Firstly I wish to thank Anne Cater and Orenda Books for inviting me to take part on this Blog Tour for FAULT LINES by Doug Johnstone
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..
HERE ARE MY THOUGHTS AND REVIEW
This book made for a very fascinating and unusual setting, one that I knew but was at the same time alien to me. Edinburgh, a place that I have visited and read about many times but now it felt more like an alternate version. Volcanic activity in the Firth of Forth had occurred creating The Inch, an island where the dead body of man was to be discovered. Surtsey, his lover, work colleague and volcanologist was use to the tremors that struck the city every day but someone knew about her and her relationship with Tom. To say that the ground she walked on was shaky just doesn’t do it. Something was brewing and going to blow and it wasn’t just the volcano.
Surtsey is quite a character, pretty, and an intelligent young woman but one that is still holding on to a bit of a rebellious side. She, like Edinburgh, has her faults which can’t always be seen at first glance. She parties hard but has to have the release that makes it possible to hold on to her sanity. She is living life on the highs of booze and smoking pot and the lows dealing with her mum’s cancer besides the death of Tom her lover and unknown person that is now taunting her.
I played Jenga with Doug Johnstone’s characters, pulling each one out of the story to try to work out the mystery person that had turned into a killer and still was after more. The story builds gradually with spikes of nearly clues, like almost remembering something then it’s gone sort of thing. The characters are quite a mixed bunch or people who are at times forced together by circumstances rather than want, which brings its own tensions in the story. I loved how the volcano activity and the life of Surtsey reflected each other with a pretty spectacular conclusion. Highly recommended.
HERE IS A LITTLE 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 wife and two children.