Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Russel D. McLean's "Mothers of the Disappeared"

Russel D McLean is the author of several novels featuring Dundonian PI J McNee. Born in Fife, McLean studied Philosophy at the University of Dundee before falling into bad company and entering the booktrade. He has been a reviewer, a freelance reader, a roving chair, a bookseller and an ezine editor.

Here McLean dreamcasts an adaptation of his latest novel, Mothers of the Disappeared:
When I first approached this theoretical question around the time of my debut novel, The Good Son, I wasn’t sure who could take on the character of J McNee, the dour Dundonian detective. I’m still not sure, to be honest. I like the idea of a lead who’s not as well known as the others in the cast, although I’ve softened a little on the idea of someone like David Tennant taking the lead. If he dialed back the performance, he might be suitably dark enough to play the character.

I still, after all these years, think that Brian Cox (the actor, not the physicist) would be perfect as David Burns, the aging gangster. Even more so the way this character has developed over four novels.

Actor turned crime novelist John Gordon Sinclair would probably work well as SCDEA agent Sandy Griggs. He has the physical presence and in some ways his own past plays into the role. A good guy turned apparently amoral, he would have a lot to play with this in this role. And given that so many people still think of him in the good guy role from his time in Gregory’s Girl while he has become a far more versatile actor, I think perhaps that could play into the role.

And the allegedly innocent man accused of killing several children? We need someone absolutely versatile making us doubt from moment to moment whether he is innocent or guilty. I wish I knew who that person was, but again wonder if someone unknown might be absolutely perfect: someone who we wouldn’t know whether to believe or not, with no baggage as an actor.

The more I think about it, though, the more I think that the book(s) would make a better TV series than they would movies. There are arcs running through these books that would breathe in the atmosphere of TV better than in the cinema. Yes, I think that’s something I’d love to see.
Visit Russel McLean's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Good Son.

My Book, The Movie: The Lost Sister.

The Page 69 Test: Mothers of the Disappeared.

Writers Read: Russel D. McLean.

--Marshal Zeringue