Mary’s the Name – Ross Sayers

After her granpa is mixed up in a robbery at the bookies where he works, eight year old Mary finds herself on the run with him.

The pair flee from Stirling to the Isle of Skye, where Mary starts to realise that this is no holiday and that granpa isn’t as truthful as he always expects her to be… The robbers are chasing him – and they’re fairly sure he has their money.

Mary’s the Name is the debut novel from Scottish writer, Ross Sayers. Narrated by a highly observant Mary, this is fiction that will appeal to adults and young adults across the board. It’s an ‘easy’ read in the sense of being a proper old-fashioned story, with strong characters, well-drawn settings, authentic language, and a sense of humour that successfully combines comedy and tragedy. There are goodies and baddies, too, but deciding who is who and to what extent is one of the interesting undercurrents of the novel.

Mary herself is highly engaging. Establishing and maintaining a child’s voice for three hundred pages requires meticulous precision – the end result needs to read effortlessly – something which Sayers has achieved. Mary has an old head on young shoulders, she’s smart and there’s more than a bit of her granpa in her, but there’s also all the innocence you’d expect, and that combination makes her character, and the story she’s telling. Granpa is a skilful mix, too…

A nicely paced novel, that – for me – picked up a bit too much at the end, with drama done and dusted and all wrapped up a bit too quickly. Maybe, though, I just didn’t want my journey with Mary to be over!

Available in paperback and as an eBook, Mary’s the Name is published by Cranachan Publishing.

You can find out more about the author at


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