IRVINE Welsh is to publish a new novel centred on Trainspotting hard man Francis Begbie, it has been revealed.
Begbie made a brief return in an exclusive short story Welsh wrote for the Big Issue in 2013, and was portrayed as a softer, more relaxed figure who had changed his ways.
In the new novel, titled The Blade Artist, Begbie is living in California with his wife and two daughters, has changed his name to Jim Francis and has made a career for himself as a successful artist and sculptor.
The book description reads: “Some say he’s a fake and a con man, while other see him as a genuine visionary.
“But Francis has a very dark past, with another identity and a very different set of values. When he crosses the Atlantic to his native Scotland, for the funeral of a murdered some he barely knew, his old Edinburgh community expects him to take bloody revenge.
“But as he confronts his previous life, all those friends and enemies - and most alarmingly, his former self - Francis seems to have other ideas.”
And when his wife Melanie makes a grim discovery in the Sunshine State that opens a door into Begbie’s past, things take a turn for the worst, according to the description.
Welsh, who recently appeared at the Edinburgh International Book Festival to discuss his latest novel A Decent Ride - which also sees the return of a favourite character, ‘Juice’ Terry Lawson - hinted that his next book would be set in Scotland and was ‘grim, nasty and fun’.
The Edinburgh author has published ten novels, including Trainspotting and Filth, which both inspired successful films, and four short story collections.