JOURNALIST, Anna Smith, newspaper columnist and hard news reporter, has launched her fourth novel.
‘Betrayed’ was warmly welcomed by a packed gathering at Waterstones in Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow, on Thursday.
And it was liberally toasted thereafter at a convivial drinks party with former colleagues in Malone’s Irish Bar in the city centre.
Betrayed takes the journalist character, Rosie Gilmour, on an investigation into the activities of the Ulster Volunteer Force in Glasgow.
Its background is based on the bitter religious divide that separates Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland and Scotland.
It contains some frightening fictional characters in a gripping story based around allegations that cocaine was being smuggled aboard football supporters’ buses.
Anna, who is from Chapelhall in Lanarkshire, said: “I had an attempt to investigate this myself when I worked as a reporter but I didn’t get far on it.
“I also recall a court case in Glasgow years ago when gangsters were smuggling drugs on buses used to take kids over for football tournaments on the Costa del Sol.
“So these are the kind of things that inspired the novel.”
While working as a reporter, Smith interviewed violent religious and political extremists with connections to terrorist, paramilitary groups in Glasgow and Belfast.
She added: “I was always struck by how ordinary their lives were.
“I’d be interviewing them in their homes which had all the trappings of a normal life – kids playing, photos on the wall, and dishes in the sink…
“Yet, these guys were preaching their dogma to me, and it always made me think they are just like the rest of us when they’re not doing what they do.
“So, what I’ve tried to do in the book is paint the picture of who they are – who are their wives, their families and so on.
“I’m hoping people will see beyond the headline of the subject matter and see the human aspect, that this is a book about relationships, about love and loss and regret.
“It is also about divided loyalties and betrayal.”
Anna was brought up in Lanarkshire where she started her journalistic career at the local Airdrie and Coatbridge Advertiser.
She went on to win many awards as a journalist and became chief reporter of the Daily Record in Glasgow and a columnist for the News of the World.
She lives in Scotland, Ireland and Spain.
Betrayed is published by Quercus and costs £7.99 on line and at all good bookshops. There is a money back offer if you don’t enjoy it, which is highly unlikely.
Caption: Anna signing copies of her new novel, Betrayed, for fellow Scottish journalists, Janet and Alan MacDermid.
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