Crime pays for successful defence lawyer who has turned fact into fiction

Lawyer and author William McIntyre
Lawyer and author William McIntyre

By day, he defends the accused in Scotland’s courts of law.

By night, respected defence lawyer Willie McIntyre turns his experience of being involved in high profile criminal cases into thrilling bedtime reads!

The 56-year-old published Relatively Guilty, his first page turning paperback featuring ‘legal eagle’ Robbie Munro in 2011.

Duty Man, Sharp Practice, Killer Contract and Last Will followed at regular intervals and all became best sellers on Amazon.

Present Tense, the latest to be added to his The Best Defence series, is the first to go straight to print and will be published by Sandstone Press on September 15.

It will be followed by number eight, Good News, Bad News, in April with Last Will, number six in the series, scheduled to appear in book stores next November.

Present Tense has received critical acclaim and been described as: “Crime with an edge of dark humour. The Best Defence Series could only come out of Scotland.”

The Journal of the Law Society of Scotland published a review which observed: “All novels written by Scottish criminal lawyers are rubbish. This book is written by a Scottish criminal lawyer, therefore this book is rubbish. Correct?

“No, it is a splendid to encounter the first exception to that rule. Filled with healthy cynicism and witty asides which one tends only to find in criminal courts, this is great stuff.”

Over the last five years McIntyre, born and raised in Linlithgow but now living with wife, Gillian, and their four boys in Falkirk, has drawn on over 30 years experience of court work to turn fact into fiction and bring his ‘hero’ who, in a neat touch is based in the author’s home town, to life.

The series from the senior partner in the Russel & Aitken law firm, Scotland’s oldest, is a gritty and entertaining account of the trials and tribulations that face Munro on an almost daily basis and full of characters loosely based on some of the clients McIntyre has had and the people he has met down the years.

He said: “I started off writing stories that centre around a criminal defence lawyer and, while the people involved are fiction, most of the cases are fact and based on ones I have been involved in.

“There are plots in each book which are interwoven and I think come together nicely. I would say I deal with dark subjects with a wry Scottish sense of humour.”

McIntyre takes satisfaction from the fact his books have been acknowledges as “something different”.

He describes the rich vein of dry humour which runs through the series as “an antidote to crime fiction featuring maverick cops chasing serial killers, emphasising justice is not only about convicting the guilty, but acquiting the innocent.”

The demands placed on a criminal defence lawyer at the top of his game are high.

McIntyre used to coach a youth football team to ease the stress levels. Now it’s writing legal thrillers that help him relax.

He admits he did not anticipate Munro having such a lengthy career.

“The first six I battered out on my Ipad on the kitchen table were published on line and I thought ‘that’s that’ but then Sandstone Press called and said number seven would go straight to print. I hadn’t really thought that far ahead.”