Eyes Turned Skywards

Wing Commander Robert Sutherland has left his days as a pre-war detective far behind him. Or so he thinks. On 25 August 1942 the Duke of Kent, brother of King George VI, is killed in northern Scotland in an unexplained air crash; a second crash soon after suggests a shared, possibly sinister, cause.

Bob Sutherland is tasked with visiting the aircraft's base in Oban and the first crash site in Caithness to gather clues as to who might have had reason to sabotage one, or both, of the aircraft.

Set against the background of a country that is far from united behind Winston Churchill, and the ever-present threat from the enemy, we follow Bob as he unravels layers of deceit and intrigue far beyond anything he expects.

'Eyes Turned Skywards' was published by Fledgling Press on 31 May 2018. The magnificent cover art was the work of Graeme Clarke. The book is available as a paperback via this link, signed and dedicated at no extra cost if you wish, or as a Kindle edition from Amazon.

Cover of Eyes Turned Skywards

Background & Excerpts

Noir at the Bar, Edinburgh

The gatherings of Noir at the Bar, Edinburgh, held on 2 April 2020 and 18 June 2020 became - for obvious reasons - virtual events. Those attending had to provide their own bar, but on the plus side, changing out of pyjamas was entirely optional.

On 18 June 2020 I read an extract from the Prologue of 'Eyes Turned Skywards' set at Dunollie Castle overlooking Oban Bay. My section begins at 1.11.00.

On 2 April 2020 I read an extract in which Bob Sutherland, flying a borrowed Hawker Hurricane fighter, happens upon a German bomber over the sea south of Wick, from Chapter Five of 'Eyes Turned Skywards'.

Radio Interview

I was interviewed by Scottish crime writer Wendy H. Jones on her Mearns FM radio show, 'Wendy's Book Buzz', on 11 July 2018. We talked about 'Eyes Turned Skywards’ and listened to some of my favourite songs. You can hear a recording of the show here.

Blackwell's Writers at the Fringe

I was on the bill at Blackwell's Writers at the Fringe on 9 August 2018. In August each year they do a series of evening performances by five different Scottish writers. It was an enjoyable night, and I will now always be able to say that I once performed at the Edinburgh Fringe!


Windy Tree, 25 June 2023: "The Eagle Has Landed... A very imaginative story written by an equally imaginative author... a thrilling WW2 espionage novel. I enjoyed this first book and have the next book lined up... in fact, I've got the next few in the series already lined up as well!"

Kindle Customer, 6 January 2023: "Five stars. Great Read. Excellent story, well woven with real events."

The Literary Shed, 29 June 2018: "Compelling... extremely enjoyable... The plot is tight and thrilling enough to retain our attention to the end, the detail creating an authentic Britain at war. More to the point, Scotland, and the author’s love for it, shines through... I love books like this – books and stories that feed my absolute love for history... So, please read it. It’s great.

Lisa's Notebook, 29 June 2018: "I asked {my husband} Alan if he’d like to review it instead, as an ex-RAF officer with a keen interest in the history of World War Two." Alan: "This is an intriguing tale woven against the background of the continual and ongoing enigma that surrounds Rudolf Hess’ flight to Scotland on 10 May 1941... Ken Lussey’s historical details regarding RAF aircraft, squadrons and operational deployments in Scotland are all accurate. And they’re presented in an engaging format for those who know their history as well as for those who don’t."

NextToTheAisle, 27 June 2018: "There is a lovely economy to the writing... Lussey weaves a winning formula of transplanting a detective storyline into the wartime narrative... makes you want to know what is going to happen to him during the remainder of the war... gripping in its thriller form and wartime context..."

Readers' Reviews on Amazon

You can see our Amazon reviews here. A selection of the comments can be found below:

=> Un moment de lecture agréable, en particulier lorsqu'on est amoureux de l'Ecosse. Many thanks to Ken Lussey for this trip, looking forward to reading the forthcoming episodes! (Winston1984)

=> Enjoyable and Entertaining Read. Murder, espionage and conspiracy theories blended in a mix of fact and fiction to create an exciting journey in the search for the truth behind the plane crash of the Duke of Kent in the Scottish highlands in 1942. (SOBrien)

=> Excellent escapist page-turning thriller! A good read with interesting characters and scenarios which ties together fact and fiction of an event that is still a mystery to many. (Kenny Henderson)

=> A cracking good read. Excellent for a first novel. Well researched and the twists and turns of the plot kept going to the very end. I'm looking forward to Ken Lussey's next novel. (J. W. Cookson)

=> A great insight into one of the greatest stories of the Second World War. This is a great book. Well researched, potentially true and a gripping read. Can’t wait to see Ken’s next book. (n.k.)

=> For aviation lovers everywhere! A delight to be led gently by the hand into a web of intrigue. Skillfully researched facts woven into work of fiction that is sure to be a hit with aviation nuts everywhere. (Stuart Parkin)

=> Couldn’t put it down. Sought out this book after reading 'The Danger of Life' and wasn’t disappointed. A cracking read. Hopefully there will be more to come (Nigel Fitzsimmons)

=> An intriguing storyline. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and was impressed by the depth of research and knowledge of the local area which underpinned the novel. Ken was kind enough to reply to a query about one of the locations. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys a well laid and thought out plot, which combines historical events and locations with great accuracy to enhance the work of fiction. (Mr G. Main)