DINGWALL-BASED independent publisher Sandstone Press is to publish the debut crime novel by one of Scotland’s most successful acting exports, television star David McCallum.
The Glasgow-born actor currently plays pathologist Dr "Ducky" Mallard on NCIS, rated as the number one television drama in the world with an average of 22 million viewers weekly in the US alone.
However, to an older generation of fans, he will always be remembered as Russian agent Illya Kuryakin in hit 1960s spy show The Man From UNCLE. A big screen reboot of the series is scheduled for release in August, reviving interest in one of the most successful shows of its era.
In the 1970s McCallum starred in two science-fiction series which have acquired a cult following, The Invisible Man in the USA and Sapphire and Steel in the UK, while his big screen roles include one of the ill-fated PoWs in The Great Escape.
His novel, Once a Crooked Man, is a thriller set in New York an England as actor Harry Murphy is caught in a scheme by the villainous Bruschetti brothers as they try to eliminate anyone who can reveal their criminal activities.
Described as perfect for fans of Elmore Leonard and Lawrence Block, Once a Crooked Man will be published in paperback in January 2016.
Sandstone Press has exclusive rights in the UK, Ireland and Commonwealth (excluding Canada) for the novel.
"David McCallum is obscenely talented," Sandstone managing director Robert Davidson commented.
"Not only is he a superb actor who has inspired succeeding generations, and also a fine musician with several recordings behind him, we now discover that he is a tremendous novelist as well.
"Once a Crooked Man stands with the best of modern crime novels and is going to be loved not only by David’s legions of fans but also by purist readers of the genre. Sandstone Press is very proud to be his publisher on this side of the pond and throughout most of the English speaking world."