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Crime fiction inspired by Scotland's iconic buildings: in Bloody Scotland twelve of Scotland's best crime writers use the sinister side of the country's built heritage in stories that are by turns gripping, chilling and redemptive.
The discovery of a human foot in an Edinburgh park, the inexplicable circumstances of a dying woman, and the missing daughter of Jenny's violent ex-husband present the Skelf women with their most challenging – and deadly – cases yet..._______________Keeping on top of the family funeral directors' and private-investigation businesses is no easy task for the Skelf women, and when matriarch Dorothy discovers a human foot while walking the dog, a perplexing case presents itself ... with potentially deadly results.Daughter Jenny and grand-daughter Hannah have their hands full too: The mysterious circumstances of a dying woman lead them into an unexpected family drama, Hannah's new astrophysicist colleague claims he's receiving messages from outer space, and the Skelfs' teenaged lodger has yet another devastating experience.Nothing is clear as the women are immersed ever deeper in their most challenging cases yet. But when the daughter of Jenny's violent and fugitive ex-husband goes missing without trace and a wild animal is spotted roaming Edinburgh's parks, real danger presents itself, and all three Skelfs are in peril.Taut, dark, warmly funny and unafraid to ask big questions – of us all – The Great Silence is the much-anticipated third instalment in the addictive, unforgettable Skelfs series, and the stakes are higher than ever._______________
Three generations of women from the Skelfs family take over the family funeral home and PI businesses in the first book of a taut, gripping page-turning and darkly funny new series.***Longlisted for the McIlvanney Prize for Best Scottish Crime Book of the Year*** 'An engrossing and beautifully written tale that bears all the Doug Johnstone hallmarks in its warmth and darkly comic undertones' Herald Scotland 'Gripping and blackly humorous' Observer 'I was addicted from the first page; gripping, gritty and darkly funny as hell' Erin Kelly 'A Dark Matter showcases a writer at the peak of his powers, except that with every book, Doug Johnstone just gets better' Val McDermid _________________ Meet the Skelfs: well-known Edinburgh family, proprietors of a long-established funeral-home business, and private investigators... When patriarch Jim dies, it's left to his wife Dorothy, daughter Jenny and granddaughter Hannah to take charge of both businesses, kicking off an unexpected series of events. Dorothy discovers mysterious payments to another woman, suggesting that Jim wasn't the husband she thought he was. Hannah's best friend Mel has vanished from university, and the simple adultery case that Jenny takes on leads to something stranger and far darker than any of them could have imagined. As the women struggle to come to terms with their grief, and the demands of the business threaten to overwhelm them, secrets from the past emerge, which change everything...A compelling, tense and shocking thriller and a darkly funny and warm portrait of a family in turmoil, A Dark Matter introduces a cast of unforgettable characters, marking the start of an addictive new series. _________________ 'A fiendish mystery that is also deeply moving and laced with suitably dark humour ... set to be one of the books of the year' Mark Billingham 'Emotionally complex, richly layered and darkly funny. An addictive blend of Case Histories and Six Feet Under' Chris Brookmyre 'This dark but touching thriller makes for a thoroughly enjoyable slice of Edinburgh noir' Mary Paulson-Ellis 'This enjoyable mystery is also a touching and often funny portrayal of grief, as the three tough but tender main characters pick up the pieces and carry on: more, please' Guardian 'A tense ride ... strong, believable characters' Kerry Hudson, Big Issue 'They are all wonderful characters: flawed, funny, brave - and well set up for a series. I wouldn't call him cosy, but there's warmth to Johnstone's writing' Sunday Times
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 recent events, the Skelf women are hoping for a quieter life. But running both a funeral directors and a PI business means trouble is never far away, and when a car crashes into the open grave at a funeral that Dorothy is conducting, she can't help looking into the dead driver's shadowy life. While Dorothy begins to uncover a dark truth at the heart of Edinburgh society, her daughter Jenny and granddaughter Hannah have their own struggles to deal with. 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 teacher that is fast turning deadly. Something even more sinister lurks around the corner when a drumming student of Dorothy's disappears and suspicion falls on her parents. The Skelf women find themselves immersed in an unbearable darkness-but could the real threat be to them? Following three generations of women as they deal with the dead, help the living, and find out who they are in the process, The Big Chill reboots the classic PI novel while asking big existential questions, all with a fabulous dose of pitch-black humor.
A pulsatingly tense psychological thriller, Breakers is also a breathtakingly brutal, beautiful and deeply moving story.
But then he meets the mysterious and dangerous Maddie Pierce, stepping in to save her from some unwanted attention, and his life is changed forever. Set against the brutal, unforgiving landscape of Orkney, CRASH LAND is a psychological thriller steeped in guilt, shame, lust, deception and murder.
Struggling to come to terms with the suicide of her teenage son, Ellie lives in the shadows of the Forth Road Bridge, lingering on its footpaths and swimming in the waters below. One day she talks down another suicidal teenager, Sam, and sees for herself a shot at redemption, the chance to atone for her son's death. But even with the best intentions, she can't foresee the situation she's falling headlong into - a troubled family, with some very dark secrets of their own. From #1 bestselling author of Gone Again, The Jump is a hugely moving contemporary thriller, and a stunning portrait of an unlikely heroine.
Meet Martha. It's the first day of her new job as intern at Edinburgh'sThe Standard. But all's not well at the ailing newspaper, and Martha is carrying some serious baggage of her own.Put straight onto the obituary page, she takes a call from a former employee who seems to commit suicide while on the phone, something which echoes with her own troubled past.Setting in motion a frantic race around modern-day Edinburgh,The Dead Beat traces Martha's desperate search for answers to the dark mystery of her parents' past. Soundtracked by and interspersed with a series of gigs from the alternative music scene of her parents' generation in the early '90s, Doug Johnstone's latest page-turner is a wild ride of a thriller, and a perfect follow-on to his #1 Kindle bestseller, Hit & Run.
'It's just to say that no-one has come to pick Nathan up from school, and we were wondering if there was a problem of some kind?' As Mark Douglas photographs a pod of whales stranded in the waters off Edinburgh's Portobello Beach, he is called by his son's school: his wife, Lauren, hasn't turned up to collect their son. Calm at first, Mark collects Nathan and takes him home but as the hours slowly crawl by he increasingly starts to worry. With brilliantly controlled reveals, we learn some of the painful secrets of the couple's shared past, not least that it isn't the first time Lauren has disappeared. And as Mark struggles to care for his son and shield him from the truth of what's going on, the police seem dangerously short of leads. That is, until a shocking discovery...
Driving home from a party with his girlfriend and brother, all of them drunk and high on stolen pills, Billy Blackmore accidentally hits someone in the night. In a panic, they all decide to drive off.But the next day Billy wakes to find he has to cover the story for the local paper. It turns out the dead man was Edinburgh's biggest crime lord and, as Billy struggles with what he's done, he is sucked into a nightmare of guilt, retribution and violence.From the author of the acclaimed Smokeheads, Hit & Run is another pitch-black psychological thriller.
Four friends, one weekend, gallons of whisky. What could go wrong?Driven by amateur whisky-nut Adam, four late-thirties ex-university mates are heading to Islay - the remote Scottish island world famous for its single malts - with a wallet full of cash, a stash of coke and a serious thirst.Over a weekend soaked in the finest cask strength spirit, they meet young divorcee Molly, who Adam has a soft spot for, her little sister Ash who has all sorts of problems and Molly's ex-husband Joe, a control freak who also happens to be the local police. As events spiral out of control, they are all thrown into a nightmare that gets worse at every turn.A wild trip to the Scottish Highlands, Doug Johnstone's debut on the Faber crime list is a classic violent thriller, doused with black humour.
Drei Generationen von Frauen ubernehmen das Familienunternehmen der Skelfs in Edinburgh. Ein Bestattungsinstitut mit angeschlossener Privatdetektei. Die Leiche des ehemaligen Familienoberhaupts aschern sie auf seinen Wunsch hin illegal in ihrem Garten ein. Bald darauf entdecken seine Frau Dorothy, seine Tochter Jenny und seine Enkelin Hannah mysteriose Zahlungen an eine andere Frau, die darauf hindeuten, dass Jim nicht der Ehemann war, fur den sie ihn gehalten haben. Damit nicht genug, verschwindet eine Freundin der Enkelin spurlos von der Universitat. Die Polizei ist nicht an Ermittlungen interessiert, also beschliet Hannah, es selbst in die Hand zu nehmen, um festzustellen, dass sie ihre beste Freundin eigentlich gar nicht kannte. Jenny, die Tochter und Journalistin, vervollstandigt das Chaos, als sie bei einer Totenwache einen Fall ubernimmt. Ein Ehebruch, aber wie bei allem anderen trugt auch hier der Schein. "e;Eingeschert"e; ist ein fesselnder, schockierender Thriller sowie ein dstekomisches und warmherziges Portrt einer Familie in Aufruhr.
Doug Johnstone erzahlt in seinem Kriminalroman die Geschichte von vier Geschwistern und einer drogensuchtigen Mutter, die in einem der vernachlassigten Viertel Edinburghs leben. Im Mittelpunkt steht der siebzehnjahrige Tyler, der sich liebevoll um seine kleine Schwester Bean kummert und sie vor ihrem aggressiven Bruder Barry zu schutzen sucht. Zusammen mit ihrer Schwester Kelly steigen sie regelmaig in fremde Hauser ein. Als der Einbruch beim Bandenchef Deke Holt misslingt, Barry dessen Frau nieder- sticht und lebensgefahrlich verletzt, befindet sich Tyler plotzlich in einer ausweglosen Situation. Deke Holt sucht nach ihnen und die Polizei setzt ihn unter Druck, seinen Bruder zu verraten. Derr neue Roman von einem der besten Krimiautoren Schottlands.
When volcanologist Surtsey finds her married lover dead, she pockets his phone and makes the fatal decision to keep her discovery secret ... but someone has been watching...'A cracking and highly original thriller' Mark Billingham'You don't read Fault Lines so much as you white-knuckle your way through its twists and turns' Megan Abbott'A superb, highly original psychological chiller' Steve Cavanagh____________________In a reimagined contemporary Edinburgh, where 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 new volcanic island The Inch, to meet Tom, her lover and her boss, she finds his lifeless body, and makes the fatal decision to keep their affair, and her discovery, a secret. Desperate to know how he died, but also terrified she'll be exposed, Surtsey's life quickly spirals into a nightmare when someone makes contact - someone who claims to know what she's done...____________________'An explosive thriller' Daily Record'A cracking-good thriller with some seriously good writing and some beautifully designed characters ... Here's a writer pushing the thriller envelope, giving the reader not just a good novel, but also a unique one' David Pitt, Booklist'Novel and elegant ... it is the book's thought-provoking and heart-breaking moments that carry the reader through the story and which resonate most at the end' Scotsman'Both a meditation on the volatility of human nature and a gripping thriller with plenty of twists and turns ... An original and addictive thriller, as intelligent as it is shocking' Foreword Reviews'Richly characterised, beautifully crafted, this is a book that you truly inhabit' Emma Kavanagh'Scotland's truest exponent of noir' Chris Brookmyre'A subtly off-kilter speculative thriller that builds to a truly explosive ending' Eva Dolan'A pacey, gripping read' Louise Voss'Sexy, fearless and addictive' Helen FitzGerald'Johnstone weaves his compelling and original tale with great skill and elegance from the gripping beginning to a tense and explosive ending' Amanda Jennings'Brilliantly unputdownable' Martyn Waites'Superb' Luca Veste'Blending powerful imagination and plotting, this is the work of a writer at the top of his game' Stuart Neville'Plays with every single emotion' Susi Holliday'This had me hooked from the first page' Cass Green'Poignant, gripping and packed with seismic shocks' Paddy Magrane'Incisive, intelligent and imaginative' Michael J. Malone'I was completely swept away' Caroline Mitchell'Hits you lie a seismic shock' Douglas Skelton'Grabs you by the throat in the first chapter' Neil Broadfoot
A pulsatingly tense psychological thriller and a breathtakingly brutal, beautiful and deeply moving story of a good kid in the wrong family, from one of Scotland's finest crime writers.SHORTLISTED for the McIlvanney Prize for Scottish Crime Book of the Year***BOOK OF THE YEAR in SCOTSMAN***'It's a lovely, sad tale, beautifully told and full of understanding' The Times'The most powerful and moving book from Johnstone yet - a calling card that no-one can ignore' Scotsman'This may be Doug Johnstone's best book yet. An unsparing yet sympathetic depiction of Edinburgh's ignored underclass, with terrific characterisation. Tense, pacey, filmic' Ian Rankin____________________There are two sides to every family...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.____________________'A cracking story, great characters ... it's also about something and really addresses the "e;whys"e; of crime' Mark Billingham'It's as psychologically rich as it is harrowing. I've come to expect nothing less from Doug Johnstone, one of the genre's premiere writers' Megan Abbott'Breakers again shows that Doug Johnstone is a noir heavyweight and a master of gritty realism. This may be his finest novel yet' Willy Vlautin'Doug Johnstone is for me the perfect free-range writer, respectful of conventions but never bound by them, never hemmed-in. Each book is a different world, each book something new in this world' James Sallis'Bloody brilliant ... This is premier league crime-writing' Martyn Waites'A tough, gritty and effective ride into the dark side of Edinburgh' Douglas Skelton'Pacy, harrowing and occasionally brutal ... it had me in tears at the end...' Paddy Magrane'Both horrifying and uplifting, and one of those books I looked forward to picking up each time I had a moment to read ... I hope it does as well as it deserves to' James Oswald'Gripping, dark, fast, but still somehow full of heart' Louise Beech'A brooding, intensely dark thriller with a defiant beating heart. Evocative, heartbreaking and hopeful - the power of the human spirit to shine in the most desperate place ... STUNNING' Miranda Dickinson
A rollicking and hugely enjoyable contemporary novel describing the outrageous mid-winter tour around Scotland of a group of musicians called 'The Ossians'. The band's driving force is twenty-four-year-old lead singer, Connor - intelligent but self-destructive, pretentious but charismatic, gloriously opinionated and with an extraordinary ability to get beaten up. The band is on the verge of signing a major record deal before setting off on a two-week tour of the cities and hinterland of Scotland, a tour expected to culminate triumphantly in a defining Glasgow gig. On their travels there is a seagull massacre, hapless drug deals, a mysterious stalker, a radioactive beach, a bomb-testing range, an epileptic fit, a town full of riotous Russian submariners, deadly snowstorms, epiphanies, regular beatings and random shootings. The Ossians is both hilariously readable and satirically astute, a story of rock'n'roll obsession as well as a search for identity and a sense of community, written with delicious insight, pace and brio.
Your best mate just fell off a cliff in mysterious circumstances and you were the last person to see him alive. What do you do? Well, if you're David Lindsay from Arbroath, you get the hell out of there and don't return. Not for at least fifteen years. Until Nicola Cruickshank - yes, that Nicola, the girl you always fancied but never had the guts to approach - gets in touch and asks - no, demands - that you go back for a school reunion. To the place where it happened. The place you've been running from for fifteen years. Of course you go. Not to belatedly lay your mate to rest, but because you still fancy Nicola. The thing is, if you are David Lindsay, then returning to Arbroath isn't going to lay any ghosts to rest. And when someone else takes a dive off the cliffs - an act the locals have taken to calling 'tombstoning' - while David's there, he has a choice: run away again, or finally find out why people keep dying around him . . .