I'm a big Kevin MacNeil fan. I've mentioned him before; I did a workshop with him in 2007 at Shetland's Wordplay festival and he's been so kind to me ever since. He's met me for coffee and helped me to navigate the publishing scene in Scotland. He always answers emails. He came up for our January 2010 Literary Salon and everyone loved him. He's great with readers, even better with writers.
In January, we were lucky enough to hear a scene from A Method Actor's Guide to Jekyll and Hyde and it was a small thrill reading it in the completed novel. I also watched its progress through Kevin's facebook page; I enjoyed reading his status updates as the book shifted from idea to tangible novel. I've been looking forward to reading this book; somehow, I feel a part of it.
[Note to authors: involving your readers in the process can equal book sales!]
It's a quick read, yet engrossing. It explores dualities, ego, influence, affluence. The protagonist is achingly frustrating, yet likeable; his choices are integral to the twists of the story. But my favorite part of the book was secondary to the plot; it's the way Kevin weaves Edinburgh into the story. The book is a love letter to his adopted city. He exposes Edinburgh's beauty and filth and grit and charm and history without sounding forced or pompous.
Recommended. And well done to Kevin.