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Susi (SJI) Holliday is a Scottish writer of dark fiction. She cut her teeth on flash fiction and short stories, and was shortlisted for the inaugural CWA Margery Allingham Prize in 2014. She is the acclaimed author of the creepy and claustrophobic Banktoun trilogy (Black Wood, Willow Walk and The Damselfly), the festive serial killer thriller The Deaths of December, the supernatural mystery The Lingering, a psychological thriller set on the Trans-Siberian Express (Violet) and a horror novella (Mr Sandman). Her next two novels (The Last Resort and Substitute) contain a speculative science edge, and her latest thriller, The Hike is another, like Violet, to feature travel adventures that go horribly wrong. Her tenth novel – The Street – takes her back to her Scottish roots, with a brand new housing development that hides sinister secrets. Her short stories have been published in magazines, newspapers and anthologies. By day, she works as a clinical research statistician. Susi divides her time between London and Edinburgh. She loves travelling, long walks, 80s music, and trying to scare herself with horror movies.

Book Details (Click on ‘writing as’ links to purchase)

Writing as SJI Holliday

Black Wood (2015): A young bookseller recognises the man who attacked her friend many years before – but she must confront her own demons before justice can prevail. This is the first outing for Sergeant Davie Gray, Banktoun’s local bobby.

Willow Walk (2016): A troubled barmaid is terrorised by someone too close to home, while her new boyfriend –  Sergeant Davie Gray – tries to track down the killer of a young woman. The stories converge at a devastating house party, after which, nothing can remain the same in the small town of Banktoun.

The Damselfly (2017): Davie teams up with seconded Edinburgh DC Louise Jennings to investigate the murder of a promising young woman found dead in her bed. Suspicions against a much-loved teacher lead to devastating vigilante action, and a tragic end to the trilogy.

The Lingering (2018): Jack and Ali head to a commune in the fens to escape their old life in the city. But nothing is as it seems in this spooky old asylum community and someone is determined that the truth will come to light.

Violet (2019): Travelling solo after a break-up and a betrayal, Carrie meets the enigmatic Violet in China and they share a cabin on the Trans-Siberian Express – with deadly consequences. [Movie in development]

Mr Sandman (2020): A voodoo horror novella. Sophie is sick of her boyfriend but can’t quite bring herself to dump him. But after a disturbing experience with a fortune teller, dumping him becomes the least of her worries.

Writing as Susi Holliday

The Deaths of December (2017): A serial killer delivers an advent calendar to a police station, each door revealing a crime scene – but there are four blanks. Can DS Eddie Carmine and DC Becky Greene catch him before it’s too late?

The Last Resort (2020): Amelia and five strangers accept an invite to explore a new adventure concept on a private island, but in-fighting and accidents soon commence when it becomes clear that they are actually there to test a futuristic tech device that can mine their darkest thoughts.

Substitute (2021): Chrissie answers the door to a strange salesman and soon finds herself embroiled in a terrifying experimental programme that she must see to the end in order to protect her young daughter.

The Hike (October 2022): Two sisters and their husbands take what should be a fun day-hike in the Swiss Alps in an attempt to re-connect, but things take a dark turn and only two of the four make it back down the mountain.

The Street (June 2023): A couple move to an idyllic new housing development in a Scottish seaside town for a fresh start, but things soon start to unravel when their neighbours go missing and the rest of the street deny that they ever existed.



Susi is a writing coach at CRIME FICTION COACH

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Phillip Patterson, Marjacq Scripts


  • The Street (2023)/The Hike (2022)/Substitute (2021)/The Last Resort (2020) Thomas & Mercer
  • Mr Sandman (2020) PS Publishing
  • Violet (2019)/The Lingering (2018) Orenda Books
  • The Deaths of December (2017) Hodder
  • Banktoun: Black Wood (2015)/Willow Walk (2016)/The Damselfly (2017) – Originally with Black & White Publishing, these titles have now been independently published on Amazon


You can contact her via email susi@sjiholliday.com or via the form below. You can also find her on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.