Jane Alexander – The Last Treasure Hunt

This debut novel is a pleasant look at a Scottish barman’s journey to celebrity status

Scottish author Jane Alexander's debut novel follows Cam, a blokey Gen-X barman who, after reconnecting with childhood friend-turned-Hollywood star Eve, finds himself at the centre of celebrity.

Early on, The Last Treasure Hunt is more Hello! than Hollywood Reporter. The semi-endearing Campbell's Scottish-ness isn't enough to save him from blandness; yet it's an absolute requirement for his journey through passive celebrity to make sense.

Beyond character study, the book’s strength comes in conveying how our stories morph and change in the retelling; how kernels of truth can become the hook for stories created whole-cloth. As Cam becomes caught up in the manufactured aspects of his own story, the author raises questions of authenticity – not just in the stories we read, but in the ones we tell ourselves.

Alexander has an ear for Scottish dialogue and pleasingly descriptive prose. Though occasionally diverging into more telling than showing, there’s an underlying humanity being honed here as she leads Cam on his journey towards the final hunt.

Out on Thu 26 Mar, published by Saraband

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