Johnny Jackson used to be a famous film director, but his brother Duke was a hero. Just turned 75, JJ is heading home from exile in Japan for one last blockbuster. But going home means revisiting the past and Johnny’s past is a disturbing place. The dead aren’t going to tell any tales, but someone else just might.


The Accidental Recluse was one of the Scottish Book Trust’s 28 Scottish Novels to Look Forward to in 2018.

‘Contemporary Japan, Sixties London, the Highlands of Scotland are all expertly delineated by this talented novelist. This is a fast-paced story with snappy dialogue and an absorbing narrative that mixes humour with pathos.’ The Independent (full review).

‘McCulloch’s characterisation of Johnny is complex but handled with as light a touch as the lean, tight storytelling which makes this such a pleasure to read… McCulloch resists the easy route of sentimentality and showy, crowd-pleasing catharsis. The climactic confrontation with the ghosts of his past is, when it comes, wilfully underplayed, and all the better for it.’ Alistair Mabbott, The Herald (full review)

‘The novel has brilliant portrayals of a childhood in Scotland in the 1950s and the hedonism of 1960s London. In Johnny Jackson, McCulloch has created a multifaceted, utterly ambiguous character who leaves the reader thinking about his story long after it is over.’ The Scotsman (full review)

‘This is a literary work of art, a rare contemporary artistic gem, a beautiful rendition of love and pain delivered with a sometimes caustic, sharp, sense of humor. The Accidental Recluse is an unforgettable tale of sorrow and laughter. A beautiful tragicomedy, highly recommended!’ Tony Nesca, Screaming Skull Press

‘The Accidental Recluse is truly inspiring in its ability to create and develop its characters. Tom McCulloch is a very talented writer and his ability his showcased well in this book.’ Scottish Field

‘The Accidental Recluse continues to showcase McCulloch as a novelist with a genuine flair for originality and a distinctive and entertaining narrative storytelling style. An engaging read from cover to cover, The Accidental Recluse is unreservedly recommended.’ Midwest Book Review

‘Tragic, compelling, and undeniably humorous. Equal parts funny and heartbreaking, The Accidental Recluse is a book that will stay with you.’ Justine Bottles, I Should Read That

‘I would recommend this for anyone who is interested in the mismatch between our public persona and the person inside, and the way stories can be twisted and shaped to match our goals. A fascinating read!’ Chrikaru Reads 

‘McCulloch has a very particular and unique writing style. He is beautifully descriptive and lyrical in his visual descriptions of the Scottish landscape. The characters are fascinating. I really enjoyed this novel and there are many twists and turns to keep the reader engaged.’ A Cascade of Books

Order The Accidental Recluse

The Accidental Recluse is available to order from Blackwells, Amazon and Waterstones.