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Wednesday, September 18, 2019

TAGGART—SCOTTISH NOIR


TAGGART—SCOTTISH NOIR 
Taggart is a Scottish detective TV show shown on Britain’s ITV network. It made its first appearance as a mini-series entitled Killer in 1983. Eventually a full series was commissioned, which ran from July 1985 to November 2010. The actor’s Scottish accents were so thick they were rendered virtually indecipherable, making close captioning essential when viewing.

The series revolved around a group of detectives assigned to the Maryhill Criminal Investigation Division, part of the Strathclyde Police. The team operated out of the fictional John Street police station, but many cases took them to many parts of Greater Glasgow and beyond.

The main character was Detective Chief Inspector Jim Taggart (Mark McManus), a tough and experienced detective who had worked his way up through the ranks. Taggart’s sidekick was Detective Sergeant Peter Livingstone (Neil Duncan), who represented the new breed of more enlightened cops, which frequently led to clashes with Taggart.

Longtime journeyman scribe, Peter Cave (The New Avengers, etc.) contributed five Taggart tie-in books. I’m fairly certain the last four were novelizations of the show’s scripts, but the first may have been an original. I have no doubt David Spenser will know for sure.
TAGGART NOVELS BY
PETER CAVE

TAGGART:
MURDER IN SEASON
Glamorous opera singer, Eleanor Samson, returns to sing with Scottish Opera. While in Glasgow, she hopes to bring about a reconciliation with her estranged husband, John. She is furious to discover that there is a new woman in John's life, blonde ex-secretary, Kirsty King. When Kirsty's body is found in the burnt-out shell of John's boat, Eleanor Samson is the prime suspect...Jim Taggart, tough Glasgow detective, and his smooth young assistant, Peter Livingstone, fall out over the case. Livingstone believes Eleanor is guilty, Taggart cannot believe that a woman like Eleanor could be a murderess. Is Taggart allowing his judgement to be clouded by Eleanor's fame and beauty?

TAGGART:
NEST OF VIPERS 
When two skulls are discovered on the site of a new bypass, Jim Taggart is called in to investigate. Could one be that of a girl who disappeared without trace four years earlier? The case takes a deadly turn after poisonous snakes stolen from a pharmaceutical laboratory are used in a series of macabre murders. Taggart needs all his detective skills as he puzzles over the link between the missing girl and a tangle of corporate intrigue involving the lab's owners.

TAGGART: 
GINGERBREAD 
When 12-year-old Simon witnesses the murder of his father by a caped intruder, Jim Taggart is plunged into another mystery. Simon is convinced his father's death is connected to the mysterious cottage in the woods and decides to investigate. His journey moves from fairytale to nightmare.

TAGGART
FORBIDDEN FRUIT
When Cathy and Martin Adams decide to have a baby by donor insemination, Cathy's mother, Joan, blames her son-in-law for the 'unnatural' act. Bitter recriminations follow and Joan's subsequent murder would appear to be a clear-cut case. But all is not as it seems: Taggart discovers that Dr Miller of the fertility clinic has been donating his own sperm and that about 60 couples who attended the clinic are now bringing up a 'Miller' child. More creepy discoveries lead the Taggart team on a terrifying hunt for the killer before he strikes again.

TAGGART:
FATAL INHERITANCE
When Dr Janet Napier, owner of the Napier Health Farm, on trial for murdering her husband's mistress, is given a 'not-proven' verdict, Taggart is ordered to take a rest. Being Taggart, he promptly books in at the Napier Health Farm. Dr Napier cannot be tried again – but there may be more to discover. Taggart is right. Within days of his arrival, members of Dr Napier's family begin to be murdered by a killer who seems to have a deadly grudge. Does the clue lie in her past, when she destroyed the lives of a family by giving a young girl an accidental overdose of insulin? Taggart's enforced rest at the health farm puts him in just the right place to unearth the killer.

3 comments:

  1. I've been a long term fan of the Taggart series, I didn't realize that there had been novelizations though. Something I'll have to keep an eye out for.

    In the 1990s Peter Cave contributed at least two volumes to action series published by the British Bloomsbury Press, known as the 'Soldier' & 'Marine' series these told allegedly 'ripped from the headlines' tales about the Special Assault Service (The 'Soldiers' series.) and the Special Boat Service (The 'Marine' series).

    Cave wrote the fourth volume "Windswept" of the 'Marine' series and "Invisible Enemy in Kazakhstan" for the 'Soldiers' series. Ive recently discovered that the 'Soldiers' series has been re-issued as eBooks under the series title 'SAS Operation' by HarperCollins and the 'Marine' series was re-issued as eBooks under their original titles by Osprey.

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  2. Cheers for the info and for commenting. I just came across a one off by Peter Cave, Crime Commandos, which was most likely designed as the first book in a series that didn't get off the ground...

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  3. Hope you enjoy the 'Marine'/'SAS Operation' series. I've just double checked my Taggart collection and I can confirm that the last four books are adaptions of aired episodes. The last of them has one of the creepiest dolls to appear on the small screen.

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