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Fault Lines

Published Date: 16th January 2018

Available in

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EBook
9781912374168
£5.99
28 February 2018
Paperback
9781912374151
£8.99
22 May 2018
Audiobook
coming soon

Description

A little lie … a seismic secret … and the cracks are beginning to show…

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…

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A cracking and highly original thriller. Johnstone never fails to deliver’ Mark Billingham

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You don’t read Fault Lines so much as you white-knuckle your way through its twists and turns, toward its thrilling end, your breath held and your nerves tingling. And 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

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‘Doug Johnstone has crafted a superb, highly original psychological chiller. Fault Lines is a masterclass in suspense’ Steve Cavanagh

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‘Doug Johnstone is a brilliant writer and this is a pacey, gripping read, which builds to a climax you won’t forget in a hurry. Loved it’ Louise Voss

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‘Doug Johnstone is Scotland’s truest exponent of noir. He writes novels that are punchy, fast-paced and sometimes gruellingly dark; unflinchingly challenging his readers by taking them to places that are emotionally and ideologically uncomfortable’ Chris Brookmyre

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‘A subtly off-kilter speculative thriller which builds to a truly explosive ending. Once again Doug Johnstone shows why he’s at the forefront of Scottish crime fiction’s new guard; Fault Lines is original, ambitious but always grounded in relatable and complex characters’ Eva Dolan

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Fault Lines creates a world so convincing you find yourself forgetting it is a work of fiction. Richly characterised, beautifully crafted, this is a book that you truly inhabit. A true must read’ Emma Kavanagh

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‘Sexy, fearless and addictive – Fault Lines isn’t like any other book I’ve read. Doug Johnstone just gets better and better’ Helen Fitzgerald

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‘In Surtsey, Doug Johnstone has created a character as feisty and unpredictable as the volcano that has transformed the Firth of Forth. Johnstone weaves his compelling and original tale with great skill and elegance from the gripping beginning to a tense and explosive ending’ Amanda Jennings

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‘Doug’s characters are wonderfully drawn, and the trauma he puts them through is deeply twisted. It’s a mark of the book that I really wanted to know what happens to them all next – there’s so much mental anguish to work through!’ James Oswald

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‘A cracker! I really enjoyed it’ Ed James

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‘Brilliant premise, fascinating setting, great characters and a story that plays with every single emotion. Doug Johnstone is an excellent writer who tries new things with every book, and always succeeds’ Susi Holliday

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‘With its brilliant sense of place and uneasy atmosphere throughout, this had me hooked from the first page’ Cass Green

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‘His best book yet!  I simply devoured this fast-paced, explosive thriller’ Portobello Book Blog

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‘An explosive thriller’ Daily Record

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Fault Lines erupts on page on with a compelling scenario that keeps flowing all the way to an explosive resolution. I was enthralled!’ L V Hay

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‘Fault Lines grabs you by the throat from the first chapter’ Neil Broadfoot

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‘Absolutely ripped through Fault Lines … a first-rate thriller about guilt, deception and life’s fragility. Poignant, gripping and packed with seismic shocks’ Paddy Magrane

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‘Doug Johnstone is straight out of the genre’s top drawer, and his latest book, Faultlines is incisive, intelligent and imaginative. A stellar read. Absolutely not to be missed’ Michael J. Malone

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‘A highly imaginative, hauntingly beautiful and genuinely clever whodunnit’ Liz Loves Books

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Great writing, bold plotting, exceptional characterisation and a fascinating background. Doug Johnstone provides us with a credible “alternative” Edinburgh with a daily fear of tremors and earthquakes. It’s not that different from our real world, making it so believable and relatable, just like his characters. His vivid descriptions put me right into the heart of The Inch, a new volcanic island in the Firth of Forth … I read the book in one sitting, turning the pages as fast as my reading speed would allow’ Off-the-Shelf Books

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‘A highly imaginative and well-written book, unlike any I’ve read this year. I was completely swept away by this story with its wonderful setting, short fast-paced chapters and a thoroughly satisfying ending to boot’ Caroline Mitchell

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‘An intriguing thriller that hits you like a seismic shock’ Douglas Skelton

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‘Imagine an Edinburgh where a tectonic fault has opened up to produce a new volcano in the Firth of Forth and tremors are an everyday occurrence. That’s the setting for an explosive thriller about volcanologist Surtsey, who finds the body of her boss (and lover) on a new volcanic island. Deciding to keep the discovery of the corpse – and their affair – a secret, she’s desperate to find out how he died. Then someone makes contact who claims to know what Surtsey has done and her life quickly spirals into a nightmare’ Lisa Gray, Daily Record

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‘Short, sharp, punchy. As a reimagined Edinburgh sits with a volcano on the doorstep, volcanologist Surtsey discovers the very dead body of her lover, and a split-second decision turns her entire world upside down. Doug Johnstone sets the pace from the very beginning, fast moving chapters kept my thoughts whirring. Surtsey is a fascinating character, living her life in the moment, her actions reverberated across the surface of the pages. I could feel her shock, her confusion, yet she didn’t allow me close enough to form a bond, consequently I found myself evaluating, sifting, perhaps even judging. It feels as though a reckoning is thundering towards Surtsey, and I sat waiting, expectantly tense, ready to view the outcome. ‘Fault Lines’ cranks up the volume on original, yet feels intensely raw, earthy, and real, for a short book, it packs a mighty wallop’ Love Reading

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‘This is a cracking-good thriller with some seriously good writing and some beautifully designed characters … Johnstone could have told the story without creating an alternate Scotland in which new volcanoes are popping up in the Firth of Forth, and that more traditional approach would have resulted in a solid thriller; but setting the story in an environment of fiery, tumultuous geologic upheaval? A nice touch, that. Downright brilliant. Here’s a writer pushing the thriller envelope, giving the reader not just a good novel, but also a unique one’ David Pitt, Booklist

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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. Several of his other novels have been award winners and bestsellers, and he’s had short stories published in numerous anthologies and literary magazines. His work has been praised by the likes of Ian Rankin, Val McDermid and Irvine Welsh. Several of his novels have been optioned for film and television. 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 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, and is the drummer for the Fun Lovin’ Crime Writers, a band of crime writers. He also reviews books for The Big Issue magazine, is player-manager for Scotland Writers Football Club and has a PhD in nuclear physics.
Follow him on Twitter @doug_johnstone and visit his website: dougjohnstone.com

Online Reviews

‘Doug Johnstone’s writing talent is of seismic proportions (couldn’t resist – sorry – but his writing is fantastic), and I predict that Fault Lines is going to be huge – with its great writing, bold plotting, exceptional characterisation and fascinating background. This is a murder mystery steeped in geoscience. A tense multi-layered psychological thriller filled with shocks and surprises. Doug Johnstone provides us with a credible ‘alternative’ Edinburgh with a daily fear of tremors and earthquakes. It’s not that different from our real world, making it so believable and relatable, just like his characters. His vivid descriptions put me right into the heart of The Inch, a new volcanic island in the Firth of Forth – I could not only visualise the landscape but feel it, taste it and smell it too. I read the book in one sitting, turning the pages as fast as my reading speed would allow. And I finished it feeling exhausted after a rollercoaster experience. This is my first Doug Johnstone book – and now I can’t wait for more!’ Off the Shelf Books

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‘Atmosphere check, cracking dialogue – check, and a murder mystery to freak you out as it’s on an island close to Edinburgh – you can see safety but can’t reach it… From the scene stealing first paragraph, the novel just got better and better. Doug Johstone has writtena novel that hits the spot in every way possible. The setting for me of course was the greatest pull – how unique is an alternative island close to Edinburgh. It’s a city I know very well and this just made it even more chilling … then there’s the writing – rugged and raw, immersive and a flavour to it not until the salt sprinkles on your tongue if you were to stand on The Inch for real. It’s all very believable – Edinburgh is a city built on old volcanoes and is as rugged and rocky as any city I’ve ever seen. It’s the perfect setting for a thriller, the perfect mix of raw dialogue and creepy telephone messages with the Johnstone seal of silk Scottish writing. There’s no fault lines in this book – just brilliant, crisp, cheeky and chilling ones! Doug Johnstone’s pen must ooze lava and burn the pages as he writes. Smokin’ hot this read!’ The Book Trail

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‘Events begin to spiral, and the tension builds as the tremors from the fault line grow stronger and stronger, until the inevitable explosive plot climax. Surtsey is such a well-written and well-rounded character, that I’d’ve been rooting for her no matter what. She’s sassy, smart, but also vulnerable and sensitive, which is no more evident than in her relationship with her dying mother. It’s a true thriller, with such cinematic descriptions of people, places and events, that it’s crying out for a tv or film adaptation. This is the first of Doug Johnstone’s novels I’ve read, and it won’t be the last!’ Goodreads 

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‘The setting is just brilliant with lots of small details which Portobello residents will love: the little green van, Scotmid carpark, the big houses on the prom right down to the detail of the lookout tower. I must admit to looking rather nervously out my living window to the Forth and hoping that no new islands have appeared overnight! I think my house will be okay up the hill … With its tightly plotted, short chapters leading to a tense and explosive ending, this is a book which I devoured. Doug Johnstone’s writing just keeps getting better and better for me and I have to say I think this is his best yet!’ Portobello Book Blog

 

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‘The book builds to an exciting and dramatic climax in which the forces of Mother Nature, aptly, play a significant part. Fault Lines is an imaginative, dark and accomplished thriller with believable – if not necessarily likeable – characters set in a convincingly described location’ What Cathy Read Next

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‘It’s a short book, but packs a lot into its 200-odd pages … Surtsey is a brilliant character, flawed and genuine, not only dealing with the death of her boss and lover, but also her mum’s terminal cancer and her sister’s seeming indifference towards it. I wouldn’t be remotely surprised to see this developed for television and think it would work brilliantly on screen. Should we start the fantasy casting? I polished this book off in a couple of sittings, and not just because of its relative slimness. It’s a gripping story which rumbles along at pace to a satisfying conclusion. I’ll definitely be adding Doug Johnstone to my list of authors to watch out for. Highly recommended’ Espresso Coco

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‘Doug Johnstone creates a captivating work of crime fiction in FAULT LINES. The reader tags along with suspect number one, Surtsey, as she fumbles through an attempt to cover up her relationship with a now murdered married man … Johnstone is able to weave together these dominating plot lines in Surtsey’s life and create a seamless story. FAULT LINES is filled with edge of your seat moments, heartbreak, and the possibilities that can spiral from telling a lie’ What Jess Reads

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‘Please don’t think Fault Lines is a book heavily laced with science, it isn’t! What it is, is a book that takes the reader out of their comfort zone and places them in a reality that has changed from what  they know to be true. It places the reader firmly at the heart of Surtsey’s relationship, not only with the island but also with those whom she is close to. It pokes and prods at your brain, it gets under your skin and it provides all those twists and turns you are looking for in a psychological thriller/murder mystery. But once again Doug Johnstone goes way beyond just “writing a story” he provides you with an experience like no other, he takes you by the hand and dumps you right in the midst of it all. So just buckle up folks and enjoy the ride!’ Chapter in my Life

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Fault Lines gripped me straight away! I loved Surtsey. It was apparent from the first page that she was going to be a character to keep readers on their toes, keep them guessing, never quite knowing what she’d do next … Combined with fantastic setting, characterisation and wonderful writing Fault Lines is a fast-paced, completely unputdownable new novel that will have readers hooked! Loved it! From beginning to end, I was a mix of emotions – amazed, unnerved, breathless, shocked and utterly overwhelmed. I still haven’t quite come to terms with that ending! Oh my goodness! Doug Johnstone keeps the tension high as he leads you on a devilishly dark, brilliantly original mystery that will leave you speechless as you try to guess who-dun-it! Original. Surprising. Gripping’ Ronnie Turner

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‘Excellent plotting and tight prose gave this book real readability and let me put my Miss Marple hat on which is always appreciated. This is a compelling novel with an unusual premise. I loved the setting of Edinburgh as it is one of my favourite cities, and the addition of the enigma that is the Inch really sealed things for me … This ominous island overseeing misdeeds and deception was a powerful creation whose magnetic pull kept me turning the pages’ Beverley Has Read

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Fault Lines is a slow burner of a thriller and quite short too, at a mere 215 pages. However every page contains a devilishly detailed plot with characters and dialogue that is both realistic and convincing, leading to a tense and dramatic climax … Set against an re-imagined Edinburgh with earth tremors constantly unsettling its residents, Fault Lines is a very different dark and compelling thriller with past secrets having an impact upon the present. I have to admit that some of the science about volcanic eruptions went over my head but this didn’t stop me enjoying this very accomplished thriller. Doug Johnstone is an author new to me but I wouldn’t hesitate to pick up another of his books’ My Reading Corner

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‘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 … 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 … 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’

 Books are my Cwtches

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‘In a way the author draws a parallel between the instinctual human behaviour patterns, especially in regards to violence and destruction, and the companies who put money before survival of humankind. In this tale the earth beneath our feet plays a big part in the crime scenario. It is always in the background, whilst the story is happening, and perhaps it also influences the outcome of events, even if it is just via the visceral connection the main character has with her surroundings. Fault Lines is an intriguing crime story, which is strengthened by the imagery and vivid descriptions. Johnstone makes you feel the earth move under your feet, convinces the reader that the tremors are reaching up and travelling through your body. You may never feel the same way about certain areas in Scotland again’ Cheryl MM

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‘At just 215 pages, this is quite a short book and a bit of a slow-burner. However, it has a brilliantly crafted, dark plot that stands out from the crowd due to its uniqueness and originality … The tension slowly but surely built up and led to an incredibly explosive and satisfying ending that I was really not prepared for. This is a psychological thriller with a difference that will have you glued to the pages and for me, it was a satisfying first introduction to author Doug Johnstone’ Novel Deelights

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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! … 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!’ Gemma’s Book Reviews

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‘Her life starts to spin out of control and she finds no comfort anywhere. Iona, her sister is blocking out the fact that their mum is dying, her flatmate thinks everything can be solved with a large glass of red and a smoke and her on-off boyfriend is just complicating her feelings. The police know she’s lied to them about her whereabouts that night and can she convince them she’s not to blame… I loved the local references to places and things I know well (in Portobello) and these two twists I didn’t see coming! An absolutely brilliant read which I highly recommend’

 Beauty Balm

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‘It took me a little bit to get into the nitty gritty of this book, but once I did, I was caught… hook, line and sinker.  With a beautiful backdrop of a volcano that Surtsey is studying, Johnstone builds this crime thriller into real life relationship battles, an absolutely flawed protagonist and the struggle it is to keep a lie (or anyone for that matter) alive. This story builds like the tremors at The Inch, erupting into an obsessive ending that made me a fan of Johnstone.  I only guessed the outcome right when he wanted me to and for that I applaud this book and his writing’

 Where the Reader Grows

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Fault Lines is a murder, mystery while Tom’s killer remains free.  However there is so much more depth to Doug Johnstone’s story as the human drama of Surtsey’s struggle plays out too, the chapters with her mother are quite distressing in places as the reader shares Surtsey’s anguish at seeing her rock diminishing in front of her eyes. I thoroughly enjoyed Fault Lines, the story flows wonderfully and the characters are deep and engaging. A book which draws you into the lives of the characters and you just want to keep reading to see how the story unfolds’

 Grab This Book

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‘This is a solid read a classic whodunnit. I read it in two sittings, started off on an evening after work and then spent a glorious sunny day in the garden reading the rest. I thoroughly enjoyed it I must say, it’s very easy to get sucked into and I didn’t want to put it down. It not violent or graphic which made a nice change, it’s very much a murder mystery with a clever setting that brings the story together. I would read it again and highly recommend’ Not Another Book Blogger

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‘An author who can write such immerse prose is clearly one with great skill and that is borne out in my experience with this novel. Being told from the perspective of a character that is not police or crime related makes it a bit different from the conventional crime fiction novel but that difference works in its favour. This is a book that will appeal to those who like mystery and suspense, the crime itself is almost irrelevant, it’s what happens after, the consequences of various actions which the story focuses on. Now I’m off to check out more of Doug Johnstone’s writing so I can add it to my to-read list!’ Book Lover Worm Blog

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‘The plot is packed with tension and intrigue with vivid descriptions in all the right places and it raced along to a dramatic conclusion which was tense, dark and satisfying. Overall, I’m giving Fault Lines 4 out of 5. It’s dark, imaginative and different. I’ll certainly read more by Doug Johnstone’ Misti Moo Book Reviews

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‘I found it far easier than I believed it would be to envisage the setting, but Johnstone’s writing made it simple for me. Faultlines is a slow burn novel, written tightly.  There is no single piece of ‘filler’ in there at all, every word moves the narrative along brilliantly,  which is a bigger challenge than you might think.  This style meant that it only took me a handful of hours to read with only time for sipping a drink to move my eyes away from my Kindle screen. Definitely not one to read on your bus / train journey as you’ll likely miss your stop’ Life of Crime

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‘As an English graduate, I worried at first that a book heavy on geology and ‘science’ would lose me or I’d lose interest in it – but I can assure you that nothing could be further from the truth as I was totally caught up in this mystery and found myself wanting to find out more about the way that volcanoes work as a result. Doug Johnstone wears his research well and it never feels like the science is extraneous to the plot or threatens to hijack the narrative at any point’ On The Shelf Book Blog

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‘The book itself was short compared with a lot of books but the pages were packed with twist after twist. If you don’t always have time to read, this book will be perfect for you. I really loved the characters in this book … I really enjoyed this book. It had everything a good thriller should have and this will definitely not be my last book I read by Doug Johnstone. If like me, you love thrillers I fully recommend giving this book a go you will not be disappointed….’ Books and Blogs

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Doug takes part in the ‘best of crime’ series as part of the blog tour. Off-The-Shelf Books

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‘On the whole, the geological fantasy of Fault Lines remains firmly in the background – it’s a novel and elegantly used device, but it is the book’s though-provoking and heart-breaking moments that carry the reader through the story and which resonate most at the end’ Fault Lines received a BRILLIANT two-page review in Scotland on Sunday – The Scotsman

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‘The moral complexities and psychological tension of Surtsey’s situation are a lot stronger in this novel than the whodunnit angle. More deaths are in store and the culprit is circling Surtsey like a vulture. This might have taken the tension to another level, but it’s quite easy to guess early on who’s behind it. Then there’s the alternative history angle – or should that be alternative geology? Underneath this story, at the tectonic level, is the idea that a fault line has opened beneath eastern Scotland. It’s what created the island, dubbed The Inch, where the body is found. It also means that throughout the story tremors and minor quakes occur, a bit like the storms in Macbeth, to chime with the rumblings of the plotline’ Crime Fiction Lover

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Doug talks to Crime Time about the launch of Fault LinesCrime Time

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‘Johnstone does a fantastic job of bringing multiple characters into the fold and very cleverly drops little hints that had my suspicious mind working overtime. At one point I think I had 4 characters that could be pegged for the murder but, just when I was beginning to settle in one of them, another little curve ball would be thrown into the mix. Thankfully my amateur sleuth skills haven’t slipped too much and I managed to pick the right pony just before the big reveal In summary, this was a great story, expertly paced with a number of threads running through it that all came together nicely at the end. Given this is the first Doug Johnstone book I have read, I can safely say that it won’t be my last, such was my enjoyment of this one’ Bookie Wookie

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Fault Lines was without doubt one of the best books I have read in a long long time that includes all the best things – beautiful writing, an atmospheric and compelling story, intensely engaging and often divisive characters and in this case a speculative setting that felt so real I’m almost expecting to see a Volcano the next time I visit Scotland … it’s one of those books that isn’t like any other around at the moment, for that reason alone it is a wonderful read, certainly in my honest opinion this authors best yet and he wasn’t exactly shabby with the last few. Highly Recommended’ Liz Loves Books 

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‘This is a gripping crime thriller with a difference and I loved the unique feel to its narrative. I did work out quite early on what was going on and why but it didn’t deter from my enjoyment of the darkly gripping and cleverly constructed storyline. It isn’t as fast paced as previous novels but this works in its favour here as the build up slowly reflected the atmosphere surrounding both the murder case and ever increasing earth tremors shaking the beautifully unique city of Edinburgh. An enjoyable read and a fascinating insight into seismology at the same time! Result!’ My Chestnut Reading Tree

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‘I’ve become a fan of novels that blend genres in recent years. In Fault Lines it feels futuristic but there is a mystery at the heart of it … Doug Johnstone described the volcanic island so well, especially the terrain around it and this is what made this novel so very different and original. Fault Lines is an imaginative psychological thriller that reels you in from the opening pages. If you’re looking for something that is unique, you really need to try this book’ Hooked From Page One

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‘This is such an atmospheric read. The scenes at the island called the Inch literally took my breath away. I could easily visualise it all in my head and the author transported me from my home to the island … Fault Lines draws you straight in and keeps you there throughout. The tension builds nicely to a satisfying climax. With a few surprises thrown in for good measure, this is another great read from the author’

By The Letter Book Reviews

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‘Impressively plotted, this is a novel that captures a range of emotions and brings the reader quickly to empathise with its characters, even when you know they are off-piste with their actions. What works incredibly well, though is the Gaia connection between Surtsey, her mother and the land. As they experience shakes and tremors, so does the earth … Johnstone has the talent to bring his characters to life; to make you care about them, and to be able to visualise them as you read. On the plotting front the book is beautifully dark, intense and twisty and as it leads you down and through the cobbled streets, you may break a heel or two before you get to where you are going. Overall, highly enjoyable, deeply satisfactory and acutely well written’ Live and Deadly

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Doug Johnstone takes part in the Secret Library as part of the blog tour. Café Thinking

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‘A gripping read from start to finish! Atmospheric and filled with attitude! I found this to be an exhilarating read – a crime fiction whodunnit filled with lies, surprises and big twists to take you by surprise!! I loved the short and snappy chapters which really helped with the flow of the story … It is definitely a book that you can see that is perfect for a TV or movie adaptation!! A fabulous thriller!!’

Books and Me

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‘If you are looking for a pacey thriller, one with a fierce and determined character, a little obsessed with rocks it has to be said, and a killer (literal and figurative) twist, then you definitely need to read this book. This was a very cleverly plotted look at the whole idea of infatuation and obsession. It was my first Doug Johnstone title (I know – I have already admitted many times to being useless) but it won’t be my last. I loved it’ Jen Meds Book Reviews

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‘Surtsey’s life appears to be spiralling out of control and it’s no surprise she turns to drink and drugs to get through it all. I have to say she wasn’t necessarily a likeable character but she was intriguing. I admired her strength which became apparent and her dedication to make her mum’s last moments perfect. I loved how her life mirrored The Inch – simmering away, unstable and getting ready to POP!! This is the first book I have read by Doug Johnstone and would definitely read more from him’ Bibliophile Book Club

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‘I was intrigued by the blurb for this book and wasn’t really sure what to expect, I have heard excellent things about this author’s work so I knew I needed to give it a go and I am so glad I did – it is an excellent story! I love the cover and it is just perfect for the story – I thought that the characters were intriguing and it was a book that left me struggling to put it down, I needed to see where the plot was going and I certainly didn’t want to stop reading unless I really, really had too! It is a really good story that is fascinating too – four stars from me for this one, I really enjoyed it!’ Donnas Book Blog

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Doug takes part in Criminally Good as part of the blog tour. Criminally Good

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‘From the start, you feel that you are missing a step, not quite sure of what is what. I like that about a book. It makes you feel that anything is possible. Throughout the book, the danger from the erupting earth is always there … This is a cracking read and well worth the effort. In short: An arresting setting and tension which ramps up throughout’ Books, Life & Everything

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‘I thought at first I’d maybe have a hard time picturing Edinburgh with volcanic activity, but surprisingly it took no time for me to get used to it. I found it a really fascinating backdrop to the story as well, I don’t know much about geology but the snippets of information were easy to follow and certainly kept my interest … There are a few twists in Fault Lines that caught me by surprise but I think what worked best for me was not the twist itself but having the residual thoughts of whether the characters knew what had been revealed. Gave me chills the more I thought about it’ Everywhere & Nowhere

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‘All of the different characters are believable, not necessarily likeable or innocent but they suited the storyline. I didn’t feel that there was any over exaggeration of any of them. One of the most powerful parts of the novel was the description of the volcano. Combined with real life news events at the time I could picture it all vividly. First class fiction from another Orenda author’ Steph’s Book Blog

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‘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 … 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! Gem’s Quiet Corner

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‘This is such a clever and engrossing read. The different, but so similar, landscape is fascinating and the idea that there could be a volcanic island in the UK and earthquakes happening all the time is a little freaky. I think what worked so well for me was that it was so plausible in that it was worked into the story as just part of everyday life, something that the locals saw every day … Fault Lines is a thriller and a murder mystery. It really did thrill me … The ending was a real wow ending. Not something I was expecting to happen at all, (although perhaps I should have) and a very imaginative way to round up one particular character’s role. I thoroughly enjoyed my time reading this imaginative and intense story’ Short Book and Scribes

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Doug writes a guest post about ‘writing weird books’ as part of the blog tour. Swirl and Thread

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Doug talks about his life in books as part of the blog tour. Random Things Through My Letterbox

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‘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’ Books From Dusk Till Dawn 

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‘This is an intense, clever and beautifully written crime thriller. Some of the lines are like poetry which added to my enjoyment. I loved the almost dystopian setting, it gave a very thought-provoking, intriguing element to the book. I will be interested to see what Doug Johnstone gives us next’ Emma’s Bookish Corner 

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‘Yes, of course there’s a murder, and let me say that if Surtley wasn’t receiving messages from the killer I would thought she was the killer! Because, if you think about it, there’s no one that could have strong motives to kill him… So what has really happened? Let me say I didn’t like much how the author showed the PhD’s life… I am in the academic world, and if any PhD spends all day drinking and smoking they would not have a long career as a scientist. Be prepared for an emotional read; sad, realistic and intriguing that will make you understand that even if you plan everything, life is always unexpected’ Varietats

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‘Towards the last quarter, the story really went into high gear and the way Sur got into trouble with the police had me anticipating the coming up scenes … The slow to gear up story had its moments of gripping scenes which kept me immersed in Sur and the Inch simultaneously culminating into a heart jolting finale’ The Book Drealms

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‘Johnstone has created a deeply atmospheric eco-system on the coast of Edinburgh, bringing the fictional Inch to life in stunning clarity. It’s almost its own character, so well-drawn is it on the page. It lurks as a backdrop as he masterfully increases the tension in drips. A phone ping sends shivers through his protagonist, and jolts the reader from any perceived comfort at every appearance. That’s the level to which Fault Lines seeps under the skin – it’s in the fine details, cranking it up in little increments before leaping wholeheartedly to the unexpected. Intriguing from concept to conclusion, Fault Lines is as original and creative a psychological ride as they come. And who can say no to a murder mystery with an added dose of lava?’ The Skinny

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Doug wrote a guest post about ‘other worlds’ for Bookanista

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Doug Johnstone speaks about his new crime novel Fault Lines on BBC Radio Scotland; his interview starts at the 32-minute mark.

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Fault Lines is a highly original and gripping psychological thriller that presents twists and turns throughout the story, keeping the reader glued to the pages throughout … The general atmosphere of the book culminating in such a thrilling finale is a testament to Johnstone as an impressive literary figure. I strongly recommend Fault Lines as an intriguing, exciting read that will remain on the mind for days after finishing’ Love Books Group

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‘The superb characterisation is matched by vivid descriptions of Edinburgh and the enigmatic Inch, and by a high octane narrative which features a gripping mystery and an engrossing domestic drama, as Surtsey’s devastating losses also lead her to discovering shocking family secrets which further threaten her already fractured relationship with her sister. Though only a relatively short book, Doug Johnstone has packed the pages with complex emotions and unforgettable climactic moments. I raced through Fault Lines; it is imaginative yet wholly believable book and I was utterly captivated by this highly original, exciting psychological thriller. Highly recommended’ Hair Past a Freckle 

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‘Holy hell or high water – I am determined to do this book justice with my review but I have to admit, I may well fall short! It was an EPIC read in my opinion and I was more than pleasantly surprised! … The opening of this novel had me intrigued as everything was neatly laid out for the reader to absorb…well, almost everything! The fantastic descriptions really set the scenes and had me right there in the moment! A cleverly woven plot had me wondering who and what to believe, and the characterisation made for relatable and believable characters throughout. The pace was perfect with a slow build up of tension and suspense, exactly where they should be. We see each of the important characters develop seamlessly throughout the story … Would I recommend this book? Oh – you bet your sweet arse I would! Fault Lines is an original, emotive, exhilarating and absolutely tantalising read. I have a few of Doug Johnstone’s books on my TBR and although this was the first I have read, it most certainly will NOT be the last!’ Crime Book Junkie

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‘The fragility of human psychology is deftly explored, emotions are laid bare and the rawness of grief and the associated disbelief at events makes this such a powerful read.  The characters are cleverly crafted, Surtsey is an extremely interesting character that you cannot quite fully fathom out.  Her thoughts and actions don’t always seem to make complete sense to the reader, her responses to the events around her are driven by feelings of grief, confusion and desperation.  It’s almost poetic to think of her as being as the personification of the volcano in a way, a dominant presence with glimpses of fragility and instability, but also with indeterminate power, leaving readers wondering what will happen next. A highly recommended thriller that’s clever and imaginative, and will leave readers reeling!’ The Quiet Knitter

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‘What a great read this was! I adored the re-imagining of Edinburgh and it was strange, even though this volcanic island is obviously imaginary, Doug Johnstone describes everything so beautifully that I could almost picture it in my mind, from the boat ride over to the island itself … All in all, I was very pleasantly surprised by my first novel from Doug Johnstone. It was a thrilling read that had obviously been methodically planned and although I guessed the perp behind the mysterious texts to Surtsey, it didn’t affect my enjoyment of the novel in the slightest. If all the author’s books are like this, I want to be reading them!’ Bibliobeth

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‘Everyone is a suspect, its classic Agatha Christie on LSD! The tremors not just induced by the mix of strong characters lead to a volcanic conclusion as resolutions are sought. Fault Lines is intriguing, tense and fault less in its clever plotting. Secrets it seems are best avoided’

The And Guide

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Doug took part in an interview with The Writer’s Block

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‘Fault Lines will have you shaking much like the action in the book… It’s not to be taken lightly! Thank you to Team Orenda, to Doug Johnstone, to NetGalley, to Aldiko for this highly acclaimed ARC in exchange for this honest review. I’ll try to settle myself in time for the next one, so keep ’em coming!’

 Donna Hines

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