Detective · mystery · suspense · thriller

*BLOG TOUR* The Big Chill – Doug Johnstone ★★★★

Blurb; Running private investigator and funeral home businesses means trouble is never far away, and the Skelf women take on their most perplexing, chilling cases yet in book two of this darkly funny, devastatingly tense and addictive new series!

Haunted by their past, the Skelf women are hoping for a quieter life. But running both a funeral directors’ and a private investigation business means trouble is never far away, and when a car crashes into the open grave at a funeral that matriarch Dorothy is conducting, she can’t help looking into the dead driver’s shadowy life.

While Dorothy uncovers a dark truth at the heart of Edinburgh society, her daughter Jenny and granddaughter Hannah have their own struggles. Jenny’s ex-husband Craig is making plans that could shatter the Skelf women’s lives, and the increasingly obsessive Hannah has formed a friendship with an elderly professor that is fast turning deadly.

But something even more sinister emerges when a drumming student of Dorothy’s disappears and suspicion falls on her parents. The Skelf women find themselves sucked into an unbearable darkness – but could the real threat be to themselves?

Following three women as they deal with the dead, help the living and find out who they are in the process, The Big Chill follows A Dark Matter, book one in the Skelfs series, which reboots the classic PI novel while asking the big existential questions, all with a big dose of pitch-black humour.

My Review; The Big Chill is book two in the Shelk series I have book one but I haven’t read it. It reads well as a standalone for me but I will be going back to read book one. What really fascinated me about this book was the fact they run a funeral business and a private detective business together which you’de never expect!

This story gets personal as it involves themselves and family members while still working through their two businesses. That means there is always something going on, a death, an investigation or an update on their personal problem. Which is bound to keep the reader engaged and turning the pages. Well it did for me. The cover is also eye catching and intriguing.

My favourite character had to be dorothy. I don’t know why I just love her. She’s determined, brave, incharge and a woman not to be messed with. The story is told through each of the characters and it works brilliantly. I enjoyed reading it and look forward to reading book one. A well deserved four stars from me. Highly recommend.

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crime · suspense · thriller

*BLOG TOUR* Breakers – Doug Johnstone ★★★★

Blurb; Seventeen-year-old Tyler lives in one of Edinburgh’s most deprived areas. Coerced into robbing rich people’s homes by his bullying older siblings, he’s also trying to care for his little sister and his drug-addict mum. On a job, his brother Barry stabs a homeowner and leaves her for dead, but that’s just the beginning of their nightmare, because the woman is the wife of Edinburgh’s biggest crime lord, Deke Holt. With the police and the Holts closing in, and his shattered family in devastating danger, Tyler meets posh girl Flick in another stranger’s house, and he thinks she may just be his salvation . . . unless he drags her down, too.

My Review; Oh My Heart! Where do I start? I easily devoured this within a day! Such a brilliant story and I will explain why…

TYLER! Oh my. He’s trying his bloody hardest and is the best big brother ever to little bean. My heart. Those two have such a cute, special bond. I felt Tyler was trying to protect everyone around him and make everyone happy which sometimes isn’t possible. He’s a good lad really bringing his sister up.

BEAN! The youngest of the family, the cutest, innocent and doesn’t have a clue about the world she is in really. What she does know is that she loves her brother Tyler more than anyone. We all need someone to lean on. Such a sweet little girl.

Now don’t get me started on Barry and Kelly, especially Barry. While reading this book I found my anger building up and hating Barrys character to the point well, he got what he deserved. Such a horrible character. Grr. Kelly wasn’t much better either but I reckon there was another side to her underneath.

Brilliantly written, thrilling, fast paced and a page turner of a read which I actually didn’t put down for once well, until the end. A happy outcome for all. I actually got so emotionally attached to some of these character specifically Bean and Tyler, theyre both still kids. I awarded a well deserved four stars and would highly recommend.

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mystery · suspense · thriller

*BLOG TOUR* Fault Lines – Doug Johnstone ★★★★

Blurb; In a reimagined contemporary Edinburgh, in which a tectonic fault has opened up to produce a new volcano in the Firth of Forth, and where tremors are an everyday occurrence, volcanologist Surtsey makes a shocking discovery. On a clandestine trip to The Inch – the new volcanic island – to meet Tom, her lover and her boss, she finds his lifeless body. Surtsey’s life quickly spirals into a nightmare when someone makes contact – someone who claims to know what she’s done…

My Review; I loved reading every chapter of this story! A great story, well written and easy to read. I awarded four stars. It’s one of those books that makes you go ahhh! That’s why it’s called that. I actually learnt some new things from this book about volcano’s and geology…

However, I did guess who the mysterious person was about half way through nevertheless I still read on to confirm I was right! Fault Lines has a brilliant final few chapters that all readers can look forward to but I did feel the story ended quite quickly and suddenly.

I would highly recommend Fault Lines to you all, you can easily devour this story in one sitting. I managed to read it within 12 hours.. It was nice to read something unique and different! I also love the cover and the little map of ‘the inch’ at the beginning of the book. I would love to read more by Doug in the future.

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