Novel approach to St Andrews for James Patterson

James Patterson. Picture: Justin Spittle
James Patterson. Picture: Justin Spittle

He is the world’s bestselling author, regularly topping the book charts in the New York Times, and he has an adoring fanbase.

But after decades enthralling readers with taut and bloody thrillers, James Patterson is to turn his attention to a Scottish seaside resort for his new book.

The 71-year-old is best known for his long-running Alex Cross series, which focuses on a Washington DC detective, who brings down a near endless procession of serial killers and would-be terrorists.

But in swapping the eastern seaboard of the US for the east coast of Scotland, Patterson intends to focus on one of his great loves – golf. Unlike his usual novels, Miracle At St Andrews promises to be a sedate affair. It is described as a “pilgrimage to the mythical greens” of the town’s Old Course.

The novel is centred on Travis McKinley, a former professional golfer, who visits the world-renowned links course and discovers a dormant talent.

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Patrick Marks, secretary of St Andrews Community Council, said the bestselling author was following in a proud literary tradition.

In recent years, crime writer Frank Muir has enjoyed success with his St Andrews-based DCI Andy Gilchrist novels. As Marks points out, that series imagined a dark underbelly to the Old Course, with a severed hand discovered in a bunker.

“If Mr Patterson wants to pay homage to St Andrews then it’s an additional bonus for the town,” Marks said. “We have a very good bookshop here called Topping & Company. I’m sure they would be happy to have him along for a book signing.”

Miracle At St Andrews is the third in Patterson’s golfing series. Like its predecessors, it is co-authored by Peter de Jonge, a New York-based writer.

Susan Sandon from Penguin Random House, said: “We are very excited to reveal that James Patterson’s next Miracle series golf novel will be set at St Andrews. Considered to be the home of golf, we can’t wait for readers to experience the beauty of St Andrews, through James’s book.”

In July, Patterson was named as the most borrowed author across the UK’s libraries for the 11th consecutive year. Forbes magazine putting his earnings for the past decade in the region of £530 million.

Miracle At St Andrews will be published in April by Century, an imprint of Penguin Random House.