Canelo Crime to publish a debut novelist’s Scottish crime series

July 07, 2022

Publishing Director Louise Cullen has acquired World English Language rights to three new crime novels by debut novelist Heather Critchlow from Charlotte Seymour at Johnson & Alcock literary agency. 

The series focuses on true crime podcaster Cal Lovett, whose own experience of violent crime gives him a unique insight into the cases he covers. In the first novel, Unspoken, Cal comes face to face with a serial killer in Broadmoor – and a chain of events unfolds that tears his past to shreds. It sees Cal travel from his home near Birmingham to Aberdeenshire in order to seek answers about the disappearance of a young woman named Layla thirty-five years earlier, all the while battling with turbulence in his personal life. Canelo Crime will publish Unspoken in February 2023, with book two in the series to follow in Autumn 2023, and a third novel featuring Cal Lovett planned for the following year. 

Heather Critchlow grew up in rural Aberdeenshire and trained as a business journalist after studying history and social science at the University of Cambridge. Her short stories have appeared in crime fiction anthologies Afraid of the Light, Afraid of the Christmas Lights and Afraid of the Shadows. She lives in St Albans.  

Louise Cullen says: ‘As a true crime fan, the concept for Heather’s series immediately appealed to me. I had come across her writing previously, and the exceptional quality of her debut novel did not disappoint. Unspoken is a thrilling, immersive novel that swept me away to rural Aberdeenshire and events of more than three decades ago, while also delivering bags of grit and drama in the present day for Cal. I could not be more excited about the potential for this series and the prospect of working with Heather on multiple novels.’

Heather Critchlow says: ‘I am thrilled to be bringing Cal and Layla’s story to readers with Lousie Cullen and the brilliant team at Canelo. Unspoken is a tribute to true crime podcasters and their desire to find answers for families of long-missing loved ones, as well as the chance to write about the beautiful Aberdeenshire countryside where I grew up. I’m so grateful to my wonderful agent Charlotte Seymour, who has championed this series from the start and found the perfect home for Cal at Canelo.’

Unspoken will be published in February 2023 in mass market paperback and ebook. For more information please contact