Top Ten Books of 2016!

So here are my favourite books that came out this year. I’ve reviewed most of them in The Big Issue magazine, and if you click on the cover you’ll go through to the review. Enjoy!





















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The Janice Forsyth Show today

So I’m gonna be on The Janice Forsyth Show today at 2pm talking about television with fellow author Kirsty Logan. Listen up!

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Big Issue Book Round-Up


illustration by Dom McKenzie

So here is a big round-up of all the books I’ve reviewed in the Big Issue recently, with links to the reviews. The illustration here is for Agnes Ravatn’s wonderful The Bird Tribunal (Orenda), which was one of my books of the year. Three crime novels, two popular science, two kind-of travelogue things and a graphic novel.

The Un-Discovered Islands by Malachy Tallack, illustrated by Katie Scott (Polygon)

Love of Country by Madeleine Bunting (Granta)

Love in Vain by Mezzo and JM Dupont (Faber & Faber)

A Suitable Lie by Michael J Malone (Orenda)

The Bird Tribunal by Agnes Ravatn, translated by Rosie Hedger (Orenda)

Dr Knox by Peter Spiegelman (Riverrun)

Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are? by Frans De Waal (Granta)

Calculating the Cosmos by Ian Stewart (Profile)

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A chat on the Faber blog


Here I am on the Faber blog having a wee blether with my editor, Angus Cargill, about all sorts of guff – how I write, all about Crash Land, my favourite books at the moment, blah blah.

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Book Week Scotland!


It’s Book Week Scotland so I’m gadding about the country talking about books. Here are the tour dates:

22nd November, Dumbarton Library, 1pm with Sarah Ward and Rod Reynolds

22nd November, Lanark Library, 7pm with Sarah Ward and Rod Reynolds

23rd November, Blackburn Library, 2pm with Sarah Ward and Rod Reynolds

23rd November, Edinburgh Central Library, 6.30pm with Sarah Ward and Rod Reynolds

24th November, Arbroath Library, 7pm

26th November, Rothes Hall, Glenrothes, 1.30pm Creative writing event with Zoe Venditozzi and Adrian Searle

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CRASH LAND Press Round Up


I’ve kind of lost track of all press around CRASH LAND, but here’s what I’ve got a note of below. Huge thanks to all who have taken the time to review, interview, blog and more. Cheers!

A nice interview in The Fountain where I get asked about the Fence Collective.

A thing I wrote for Trip Fiction about researching the book in Orkney.

‘Doug Johnstone is one of the best writers around, both in terms of style and substance. No one’s thrillers are quite as thrilling.’ Scots Whay Hae

‘Yet another classic thriller.’ Library Thing

‘A thumpingly good and surprisingly dark page-turner.’ Grab This Book

‘There are elements that elevate it above the average crime novel.’ Crime Pieces

Interview at Crime Watch where I talk about Asterix.

‘Crash Land will hit so deep to make you feel very unsafe while reading it.’ Thriller Books Journal

Massive podcast at Thank Book For, talking Iain Banks, movies, all sorts.

Interview with Liz Loves Books where I confess I love Tina Fey and Amy Poehler.

‘Crash Land ticked all the boxes for this reader, and proved a satisfying and engaging thriller. Highly recommended.’ Raven Crime Reads

Q&A in The Big Issue North magazine. Giving it the full blah-blah.

‘Johnstone paces the twists and the growing tensions beautifully.’ The Times

‘Doug Johnstone is an avant-garde jeweller of the crimewriting world.’ Scotland on Sunday

‘Doug Johnstone is turning out to be one of Scotland’s most reliable, talent and versatile writers.’ Crime Worm

‘Keeps us hooked as events build to a high-octane conclusion.’ The Herald

‘Another page-turner to keep you gripped until its denouement.’ The Skinny

‘Bloody hell that Doug Johnstone knows how to hook a reader!’ Bibliophile Book Club

‘The dramatic scenes are rich thriller material, tightly written with cinematic fight sequences where lives hang in the balance.’ The List

‘Johnstone’s uncompromising style, his sassy dialogue and his quirky mind jumps make Crash Land a cracking read.’ Crime Warp

A thing I wrote for the Scottish Book Trust about pacing in thrillers.

On The Janice Forsyth Show talking about the book and other stuff, 39 mins in.

Author of the Month, cracking review and a lengthy Q&A at Crime Squad.

Scottish book of the week at The Courier.

‘Crash Land was masses of dark fun and incredibly engaging.’ Northern Crime

‘Crash Land is an absolute cracker of a read. It is full of suspense and intrigue and I was hooked from start to finish.’ By the Letter Book Reviews

‘Crash Land is a compulsive thriller, packed full of action and intrigue.’ Random Things Through My Letterbox

‘Doug Johnstone has created the perfect ratio of tension, drama, excitement and danger.’ Portobello Book Blog

Me on Radio Orkney talking nonsense for a change.

‘A gripping and thoughtful examination of how life can change in an instant.’ Sunday Mirror

I also wrote a Metro travel piece on Orkney that I can’t seem to find online.


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Thank You!

A HUGE thanks to everyone who came along to Blackwell’s last night to help me launch CRASH LAND into the world. I dunno about y’all, but I had a great time. Thanks to Craig Robertson for chairing the event so well, Faber for keeping everyone boozed up and Blackwell’s for having us. Onwards!

crash land launch 1.jpg

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