Scottish author Hugh Allison stands beside the ship Hector in Pictou. Allison’s book, “No Lying Quiet,” is a novel set in Scotland and in Pictou County. He launched the book this week at the Consulate Inn in Pictou. Jennifer Vardy Little – The News
NEW GLASGOW – Pictou County is featured prominently in a new novel by a Scottish author.
Hugh Allison, who wrote “No Lying Quiet” following a 2009 research trip to Pictou County, was in Pictou this week to officially launch the book.
“I’ve always believed you can’t write believably and with heart unless you visit a place. Google Maps are great – but it won’t tell you if a street is so steep you’re puffing when you climb it,” said Allison.
During that trip, he stayed at the Consulate Inn in Pictou, and when Debbie Jardine offered to host a book launch for him when the novel came out, he jumped at the chance.
“It probably would’ve been easier to have a book launch in my hometown in Scotland, but I wanted to thank the people of Pictou County,” said Allison, who did readings from portions of the book at the launch, which was standing room only.
His book, “No Lying Quiet,” is a tale that spans generations and two continents. Set in 2000, after main character Jim’s aunt dies, her wartime past of violence begins to unravel as an underworld boss becomes bent on destroying her family.
The tale of deceit brings Jim to Nova Scotia, where his relative, Roderick Mackay, had fled on the ship Hector to start a new life.
“This new life was terribly hard,” Allison said. “He lost an important First Nations artifact that seemed to place a curse on the family. Ancient lore and greed collide on both sides of the Atlantic.”
The only way for Jim to keep his family safe is to uncover the past, so he heads to Pictou County. Allison’s book describes scenes from New Glasgow, Trenton and Pictou as the main character searches for answers.
“It’s almost like the history track collides with modern day,” he said, adding that sections of the book, written in Italics, tell the tale of Jim’s ancestors in Pictou.
Although Allison was only in town for a few days, his book is available for sale at the Consulate Inn, the Hector Heritage Quay and the Downtown Book Exchange.