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The Appin Murder: The Killing of the Red Fox
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Group Reads > The Appin Murder: Spoiler Thread

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Ellen Forkin (ellen_forkin) | 378 comments Mod
This thread is for those who know the book or who have finished it. Write anything about the book, plot twists, endings and all, without worry - including, in this case, whodunnit!

Do not read this thread if you’re reading the book and don’t want the finish spoilt!

This September and October we’re reading: The Appin Murder: The Killing of the Red Fox by Seamus Carney

Tell us what you think!


Donald Leitch | 47 comments I have mixed feelings about the book.

The account of the trial was a highlight. With almost the entire jury composed of Campbells and Archibald Campbell, the Duke of Argyll, as judge, it easy to understand why James Stewart may not have received a fair trial. "Not only must justice be carried out, it must appear to be carried out." Such was not the appearance with the James Stewart trial, being left with considerable doubt about Stewart's guilt based on the hearsay and twisted circumstantial evidence presented.

The trial illustrates the weakened state of the Jacobite clans immediately following Culloden and the political skill of the Campbells in filling that power vacuum. With many Campbell ancestors from the mid-Argyll parishes, this was a fascinating part of the book for me.

There were parts of the book that did not hold my attention. I found myself glossing over the pages where the author dissects the trial, perhaps because I had already reached the bottom line conclusion that Stewart's guilt was not proven. Despite the list of main characters at the start of the book, I also found the names confusing. Typical of highlanders from this period, there are many common names. For instance, three John McColls appear in the story, differentiated by their nicknames. However, the author compounds the problem in referring to the same individual by different names. The victim, Colin Campbell, is sometimes referred to as Glenure or the Red Fox in addition to his proper name.


Tarissa (inthebookcase) | 38 comments Donald wrote: "I have mixed feelings about the book.

The account of the trial was a highlight. With almost the entire jury composed of Campbells and Archibald Campbell, the Duke of Argyll, as judge, it easy to ..."


I concur with your thoughts. I would enjoy it for a little while in reading, but then there were many parts that didn't hold my attention, or were a tad confusing. Like, who just said that? I couldn't keep everyone's names straight!

Anyways, I'm glad I did read it. I did pick up some key historical details.


Katrina | 39 comments Finally got it done. Took me longer than usual to get through, like Donald, I felt the trial was the highlight but there was a lot of parts I kept having to go back over again.

Bit of an info dump in places, but was happy to have read it. Whether I manage to retain it all is another matter:)


Donald Leitch | 47 comments Katrina wrote: "Bit of an info dum..."

Very true.


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