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…
I would like to thank the author, Orenda Books and blog tour organiser Anne Cater for the ARC in return for an honest review.
Yet again Orenda Books have produced for it’s readers, a thriller of the highest quality!
Doug Johnstone delivers a narrative that had me gripped throughout. He cleverly mirrors the tectonic fault running through a reimagined Edinburgh, to the shock waves running through the life of his main character Surtsey.
I was deeply impressed by the power of the setting of Fault Lines. You could feel the brooding presence of Inch, a volcanic Island sitting in the Firth of Forth throughout the novel. It felt to me, that it gave the story an originality, which will allow it to stand proudly out from other similar books. Inch and it’s foreboding presence added to the feeling that life for Surtsey was balanced on the edge of a precipice. She and those she loves threatened by a malign and twisted killer.
As a reader I felt a range of emotions reading Fault Lines, excitement, anxiety, anticipation and most of all, real overwhelming fear of the final outcome for Surtsey.
I would recommend this book to all thriller readers and especially those who revel in heightened feelings of brooding suspense. Inch and Surtsey taking equal roles in this superb book.
Fault Lines can be purchased from Amazon
About the author
Doug Johnstone is a writer, musician and journalist based in Edinburgh. His seventh novel, The Jump, was published by Faber & Faber in August 2015. Gone Again (2013) was an Amazon bestseller and Hit & Run (2012) and was an Amazon #1 as well as being selected as a prestigious Fiction Uncovered winner. Smokeheads (2011) was nominated for the Crimefest Last Laugh Award. Before that Doug published two novels with Penguin, Tombstoning (2006) and The Ossians (2008). His work has received praise from the likes of Irvine Welsh, Ian Rankin, William McIlvanney, Megan Abbott and Christopher Brookmyre.
In September 2014 Doug took up the position of Royal Literary Fund Fellow at Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh. Doug was writer in residence at the University of Strathclyde 2010-2012 and before that worked as a lecturer in creative writing there. He’s had short stories appear in various publications and anthologies, and since 1999 he has worked as a freelance arts journalist, primarily covering music and literature. Doug is currently also working on a number of screenplays for film and television. He is also a mentor and manuscript assessor for The Literary Consultancy.
Doug is one of the co-founders of the Scotland Writers Football Club, for whom he also puts in a shift in midfield. He is also a singer, musician and songwriter in several bands, including Northern Alliance, who have released four albums to critical acclaim, as well as recording an album as a fictional band called The Ossians. Doug has also released two solo EPs, Keep it Afloat and I Did It Deliberately.
Doug has a degree in physics, a PhD in nuclear physics and a diploma in journalism, and worked for four years designing radars.
He grew up in Arbroath and lives in Portobello, Edinburgh with his wibe and two children.