Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Hanging Shed (Douglas Brodie, #1)” as Want to Read:
The Hanging Shed (Douglas Brodie, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Hanging Shed (Douglas Brodie #1)

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  2,425 Ratings  ·  185 Reviews
A read-it-in-one-sitting, action-packed, gritty, and atmospheric crime novel set on the tough streets of 1946 Glasgow

The last time Douglas Brodie came home it was 1942 and he was a dashing young warrior in a kilt. Now, the war is over, but victory's wine has soured and Brodie's back in Scotland to try and save childhood friend Hugh Donovan from the gallows. Everyone though
Paperback, 392 pages
Published 2011 by Corvus (first published December 25th 2010)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Hanging Shed, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Hanging Shed

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Description: A read-it-in-one-sitting, action-packed, gritty, and atmospheric crime novel set on the tough streets of 1946 Glasgow

The last time Douglas Brodie came home it was 1942 and he was a dashing young warrior in a kilt. Now, the war is over, but victory's wine has soured and Brodie's back in Scotland to try and save childhood friend Hugh Donovan from the gallows. Everyone thought Hugh was dead, shot down in the war. Perhaps it would have been kinder if he had been killed. The man who retu
May 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.8 rounded up to 5 Stars!

This book is an awesome rollercoaster of a thriller/mystery set at the end of WW2 mainly in Glasgow.

 photo glasgow-hanging-shed-007_zpseaa2d113.jpg

Douglas Brodie has fought in the war and is damaged and disillusioned living alone in London when an old pal from Scotland contacts him for help...he has been accused of rape and murder and faces the death penalty.

Brodie agrees to meet him and heads back to confront his past before the war; as a child, then a policeman, then as a soldier in the 51st Highland Division.

Nov 11, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scotland, mysteries
I work as a library cataloguer so see countless books everyday. So… it stands to reason that this is where I find the books I want to read next. Not this time.
I belong to a social networking site called ‘CrimeSpace‘, a place where readers and writers of crime fiction meet. I saw a book recommended by one of MY favourite authors, Shirley Wells. Anything she recommends I am willing to try. I wasn’t disappointed!

"The hanging shed" by Gordon Ferris

“The hanging shed” is the first novel I’ve read by G
Shirley Schwartz
This was a very surprising book for me. I was recommended this series by Goodreads, and thought I'd give it a try, but I wasn't prepared for this book at all. I thought it would be a nice historical mystery and since that's my favourite mystery genre, I thought it would be worth a try. Well this book blew me away. Think Jack Reacher with a Scottish brogue in the late 1940's just after WWII, and that might give you a better idea, but it still won't prepare you for the awesomeness of this book. Do ...more
Fred Shaw
Mar 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I just finished this book and my hands are still sweating. The story's setting, Glasgow, Scotland, 1946, and excellent characters made this book memorable. I have a huge dislike for bullies and love people who won't take their crap. "Brodie and Sam (Samantha)" both Scots, one a recently returned home, WWII veteran, and the other an attorney with grit. They try to save a man, also a war hero, from hanging for something he didn't do. The Slattery brothers were the bullies, a gun running, dope sell ...more
Feb 19, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
First novel I've read by this author. I loved his writing style and his use of dialect that really emphasised the gritty nature of post war poverty stricken Glasgow. An intricately plotted tale that grabs your attention but sort of runs out of steam 3/4 of the way though as the hero becomes too much of a superhero for my tastes. Having said that, I would still recommend it and will certainly be trying out another of his efforts sometime soon.
Adam Dunn
This is one of those books that a lot of people read and are going to say they liked. Judging from the reviews, I'm in the minority for disliking it, but I think it's that people aren't looking deep enough.

The best part of the book is the setting. The Scottish accents and words bring the area to life in the 1940's.

There's SPOILERS from here on, so be warned.

First off, the plot. Someone is abusing young boys in Scotland. Three guesses who, first two don't count.

Second, this was read as part of a
Mar 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
THE HANGING SHED is a thriller. It's a searing portrayal of post-war Scotland, a haunting story of the personal after-effects of war, dislocation, friendship, loyalties, and mistakes. It's powerful, atmospheric, uplifting, sad, violent, and compassionate.

The central character, Douglas Brodie, is a former policeman, who on returning from fighting for King and Country in the Second World War, secures a job in London as a reporter. News from his native Glasgow that childhood friend Hugh Donovan is
May 19, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another new author for me, and I have to say that I was impressed with this book. It is set in post war Glasgow, and follows the steps of Douglas Brodie, who has been recently demobbed from the Army. Initially we catch up with him in London, where he is working as a freelance crime reporter. One morning he receives a telephone call from a childhood friend, Hugh Donovan. Hugh has been accused of abducting children and murdering them, and is now sentenced to be hung. Donovan and Brodie didn't exac ...more
This book has a good feel for time and place. It's set primarily in Glasgow after the second world war. Douglas Brodie is demobbed and is a fledgling reporter when he receives a phone call from childhood friend/nemesis Hugh Donovon. Because of their past history Douglas is reluctant to visit Hugh, who is awaiting a sentence of execution for the murder of several boys.

This is one of those stories that has a lone gunman taking on the villans of the piece against all odds. The book has a bit of eve
Feb 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-fiction
A fast-paced thriller. Thoroughly enjoyable. A real page-turner with lots of action and heroics. Douglas Brodie is a likeable and tough as nails hero in 1946 Glasgow. Highly recommended.
Rob Kitchin
May 07, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Hanging Shed has all the ingredients of a successful crime novel - strong characters, a compelling plot, good pace, credible dialogue and action, and good contextualisation and back story. The tale very quickly grabs the reader's attention and the pages fly by. And yet there was something that didn't quite feel right. The storytelling seemed a little formulaic. Ferris structures the story into short chapters, each typically six to eight pages long, with each chapter ending on a mini-cliff ha ...more
Mar 30, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am fast becoming a fan of Gordon Ferris; here is his post war incarnation - Douglas Brodie, ex army Major, ex copper and university graduate. Happy to be lost in London drinking and demobbed depressed, reluctant to return "home" to Scotland. He is stirred back to action in part by an offer of a job on a newspaper and then a call from a long-standing "friend" he thought was dead. He's alive however and needs his help as he has been found guilty of a capital crime and faces the death sentence in ...more
Marguerite Kaye
Apparently this is what's now called 'Scottish Noir'. It's not for me. I bought this because of the rave reviews and the fact that it was set in Glasgow in the post-WWII years. It is soaked in 'Glasgow-ness' - in fact, it is drunk on its own ambiance, utterly and completely obsessed with it. At one point early on, there's about three pages of 'banter' thrown in as the main man arrives at St Enoch station - just for the sake of the dialect, as far as I could see. To be honest, this is when it sta ...more
Joe Stamber
Jan 13, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, audio, read-2013
Ferris really nails the atmosphere in this gritty mystery thriller set in Scotland just after the Second World War. Brodie left the police force to join up and like many others came back haunted by what he'd seen. After seeking solace in the bottle he found work as a journalist in London and finally brought some order to his life. A phone call from Scotland changed all that and soon he is on his way North to see a man he thought was dead.

The Hanging Shed tranports the reader to 1940s Scotland an
Oct 03, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked this book as the blurb in the product description sounded like something I would enjoy not realising it is the first book in a series. I bought the second book Bitter Water before I finished this one - an indication of how much I enjoyed it - and will be eagerly anticipating the third installment set for publication in Spring 2013.

Gordon Ferris has written a gritty crime thriller set in 1946 Scotland where ex army man Douglas Brodie is asked by childhood friend Hugh Donovan to help solv
Chris Longmuir
Jul 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Gordon Ferris has written a gritty thriller set in post-war Glasgow. His description of the deprivation of the area, the rats, and the razor-wielding gangs of the Gorbals have the ring of authenticity. This was a time whenTB, rickets, polio, and malnutrition were all part of daily life, and families were often living ten to a room in crumbling tenements, which have now all gone.

His story describes how the main character, Brodie, freshly demobbed from the army and an expoliceman, and now a report
Feb 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Donna by: Dan
Shelves: 2012, library
I enjoyed this book because it was set just after the end of the Second World War so there was no modern technology such as mobile phones. This meant that if someone was in danger they couldn't just phone someone for help or let anyone know where they were.
It begins with a condemned man calling a friend, Brodie, for help after he is found guilty of murdering a child in Glasgow. Brodie helps his friend's lawyer with his appeal but is drawn into the seedy Glasgow underworld. witnesses disappear a
Alistair Dunlop
Good story but disappointed by the historical inaccuracies found in it. The Gorbals tenements were not red sandstone but grey. I went to school in the Gorbals from 1946 to 1958. The Clydebank Blitz was 1941, not 1940.(Correct date given in later pages) Why get a bus and two trams from St Enoch's Station to Barlinnie when a short walk to Union Street would let you get a No 8 tram direct to Riddrie. Same applies when going from Crown Street to Gorbals Cross. It's another short walk. The Firth of C ...more
John Lee
Jul 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My wife had read this soon after its release as a Kindle edition thoroughly enjoyed it and suggested that I might like to read it too. As I was tied up with other reading at the time, I have only just got around to ordering the hardback copy from the library.

I am not a prolific reader and it is unusual for me to finish a book as quickly as this or in as few reading sessions. If I had seen a 'flier' for this book, I would probably not have bothered because there were things about it that would ha
Feb 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brodie returns to Scotland in 1946 after the War to find a friend of his youth awaits death by hanging in a Glasgow prison. Joining with the friend's advocate to try and beat the four-week deadline to prove the wrong man has been convicted, Brodie, fresh from the horrors of the Nazi camps, uncovers an evil, alike in degree if less in scope, in his own country.

THE HANGING SHED is a superb novel. The characters, the dialogue, the Scottish people, the travesty so often made of justice in the legal
Jan 07, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: modern-crime
This isnt really 'modern' crime - its set post 1940's in the rough parts of Glasgow. An ex-detective returns to Glasgow with his life at a low ebb after the war. He is returning because his old friend is on death row for the murder of the child of his - and the ex-detective's - old girlfriend.

Our main character has to prove his friend's innocence.

The book is fast and slick with plenty of action and nothing turns out as you expect - this is the first of a new series and I will read more of them.
Apr 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thanks to Lovereading for this review copy.
This is a superb book, by turns suspenseful, tragic, weary and world worn but above all original in an increasingly overcrowded crime marketplace. Whereas other writers produce pastiches of tried and established characters, in Douglas Brodie there's a nuanced characterisation that breathes new life into the 'ex-cop with issues' trope and the post World War 2 setting in Scotland gives the story a haunting background that reflects Brodie's inner dialogue.
Gavin Stephenson-Jackman
Sep 29, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who loves mysteries, and period/historical fiction
This one really tugs at the old heart strings when you first read that the wee one was sexually abused before being deprived of his life. Then to see the trail of innocent lives that are lost due to ineptitude, collusion, and sheer refusal to do the right thing. That the trail of blood is due to the childhood abuse of the perpetrator is so true to life and research into this problem. I really enjoyed this book and would highly recommend it.
Apr 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is the first book I've read by this author and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It is based in Glasgow after WWII, a time when Britain was undergoing huge change. It encompassed the atmosphere of the time with believable and likeable main characters. It is an addictive crime thriller and a great start to a new series. One word of advice; Scottish speech is used quite often, so if yon no' familiar wi' it and cannae always understand it, you may get a wee bit frustrated.
Well written, with great setting and characters. This is a well-told thriller that kept me engaged throughout. I plan on reading the series.
Full of twists and turns which made for an interesting but not an entirely believable story.
Jan 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
loved this book set in glasgow.
Apr 24, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The story is set in Glasgow and parts of Ayrshire in Scotland and having been there many times I really enjoyed this mystery/thriller book.
john richardson
Aug 04, 2017 rated it it was ok
Quick Review

The fact that it took me a month dipping in and out of this book says it all really.

The plot as a whole is good enough but feels very much like others I have read before and have been accomplished with greater penmanship.

Where I find fault greatly is that this novel is set in post war 1946 and apart from some description of some of the aftermath of bombing and the protagonists recent war experiences (which if expanded could have really helped to set the book going in its attempt to b
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Bloodland
  • Painless
  • The Harper's Quine (Gilbert Cunningham, #1)
  • The Rising (Inspector Devlin, #4)
  • The Auctioneer
  • The Storm Without (Doug Michie, #1)
  • A Capital Crime (DI Ted Stratton, #3)
  • Shatter The Bones (Logan McRae, #7)
  • Where the Devil Can't Go (Kiszka and Kershaw, #1)
  • The Long Midnight of Barney Thomson (Barney Thomson, #1)
  • The Cold Cold Ground (Detective Sean Duffy, #1)
  • The Broken Token (Richard Nottingham, #1)
  • Muscle for the Wing
  • Natural Causes (Inspector McLean, #1)
  • Where the Bodies Are Buried
  • Sorrow Wood
  • Rope Enough (The Romney and Marsh Files #1)
  • Blitz (Inspector Brant, #4)
I was born on Rabbie Burns' day in the small industrial town of Kilmarnock, in the West of Scotland. My mother took it as a sign of impending literary fortune. Naturally enough, I ignored her, despite writing being the only thing I loved [after rugby and the fairer sex].

I took the long way round to becoming an author. I've been a computer programmer and an executive in the UK Ministry of Defence,
More about Gordon Ferris

Other Books in the Series

Douglas Brodie (4 books)
  • Bitter Water (Douglas Brodie, #2)
  • Pilgrim Soul (Douglas Brodie, #3; Danny McRae, #3)
  • Gallowglass (Douglas Brodie, #4)

Mystery & Thrillers Deals

  • A Quiet Life In The Country (Lady Hardcastle Mysteries #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Pretty Girls Dancing
    $4.99 $2.49
  • Deliver Her
    $1.99 $0.99
  • The River Is Dark (Liam Dempsey, #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Dark Monk (The Hangman's Daughter, #2)
    $6.49 $1.99
  • Rain Girl (Franza Oberwieser, #1)
    $2.99 $0.99
  • Silent Harmony (Fairmont Riding Academy, #1)
    $3.99 $0.99
  • The Shuddering
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Unseeing
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The 7th Canon
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Sisterhood
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Bum Rap (Jake Lassiter #10)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • A Question of Inheritance (A Very English Mystery #2)
    $5.99 $1.99
  • The Hunt (Atlanta Burns, #2)
    $3.49 $0.99
  • The Good Neighbor
    $3.99 $2.00
  • The Widow File (Dani Britton, #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Cater Street Hangman (Charlotte & Thomas Pitt, #1)
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Shark Skin Suite (Serge Storms #18)
    $12.99 $1.99
  • Atlanta Burns (Atlanta Burns #1)
    $3.49 $0.99
  • Free Fall (The John Ceepak Mysteries)
    $17.99 $1.99
  • Interference
    $3.99 $1.99
  • A Man of Some Repute (A Very English Mystery #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • In The Market For Murder (Lady Hardcastle Mysteries #2)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Beggar King (The Hangman's Daughter, #3)
    $6.49 $1.99
  • The Poisoned Pilgrim (The Hangman's Daughter, #4)
    $6.49 $1.99
  • As The Crow Flies (DI Nick Dixon #1)
    $4.49 $1.99
  • End of Secrets
    $4.49 $0.99
  • Sun Storm (Rebecka Martinsson, #1)
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Only the Rain
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Eagle Has Landed (The Liam Devlin Novels)
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Devil's Waltz (Alex Delaware, #7)
    $9.99 $2.99
  • A Red Herring Without Mustard (Flavia de Luce, #3)
    $11.99 $1.99
  • The Dressmaker's Dowry
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Lost Ones
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Halo Effect
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The God's Eye View
    $7.99 $1.99
  • What She Knew
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Everyone Pays
    $5.99 $1.99
  • The Werewolf of Bamberg (The Hangman's Daughter, # 5)
    $6.49 $1.99
  • The 7th Victim: A Novel: Volume 1 (The Karen Vail Novels)
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Shattered Tree (Bess Crawford, #8)
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Dante Club
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Grit
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Fatal Tide
    $7.99 $1.99