Deacon Brodie

Deacon Brodie: A Double Life. A novel by David Hutchison
Welcome to the home of the novel Deacon Brodie: A Double Life.

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND, 1788. When respected Gentleman and City Councillor, Deacon William Brodie, chases his love of gambling, he is drawn into living a double life and soon the respectability of day gives way to a life of crime at night.

Betrayed by an accomplice, and revealed as a "Gentleman by day, thief by night", Brodie escapes to London where he is helped to leave for Holland. Eventually captured in Amsterdam and returned to Edinburgh, he is then faced with a trial before a city where once he was a leading citizen.

In Edinburgh's High Court, Brodie is found guilty and sentenced to be hanged, but his closest friend has a different idea and, in full view of everyone, he takes his riskiest gamble yet . . . his life for the turn of a card.

Based on the true story of one of Edinburgh's most infamous sons, Deacon Brodie: A Double Life is the first novel by David Hutchison and available as either a Paperback or an e-Book.

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downloading the first
three chapters here.
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Double Life
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Praise for Deacon Brodie: A Double Life.

Undiscovered Scotland Review " . . . beautifully crafted. You'll have to read this excellent book . . ." { Undiscovered Scotland }
5 Star Review "Beautifully and delightfully written . . . a must read!" { Amazon }
5 Star Review "A superb read, once you start to read this book you will find it hard to put down. Excellent!"
5 Star Review "An exciting novel that packs a punch right to the very end. An excellent read that I would, unequivocally, recommend."
5 Star Review "The vivid descriptions and twisting of the historical facts make for a riveting story. Highly recommend!"
5 Star Review "Hutchison makes this story come alive. He allows us to soak up the flavours and savours of Edinburgh that make the novel akin to a screenplay."
5 Star Review "I would strongly commend the skill of the author . . . a joy and a pleasure to read. I highly recommend this book."
4 Star Review "David Hutchison is a terrific author, making his characters and story come to life. A hard book to put down."
5 Star Review ". . . this is one for any reader, not just fans of Historical Fiction. Highly recommended. { Goodreads }
5 Star Review "A wonderful (true) tale . . . brings Edinburgh of the 18th century and Deacon Brodie to life. Great historical crime fiction. { Barnes & Noble }
Authonomy Review "The writing is very polished and elegant . . . the most entertaining historical fiction I [have] read on this site." { Andreea Daia 'Duplicity' @ Authonomy }
3 out of 4 Review "Deacon William Brodie is brought to life in this historical novel . . . a great introduction to a notorious Scotsman. Like many great criminals of literature,
Brodie has a lot of style, panache and gumption . . . it's hard not to be charmed by him. I give this novel three out of four stars" { Online Book Club }


A very slight background to Deacon Brodie's Edinburgh.

The desire for a 'new' town, to escape the dilapidated and disease-ridden conditions of Edinburgh, suffered several false starts. However, in 1763, to reach the open farmland to the north, construction of the North Bridge was started; in 1766, James Craig won the competition to design the New Town (a mimic of the Old Town's layout, but in Hanoverian style), and in 1767, building of the New Town began.

Although many moved to the New Town (the Great Flitting), the Edinburgh of 1788 was still a mix of classes with rich and poor living side by side in cramped, over-populated housing. The schism of 'old' and 'new' Edinburgh, to be seen in all things, and which, arguably, only ended in the late 20th century, was beginning to open wide in Deacon Brodie's day - the rich could escape; the poor had no choice. An excerpt from Deacon Brodie: A Double Life sees Brodie's sister confronted by this division.


David Hutchison currently lives in America but grew up in Edinburgh where Deacon Brodie was an enigmatic companion from childhood. At present David is writing All Flesh Is Grass, the sequel to Lest You Be Judged, with Detective Chief Inspector Mike Steel in the lead, and set in the Edinburgh of 2000.
Deacon Brodie's execution
Deacon Brodie's execution, on Oct 1st, 1788, before a crowd of 40,000.
A contemporary painting by Alexander Hay Ritchie. [ more images ]

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