AN acclaimed crime writer from New Zealand with a famous literary father from Scotland is loving living life in the tranquility of Fairlie.

Professor Liam McIlvanney, son of the legendary Scots author William, is enjoying village life with wife Val and four children, whilst on a 'sabbatical'.

Born and bred in Kilmarnock, Liam is now a lecturer in Dunedin, NZ, and has recently published The Quaker - his third thriller.

Liam studied at Glasgow and Oxford, and after ten years lecturing in Scottish and Irish literature in Aberdeen, he emigrated to teach at the University of Otago.

He lectures in Scottish literature, culture and history, and on Irish-Scottish literary connections.

The 49 year old said: "I have got this period of research leave so basically I decided to come back to Scotland with my wife Val for six months.

"My wife's sister Julie Hill is Councillor Alan Hill's wife who lives in Fairlie.

"My mum is in a nursing home in Largs, so the whole family has gravitated to this part of the world.

"Two of the boys are at Fairlie Primary, Dermott and Issac, and Caleb, who is 15, is at Largs Academy, Caleb, and Andrew is 18 and in a gap year.

"I usually come back to Ayrshire two or three weeks at a time, and it is nice to come here for a bit longer to live here."

Liam is enjoyed life in Fairlie, is a regular visitor at The Village Inn and attended the recent gala celebrations, with wife Val helping out at the vintage tea stall.

He said: "The boys are really enjoying the school and are in the BB as well, and Caleb plays for Largs Thistle U15s.

"The beach is fantastic and I walk along the front most nights, it feels like a secret beach as it is always empty."

In an ironic twist, befitting of one his novels, Liam has been named as one of four finalists for the McIlvanney prize for The Quaker.

The award was renamed after his father, who died in 2015, and will be presented at the forthcoming Bloody Scotland crime-writing festival in Stirling.

William McIlvanney produced literary classics such as Laidlaw, Docherty and The Big Man, and has been hailed as one of Scotland's great writers, poets and political thinkers.