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“Man at Sea is partly a study of treachery, forgiveness and the thirst for revenge, but its principal concern is the consequences of clinging on to memories while life passes by... A lean, direct novel weaving a delicate blend of starkness and sensuality, its downbeat tone has, by the end, resolved into a quiet optimism.”

Alastair Mabbott, in The Herald

“Intimate and expansive, this tantalising thriller pulses with mysteries, secrets, and surprises. Man at Sea is both timely and historical, at once rich in implication and action. Like the sea itself the story is swift, deep, exhilarating, and ultimately unpredictable.”  

Kevin MacNeil, author of The Brilliant and Forever  

“With more twists than a contortionist’s body, Man at Sea wraps you up in Maltese history, drags you through wartime rubble, and holds you tight throughout...” 
Northwords Now

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Shortlisted for SMIT Scottish Book of the Year 2013

Longlisted for the Waverton Good Read Award

"Shades of Brian Moore's Lies of Silence abound in this no-holds-barred debut about an Irish republican paramilitary who becomes first hunter, then hunted... Bell resists cliches and stretches the tension out to a bitterly abrupt end in which there are no winners" -- The Guardian

"This confident debut novel alternates between the two characters and invites us to speculate on the connection between them... the scenes dealing with young Aoife are beautifully handled. Though her story is harrowing, there are moments of humour and warmth that would seem to confirm her plaintive dictum: "It's not always cruelty that shows through." -- Financial Times

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Scottish Book Trust Pick of 2014

Featured at 'Vic Galloway and Friends', Edinburgh Book Festival 2014

"Bell continues the winning streak he started with 2012's So It Is, with fine depictions of characters and locations, especially Rab's homeless companion Sage and the grimier parts of Brighton." -- Glasgow Herald

"This is a disturbing and realistic portrayal of the music industry, homelessness and how life can go horribly wrong. In an age where we are made to believe that talent and/or ruthlessness is all that it takes, this book reminds us sharply that no one is owed anything, and no matter how hard you work or how good you are things can still go wrong." -- We Love This Book

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Edited Books

Writing Urban Space, co-edited with Gavin Goodwin, 2012

Short Stories

'The Piano Tuner', Guesthouse Lit, 2022:

'Scavengers', Pharos, 2021

'Delivery', Fictive Dream, 2021:

'deericide', Northwords Now, 2018

'In the Event of Landing on Water', Freckle Magazine, 2018

'Camel', Gutter Magazine, Issue 11, 2014

'The Watercooler', Litro, 2014:

'Quiver', Wordriver Literary Review, 2010

'Death and other Distractions', Let's Pretend: 37 Stories about (in)fidelity, 2008

'The Piano', New Writing Scotland: Bucket of Frogs, 2008

'The First Day of Christmas', New Writing Scotland: Milking the Haggis, 2004

Articles & Chapters

'Overland to Malta', TEXT Journal, 2017

'The Busker: Writing Occupy, Politics and Protest', New Writing, 2015

'Publication and the PhD', New Ideas in the Writing Arts, Graeme Harper (ed), 2013

'Form and Content: A Rationale for a Fractured Narrative', New Writing, 2011

'Six Word Short Story', Creative Writing: Teaching, Theory & Practice, 2010

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