Helen Forbes

Author of Scottish crime fiction and thrillers

"Forbes’s brand of ‘Highland Noir’ is shaping up to be a good series." 

Sunday Herald


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Hello and welcome


I’m an author and a lawyer, living in my home-town of Inverness, in the Scottish Highlands.


I’ve been writing novels and short stories for many years. Much of my writing is set in the Highlands and Islands and Edinburgh, although I’ve also written and published award-winning short stories set in the Antarctic and Italy.  

I began by writing contemporary and historical fiction, with no intention of turning to crime. It was a chance remark at a writing group about a short story I'd written that led to my debut police procedural novel, In the Shadow of the Hill, set in Inverness and South Harris, and featuring Detective Sergeant Joe Galbraith. It was published by ThunderPoint Publishing in 2014. 


Madness Lies, Book 2 in the DS Joe Galbraith series, set in Inverness and North Uist, was published in 2017. 

Unravelling, a standalone crime thriller, set in Inverness, was published in July 2021.


I have also completed two stand-alone psychological thrillers set in Edinburgh. Deception is a dark tale of a relationship mired in deceit and lies. The story is uplifted by a cast of interesting characters brought together in adversity. Queen of Grime features an Edinburgh crime scene cleaner with a deadly secret that is endangering her family. It is full of grime and gore and dark humour, and I hope to expand it into a series.

I'm also in the very early stages of plotting a third book in the Joe Galbraith series.

My earlier works, which I return to every now and again for another edit, include a contemporary novel set on North Uist, and a historical novel set on 18th century St Kilda.  

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