How Long is a Piece of Rope: Chris Longmuir

Night Watcher by Chris Longmuir is $3.99 for Kindle

or £2.82 for UK Kindle

A mysterious stranger arrives in Dundee, Scotland, with a mission to find a new Chosen One to punish. His inner voices guide him to Nicole, a ruthless business woman with a weakness for the husbands of other women.
One of Nicole’s paramours is found hanged and everyone assumes he has committed suicide. However, his estranged wife, Julie, knows better and blames his death on Nicole. Obsessed with the need to punish Nicole, Julie stalks her, unaware that there is another stalker, the deranged and dangerous Night Watcher.

Who will exact punishment on Nicole first?
What price will Nicole have to pay for her misdemeanors?
Will Julie’s mind games drive Nicole over the edge?
And what price will Julie have to pay for her obsession?

Only the Night Watcher knows!

The Night Watcher is Chris Longmuir’s second crime novel. Her first, Dead Wood, won the Dundee International Book Prize in 2009. A print edition was published by Polygon and was so successful the first print run was exhausted within four months.


Chris Longmuir won the Dundee International Book Prize with her first crime thriller Dead Wood. This book was so successful the first print run sold out within 4 months. Her second book, Night Watcher, has been published as a Kindle edition ebook. Her crime novels are set inDundee,Scotland, and have been described as scary, atmospheric, page turners. Chris also writes short stories and historical articles which have been published in theUSand theUK. Writing is like an addiction to me, Chris says, I go into withdrawals without it. She is currently working on a further 2 crime novels.

 So, what about the questions that matter?

1. Night Watcher is way better than many of my earlier books but one day I’d really like to be as good as Val McDermid or Mo Hayder. My books are dark, but theirs are way darker.


2. You will just love my book if you enjoy Jonathan Kellerman or Jeffrey Deaver novels, but if you’re a fan of Agatha Christie steer well clear, I’m far darker than she is.


3. Bullets come from the barrel of a gun but I prefer to use more subtle methods which can be just as violent, but depend on the psychopathy of the killer.


4. How do you see the role of food in the contemporary thriller and where does Night Watcher fit into the spectrum?

Food can be used in many ways, sexual, sensual, as the preliminary to an action, or to make use of the senses. My cast of characters don’t usually have much time to eat, and if they do it’s something snatched.


5. How would it affect the direction Night Watcher takes if the action were moved wholesale to the set of Glee in Chapter 7?

I’ve never watched Glee so it’s difficult to say, but I imagine they would have to break out in song when Julie jumps out in front of Nicole’s car. Maybe they could also sing ‘Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick’ when the car hits Julie. Other than that it would be great fun to set a serial killer loose onto the set of Glee.


6. When you’re writing, would you rather look out at the sea, or in at your thoughts?

I’d love to look out at the sea when writing but know I would get nothing done. I write straight to computer in my study. It faces a blank wall and I always have the window slats closed, so no distraction there. Besides, the inside of my mind is much more interesting than any view.


7. When writing, do you start at the beginning and keep going, or start at the end and work back?

Usually I start at the beginning of a novel with a single scene and a character. I have a vague idea of plot and the type of psychopathy I will use, apart from that, once I get going I give my characters their head and it’s amazing where they take me. However, nothing is written in stone and Night Watcher actually started with Chapter 9. I worked to the end, then went back and wrote a whole new beginning. I reckon I’m more of a pantser than a plotter.


8. A great villain or a great hero?

Neither. There is no black and white in my books, I prefer shades of grey. My heroes and heroines are all flawed, and my villains have their good points. I prefer my characters to be people rather than stereotyped heroes and villains.


9. I doubt if  Night Watcher will change the way a reader looks at anything, although it may make the reader think twice before venturing out in the dark, and set them wondering what is on the other side of the windowpane. I write to entertain, not to change the way a reader sees the world.

10. How long is a piece of rope?

Provided it’s long enough to do the job and will take the weight of a body, I don’t really care.

And here are some fabulous reviews for Night Watcher

A wonderfully, suspenseful read (Review Quote)

Even when you think you have it all figured out, Chris throws in one final twist to throw you off. Her descriptive narrative draws you in making the sights, sounds and smells come to life. The dialogue is natural and makes the characters seem like normal folk you would meet on the street or in your local. For anyone who enjoys crime fiction, I highly recommend this as an addition to your must read list.


Sinister with lots of twists and turns (Review Quote)

Absolutely brilliant read.
Chris manages to keep the suspense going right until the end of the book along with an unexpected twist.
Lots of twists and turns to keep the pages turning.
I loved Dead Wood but think this is a much more enjoyable and complex book.
Chris is a well deserved addition to the ‘Tartan Noir’ genre and hopefully Polygon (or another publisher) will snap up her next novel so we can have a print copy rather than an e-book!


A frighteningly good read (Full Review)

Night Watcher by Chris Longmuir reads so frighteningly real that you would be well advised to not read it at night, and definitely not when alone at home. Her characters are ordinary people going about their ordinary lives, or are they? With a gritty and hard-hitting writing style Chris delves into the complexity of human nature, the dark side of our character that each of us hide. You can feel her characters breathe from the very pages they inhabit; you feel their compassion, their hate, their confusion, their sense of betrayal and their fledgling efforts at understanding themselves.

Dundee and the locations Chris uses for her story come alive under her skillful narrative. I wonder if I’ll ever feel quite the same way about these grand old historical buildings, and the people that happily go about their duties. The twists and turns kept me guessing right through the story, but she had one more surprise for me before she let me go. And the hints were there.



~ by danholloway on July 8, 2011.

2 Responses to “How Long is a Piece of Rope: Chris Longmuir”

  1. Another fascinating post, Dan. Chris, this is the first time I’ve come across your work, but it sounds well worth pursuing.

  2. Thanks for the comment. One if the things I most enjoy about being a writer, is the reader’s response. I always think a reader’s enjoyment of my books is the most rewarding part.

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