From Dumfries and Galloway to around the Globe, Local Author Sam Simpson’s new book ‘The Richmond Papers’ is a real adventure

After living nearly 20 years in Dumfries and Galloway, Sam Simpson was inspired to weave some references to the local landscape into his latest novel, The Richmond Papers – a historical thriller set across linked timelines of the present day and nineteenth century.

Sam’s hero, Tom Mackay is a Dumfries born modern day ‘treasure hunter’. He follows a trail started by his grandfather that leads to the discovery of documents that threaten the very existence of the United States of America and a forgotten stash of Confederate Gold Bullion. Tom’s search starts in Dumfriesshire and leads him across the globe via America, The Bahamas, New Zealand and ultimately back to Scotland. Together with his American girlfriend, Sally Purcell, Tom’s hunt becomes a race with the FBI to find out the truth behind the American Constitution.

Within Dumfriesshire, the book’s central characters, Tom and Sally,frequent many local haunts. Hestan Island, Sweetheart Abbey and the remains of the Solway Viaduct in Annan. They enjoy a pint of Sulwath Gold in the Steamboat Inn, Carsethorn and cross the border to Hadrian’s Wall. Local historical characters including Lady Devorgilla, John Balliol and the founder of the Bank of England, William Patterson are also referenced in the book.

Modern and historical American politics, from the Confederation to present day elections form the backdrop to the story. In the historical section,during the American Civil War, Tom’s ancestor,British envoy John Steele, is ordered to deliver secret documents and bullion to London. The novel follows Steele’s perilous journey across continents to place these documents – The Richmond Papers – into safe hands and protect the American Constitution. Back in the present day, Tom and Sally try to follow his journey and uncover the final destination of his precious cargo.

Although the Richmond Papers is faction, respected MIT historian, Professor Pauline Maier, highlighted that widespread criminality took place during the ratification of the American Constitution in her book ‘Ratification’. Unfortunately, no concrete evidence has been uncovered linking this illegality to the Founding Fathers of America and many records and documents have been lost or destroyed.

Most of the historical references throughout the novel – the depletion of Confederate Gold, the CSS Shenandoah’s journey, President Jefferson Davis’s 1868 London visit and the crimes committed in Philadelphia during the ratification of the Constitution – all took place.

The novel is modelled on the format of Dan Brown’s ‘Da Vinci Code’, a modern day ‘treasure hunt’ with strong links to the past.

Sam’s family hails from Dumfries and Galloway. One of his grandmother’s was born in Shakespeare Street, Dumfries, his other grandmother was raised in Garlieston and his parents have lived in Auchencairn for over 30 years. During his career Sam worked in both Whitehall and The Bank of England, before returning to Dumfriesshire to raise and educate his family.

Two prequels to the Richmond Papers featuring Tom Mackay are currently in the pipeline.

The paperback is available from Amazon HERE, from Waterstones Dumfries and from Bookends Carlisle.  The Ebook can also be downloaded from Amazon.

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