It’s a pleasure to be on the blog tour today for Fault Lines by Doug Johnstone. Thank you to Anne Cater for the invite and Orenda Books for providing me with a copy to read.
Firstly, a little bit about the book
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…
Fault Lines is available to purchase now…
I’ve not read anything from this author before, but I’m all for trying something that sounds a little unusual and what may take me out of my comfort zones – and I always trust books from Orenda to do that!
Surtsey is a young volcanologist, rather fond of her alcohol and drugs and who is having an affair with her married boss, Tom. They have a meeting place on the volcanic island called The Inch (which erupted out of the Firth of Fourth on the day she was born). When Surtsey heads off one evening to meet Tom for a little bit of passion, she is confronted by a very different scene – Tom’s dead body!
Surtsey, already in a complicated life doesn’t need the shame of an affair over her head so she doesn’t call the police, get help, or tell anyone – she takes his phone, runs and lies. But things quickly start to spiral even more out of control for her…
What impressed me the most about Fault Lines is how incredibly atmospheric the novel was. I honestly didn’t know if the reimagined Edinburgh would work for me, but due to Johnstone’s vivid descriptions this interesting and fascinating backdrop just came alive and became it’s own! I loved that sense of danger that run throughout this novel of something slowly simmering away, just waiting to erupt at any given moment – it made me tingly and kept me on edge! And it wasn’t just The Inch, I found it incredibly clever how Surtsey’s life mirrored all that.
I wouldn’t say I particularly liked Surtsey as I just felt she didn’t fully let me in, but I felt for her at times and she came across as very human, she makes bad decisions which made me just want to shake her and tell her to do the right thing, but I did want to see things come good for her.
My main concern with going into this book was the scientific side – lets just say Science was far from a strong point in my school days and even now I am easily baffled, but I easily got to grips with this and may even say I learnt a little. Who needs school when we could all just read and learn from wonderful fiction eh?!
Fault Lines is a short, sharp, original novel, which slowly simmers along, with the nature surrounding the story being very much as big a threat as the killer!
About the author
Doug Johnstone is an author, journalist and musician based in Edinburgh. He’s had eight novels published, most recently Crash Land. His previous novel, The Jump, was a finalist for the McIlvanney Prize for Scottish Crime Novel of the Year. Doug is also a Royal Literary Fund Consultant Fellow.
He’s worked as an RLF Fellow at Queen Margaret University, taught creative writing at Strathclyde University and been Writer in Residence at Strathclyde University and William Purves Funeral Directors. He mentors and assesses manuscripts for The Literary Consultancy and regularly tutors at Moniack Mhor writing retreat. Doug has released seven albums in various bands, reviews books for the Big Issue, is player-manager for Scotland Writers Football Club and has a PhD in nuclear physics
You can follow Doug on Twitter
Thank you for reading my post. There are so many more fantastic bloggers on the duration of the Fault Lines tour – please do pay them a visit.