespeare’s lies is a thrilling challenge!’

Val’s take on Lady Macbeth will be an exciting addition to the series that Scotsman has called ‘one of the most interesting developments in Scottish publishing’. McDermid’s Darkland Tale is currently planned for Spring 2024.

Read more about the previous books in the Darkland Tales here:

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