My entry for Patti Abbott’s series of Forgotten Books this time around is a collection of stories derived from a long ago television series that I never saw. My paperback edition of The View from Daniel Pike names both Edward Boyd and Bill Knox as authors on the cover, but the title page suggests that Bill wrote the book, based on scripts by Boyd. This chimes in with what I was told by Bill’s widow, whom I got to know after I completed Bill’s own final book, The Lazarus Widow.
I was recommended to try the book years ago by the editor of CADS, Geoff Bradley, who knows a decent crime story when he sees one. Daniel Pike was created in the early 70s by Boyd. He was a tough Glaswegian private eye, brought to life by Roddy McMillan. In all, 13 episodes were screened, although only five were adapted by Bill for the book.
Pike has what is described as ‘a bitter, almost resentful humanity’ which ‘sets him apart from the vicious world in which he earns his living.’ The first story, ‘Good Morning, Yesterday!’ is a special favourite of mine, but the others are certainly readable – Bill did his usual very professional job of crafting the stories from the scripts. All in all, this book is a good example of ‘Tartan Noir’, written long before that term was coined.
I’d like to see the tv series one day, to see if it has stood the test of time. However, I haven’t been able to trace a DVD version. Did anyone out there see any of it, all those years ago?