Bastard Verdict | Critical Book Review

In the gripping political thriller Bastard Verdict by James McCrone, readers are taken on a suspenseful journey set against the backdrop of Scotland’s 2014 Independence Referendum. The narrative, a part of McCrone’s Faithless Elector series, intricately weaves together the aftermath of historical events and the present-day machinations of a shadowy cabal known as “the triumvirate.”


A Web of Intrigue Unraveled

Eight years post-referendum, FBI agent Imogen Trager finds herself entangled in a web of secrecy surrounding the clandestine interference that sabotaged the 2014 “Yes” vote. The intricate plot unfolds with the death of a university colleague, revealing a cover-up within a cover-up leading up to the King’s Speech—a pivotal moment that will shape the future of the United Kingdom.


An Expansive Cast and Atmospheric Landscape

The initial chapters introduce a myriad of characters, from the enigmatic Buff Lindsey of the Madmen crime syndicate to unsuspecting lawyer Ewan Johnston. While the extensive cast may pose a challenge in keeping pace, McCrone compensates by skillfully capturing the essence of the British Isles’ northern reaches, offering vivid descriptions and authentic local vernacular that resonate with the spirit of the Land of Robert Burns.


Trade-Offs and Captivating Topicality

Navigating the intricate timelines and character dynamics requires some effort, but the trade-offs are worthwhile. McCrone’s vivid portrayal of the British Isles and the topicality of the narrative, reflecting global concerns about election interference, add layers of depth. As events unfold, different groups comprehend the significance in their own narratives, elevating the tempo and delivering a satisfying reading experience.


Bastard Verdict: Deciphering Guilt in Political Intrigue

The title, under Scottish law, refers to a jury decision suggesting likely guilt without sufficient evidence for conviction. Much like this legal conundrum, the satisfaction of the outcome depends on the perspective one holds. For enthusiasts of McCrone’s slow-burn political thrillers and those intrigued by the intricacies of political conspiracy, Bastard Verdict is an engaging and fulfilling read.

Publisher, Genre, Print Length, and ISBN

PublisherGenrePrint LengthISBN
IndieBookViewMystery, Thriller & Suspense / Political302 pages9780999137741

In the gripping political thriller Bastard Verdict by James McCrone, readers are taken on a suspenseful journey set against the backdrop of Scotland’s 2014 Independence Referendum. The narrative, a part of McCrone’s Faithless Elector series, intricately weaves together the aftermath of historical events and the present-day machinations of a shadowy cabal known as “the triumvirate.”…