Whisky Wars

Whisky Wars


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The Highlands and Islands of Scotland are full of iconic places, glorious landscapes and flourishing wildlife, but its past has seen horrifying and brutal crime of all sorts.

Nineteenth-century life in the Highlands was not easy. Rather than a rural idyll, the glens and moors were home to poachers and whisky smugglers, while the towns were often ready to explode into riot and disorder. Even the Hebridean seas had their dangers, while the Islands seethed with discontent.

Whisky Wars goes behind the facade of romantic tartan and vast estates. There was the usual quota of petty thefts and assaults, but the Highlands also had a coastal town where riots were endemic, an island rocked by a triple murder, a mob beseiging the jail at Dornoch and religious troubles on the Black Isle.

Not to mention the charming thief who targeted tourist hotels and the exciseman who was hanged for forgery! Here, the hidden history of the Highlands and Islands is unearthed in all its unique and terrible detail.

Product Details

Published: 23rd May 2019
Format: Paperback 198x129mm
Extent: 288 pages
ISBN: 9781785302398


Malcolm Archibald received the 2005 Dundee Book Prize. A Sink of Atrocity came about from his Masters dissertation in history and includes original and new research about the story of crime in Dundee. Malcolm Archibald lives near Elgin in Northern Scotland.


'Victorians looked on the Highlands and Islands as a sporting paradise, but Archibald throws off the cloak of romance and shows the land was rife with all manner of crime.'

 The Scots Magazine

'Archibald catalogues true cases while evoking the geographical and historical landscapes that provided the settings for the criminals to flourish. History buffs and crime fans will be equally intrigued by this atmospheric account of the law-makers and law-breakers of past times.'

 Daily Record

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