A DARK MATTER
Huge thanks to all the book bloggers who took part in the blog tour for A Dark Matter. The book got amazingly good reviews across the board, so chuffed!
As well as the above, the book has been reviewed in loads of other places:
Lovely review from Laura Wilson in The Guardian.
Kerry Hudson really enjoyed it in The Big Issue.
The Sunday Express recommended it: ‘Doug Johnstone’s novel sees a family in crisis. Jim has died but can the family keep his business going – and is he the man they thought he was?’
The i newspaper recommended it too: ‘What do you get if you cross Six Feet Under with Shallow Grave? Johnstone’s fantastic new novel concerns a family of female undertakers who find themselves caught up in murder and mayhem.’
Speaking of them, here’s a feature I wrote in The i about my time as writer in residence at a funeral directors.
Val McDermid raved about it at length over at Five Books.
It was a monthly pick at Lovereading, and a Star Pick in The Times Crime Club.
Plus there have been amazing reviews at The Book Trail, The Book Review Cafe, Live and Deadly, Quick Book Reviews and The Reading Closet. Thanks all!
There have been an astonishing number of great reviews for Breakers, including all the bloggers from the book’s blog tour. Here are links to all the ones I could find below:
Amazing review in The Scotsman by Louise Fairbairn.
Typically insightful stuff from Ali at Scots Whay Hae.
The legendary Marcel Berlins says nice things about it in The Times.
Portobello Book Blog
The Book Trail
Get Into This
The Tattoed Book Geek
The Reading Closet
The Book Review Cafe
The Big Fat Book Worm
Live and Deadly
By the Letter
Books Behind the Title
The Book Trail
Mac Reviews Books
Books are my Cwtches
Rather Too Fond of Books
Steph’s Book Blog
Rachel Read It
Donna’s Book Blog
Beverley Has Read
What Do I Read Now
Between the Pages
Cheryl MM Book Blog
Off the Shelf Books
Jen Med’s Book Reviews
Book Dust Magic
My Bookish Blogspot
The Twist and Turn Book Blog
Online Blanket Fort
Love Books Group
Hair Past a Freckle
Over the Rainbow
Hooked From Page One
Emmaz Book Blog
Everywhere and Nowhere
Made Up Book Reviews
Chapter in My Life
Books, Life and Everything
It’s All About Books
The Writing Garnet
The Library Door
Ten Things About Me
Random Things Through My Letterbox
Booking Good Read
On the Shelf
Independent Book Reviews
Nicki Book Blog
Have Books Will Read
Cal Turner Reviews
The Quiet Knitterer
Bucks Books Beyond
Raven Crime Reads
Swirl and Thread
Auntie M Writes
Words From Different Directions
Here’s a lovely article in Crimespree Magazine by S.W. Lauden about crime-writing drummers, of which there are a few of us, it turns out.
Really fun Five on Friday feature at Jill’s Book Cafe.
‘Unexpected and explosive,’ says Reviewing the Evidence.
The book comes ‘highly recommended’ at Aust Crime Fiction.
Between The Lines reviewed the audiobook, saying it was a ‘compelling story, cleverly done.’
Foreword Reviews calls it ‘an original and addictive thriller’.
Lovely review over at Random Things In My Letterbox: ‘Absolutely exceptional.’
Something I wrote about the inspiration behind the book at Crime Time.
Really interesting interview over at The Writer’s Block.
‘Intriguing, tense and faultless in its level plotting,’ says The Southampton Ambassadors.
Scotland on Sunday: ‘And just as the reader can take no more, the book builds towards an explosive climax.’
The Skinny: ‘Intriguing from concept to conclusion, Fault Lines is as original and creative a psychological ride as they come.’
Fault Lines went on a mahoosive blog tour throughout May 2018, and here are the amazing reviews:
The Book Trail: ‘Doug Johnstone has written a novel that hits the spot in every way possible.’
Off-the-Shelf Books: ‘Great writing, bold plotting, exceptional characterisation and fascinating background.’
Portobello Book Blog: ‘Doug Johnstone’s writing just keeps getting better and better for me and I have to say I think this is his best yet!’
What Cathy Read Next: ‘Fault Lines is an imaginative, dark and accomplished thriller.’
Joy Kluver: Read the first chapter here.
The Book Trail: A fascinating Q&A here.
What Jess Reads: ‘FAULT LINES is filled with edge of your seat moments, heartbreak, and the possibilities that can spiral from telling a lie.’
Espresso Coco: ‘Surtsey is a brilliant character, flawed and genuine.’
Love reading: ‘Fault Lines cranks up the volume on original, yet feels intensely raw, earthy, and real, for a short book, it packs a mighty wallop.’
Ronnie Turner: ‘Original. Surprising. Gripping.’
Chapter in My Life: ‘Once again Doug Johnstone goes way beyond just “writing a story” he provides you with an experience like no other.’
Kitty Kat’s Book Review Blog: ‘I did not see the twist coming as Doug Johnstone so skilfully constructed his story.’
Beverley Has Read: ‘Doug Johnstone has done a wonderful job in writing Surtsey, I found her utterly believable and I was fully on her side.’
My Reading Corner: ‘Doug Johnstone is an author new to me but I wouldn’t hesitate to pick up another of his books.’
The Suspense is Thrilling Me: This was a book giveaway.
Books are My Catches: ‘A thriller of the highest quality!’
Off-the-Shelf Books: Another lovely Q&A.
CBailey31 Books & Blogs: ‘It had everything a good thriller should have and this will definitely not be my last book I read by Doug Johnstone.’
Life of Crime: ‘Every word moves the narrative along brilliantly.’
Book Lover Worm: ‘An author who can write such immersive prose is clearly one with great skill.’
Misti Moo Book Review: ‘Dark, imaginative and different. I’ll certainly read more by Doug Johnstone.’
Not Another Book Blogger: ‘I didn’t want to put it down.’
Grab This Book: ‘The story flows wonderfully and the characters are deep and engaging.’
Beauty Balm: ‘An absolutely brilliant read.’
Where the Reader Grows: ‘I applaud this book and his writing.’
Over the Rainbow Book Blog: This was the second giveaway of the tour.
Between the Pages Book Club: ‘I would love to read more by Doug in the future.’
Novel Deelights: ‘A psychological thriller with a difference that will have you glued to the pages.’
Cheryl’s Book Blog: ‘Johnstone makes you feel the earth move under your feet.’
On the Shelf Books: ‘This will definitely be a favourite read for lots of Scots this summer.’
Bookie Wookie: ‘Fault Lines is the first book by Doug Johnstone that I’ve read, and I have to say what a little cracker it is!!’
Liz Loves Books: ‘Fault Lines was without doubt one of the best books I have read in a long long time.’
Hooked From Page One: ‘If you’re looking for something that is unique, you really need to try this book.’
My Chestnut Reading Tree: ‘This is a gripping crime thriller with a difference.’
By the Letter Book Reviews: ‘This is such an atmospheric read.’
Live and Deadly: ‘Highly enjoyable, deeply satisfactory and acutely well written.’
Books and Me: ‘A gripping read from start to finish!’
Scots Whay Have: ‘He is the very definition of an unputdownable writer.’
Café Thinking: I recommend three books that are not read widely enough.
Bibliophile Book Club: ‘This is the first book I have read by Doug Johnstone and would definitely read more from him.’
Jen Med’s Book Reviews: ‘A very cleverly plotted look at the whole idea of infatuation and obsession.’
My Bookish Blog Spot: ‘I loved it and cannot wait to dive into another Doug Johnstone novel.’
Donna’s Book Blog: ‘An excellent story!’
Criminally Good: Another Q&A with fellow author Lucy V Hay.
Books, Life & Everything: ‘This is a cracking read and well worth the effort.’
Everywhere & Nowhere: ‘I loved this book and I would definitely recommend it.’
Steph’s Book Blog: ‘First class fiction from another Orenda author.’
Love Reading: ‘Fault Lines cranks up the volume on original, yet feels intensely raw, earthy, and real, for a short book, it packs a mighty wallop.’
Bookanista: My Top Ten Off-Kilter Worlds.
Short Book and Scribes: ‘I thoroughly enjoyed my time reading this imaginative and intense story.’
Gem’s Quiet Corner: ‘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!’
Swirl and Thread: A thing I wrote On Writing Weird Books.
Random Things Through My Letterbox: My Life in Books.
Chapter in My Life: A brilliant write up my launch with Chris Brookmyre.
Books from Dusk Till Dawn: ‘Highly recommended.’
Emma’s Bookish Corner: ‘An intense, clever and beautifully written crime thriller.’
Varieties: ‘Be prepared for an emotional read.’
The Book Drealms: ‘I was impressed with the author’s crisp writing.’
Crime Fiction Lover: ‘Fault Lines has all the underpinnings of a classic noir novel, and the moral and emotional depth to go with it.’
Books of All Kinds: ‘A compelling story that will blow your socks off!’
The Quiet Knitter: ‘A highly recommended thriller that’s clever and imaginative, and will leave readers reeling!’
Bibliobeth: ‘What a great read this was!’
Crime Book Junkie: ‘An original, emotive, exhilarating and absolutely tantalising read.’
Hair Past a Freckle: ‘I was utterly captivated by this highly original, exciting psychological thriller.’
Love Books Group: ‘An intriguing, exciting read that will remain on the mind for days after finishing.’
Here’s a thing I wrote at Digital Writers Lab about the role of place in my fiction.
Here’s a daft Q&A I did to promote the Bloody Scotland anthology over at Ginger Book Geek.
Here’s a great review of The Jump courtesy of Sharon at Chapters In My Life. Thanks Sharon!
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.
A cracking Author in the Spotlight interview over at my local Portobello Book Blog. I talk a bit about the next book, if you’re interested.
Two daft Antipodean ladies chew over Crash Land on their Crime Time podcast. Very funny.
Absolutely lovely review by Jordan Ogg on The Island Review, one of my favourite websites.
‘A classic thriller’ says Paul Diggett at Nudge Book. Thanks!
Here I am at the Faber Blog chatting with my editor at Angus Cargill about the inspiration behind the book.
Paul Cockburn really loved the book over at Crime Scene. Thanks Paul!
A daft video of me talking about my phrenology head for the Royal Literary Fund.
A really sweet feature in Living Orkney on crime thrillers set on Orkney, featuring Lin Anderson, Louise Welsh, Sara Bailey and myself.
Lovely wee write up by Sandra on her Beauty Balm Blog.
Cracking wee mention in Book Oxygen.
Crash Land made it into Scots Whay Hae’s Best Books of 2016.
Shari Low picks Crash Land as one of her Christmas books in the Daily Record
It also got a mention in the Scottish Book Trust’s Books of the Year.
The lovely Alex Gray gave it a namecheck in her books of the year in The Herald.
The Financial Times gets in on the act, Barry Forshaw giving Crash Land an honourable mention.
Quite proud to get a wee slagging in the Daily Mail, if I’m honest.
Undiscovered Scotland rave about the book and its setting. Which is nice.
Amanda Gillies at Eurocrime has been one of my biggest supporters, and she loved Crash Land – thanks, Amanda!
‘A superbly skilful writer.’ Why thank you, Harriet Devine!
The Sunday Times in Ireland gave Crash Land some love. Ta!
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.
An amazing review by Sabina in Gutter magazine.
A total rave over at The New York Journal of Books by Chris Beakey.
A lovely write up at Novel Ink blog by Erica Miller.
Very considered stuff by Mariana over at Joie Des Livres.
And a piece I wrote for the same blog about publication called Giving Birth or Splitting Up.
A great review by Ayah Assem, plus a thing I wrote about my writing process, both at Dystopian Citzn blog.
Here’s a thing I wrote on The Character of Place for The Reader’s Room.
Here’s a video of me playing a Frightened Rabbit tune in my back garden, at The Suspense is Thrilling Me blog.
And Chelsea Humphrey’s very kind review of the novel at the same blog.
A pretty frank interview with Jane Hamilton at The Daily Record about the subject matter of the book.
Something I wrote about the book called Suicide Isn’t Painless, over at Book Reporter.
Here I am at Mystery Readers Inc writing bout the inspiration behind The Jump.
Here’s a fascinating Q&A I did over at Book Savvy Reviews.
Terrific review by Ali at The Bandar Blog, as well as a thing I wrote recommending my favourite recent crime novels.
Sarah Hardy over at By the Letter Book Reviews has given The Jump another lovely review. Thanks, Sarah!
Here’s an amazing review over on Lizzie Hayes’ Promoting Crime Fiction blog. The review was written by Marsali Taylor: ‘A strong psychological thriller with characters whose emotions haunt you long after you’ve finished reading.’ Thanks!
Nigel Bird rates the book highly over on Sea Minor: ‘Johnstone pulls no punches in his delivery.’
From the other side of the world, Aussie blog Reactions to Reading has a good old rave about it: ‘The Jump is not the kind of book you should start when you only have a few reading minutes at hand. Once begun you’ll
want need to finish it quickly.’
The Jump made it on to Amanda Gillies’s books of the year over at Euro Crime, at number two with a bullet! Thanks Amanda!
The book has made it to number four in Raven Crime Reads’ top five books of the year. Thanks Raven!
Novelist and reviewer Sarah Ward had some lovely things to say about The Jump on her blog Crime Pieces.
The Jump made it on to a Books of the Year list over at Scots Whay Hae, alongside some great writers like Kirstin Innes, Janice Galloway and Stuart Cosgrove. Nice one, thanks Ali Braidwood!
Here’s a video interview I did for Writer Stories when I was up at the Edinburgh International Book Festival in August. Talked about setting, music, tartan noir, all sorts. Check it oot!
What do James M Cain and George Mackay Brown have in common? They’re both mentioned in this penetrating Q&A I did with the inimitable Karen Sullivan over at Orenda Books, that’s what. I did some deep digging for this one, folks!
Here is a nice interview I did over at Bulgarian website Land of Books, where I talk about publicity, sales, habits, and a bunch of other stuff. Very direct questions. ‘Who are you?’ for example. Existential crisis, ahoy!
Here are me and Helen FitzGerald knocking the chat back and forth for The Life Sentence. This was a lot of fun to do.
“A sensitive portrait of a grieving parent,” says The Daily Mail. Bless ’em.
A slightly unhinged rave review from I Read Novels. “First class brilliant psychological thriller,” apparently. Cheers!
Here’s a personal thing I wrote about suicide for The Big Issue magazine.
Here’s a thing I wrote for Shari Low’s Daily Record book page about writing The Jump.
Rebecca Armstrong over at the Independent on Sunday loved the book: “I would have been happy to read chapters and chapters more of this book, not least because I longed to spend more time with the complicated, thoughtful Ellie, but then again, perhaps The Jump’s brevity is what makes it so satisfying.” Thank you so much, Rebecca!
“Really this is so far from being an ordinary crime novel as almost not to deserve the name.” So says Harriet Devine over on her blog. Wow.
Over at Scots Whay Hae, Alistair Braidwood gives the book a typically detailed and informed review. “The Jump again proves that the dramas that matter most are more often found in family life and few writers understand that better.”
And following on from that review, here’s a podcast interview I did with Scots Whay Hae.
The Jump got a cheeky wee mention in Raven Crime Reads‘ books of the month round up: “Doug Johnstone’s The Jump, could certainly feature in my end of year round-up, due to the emotional intensity and sensitivity with which he draws his main character, and the mesmeric quality of the prose. Powerful writing, which would put many contemporary fiction writers in the shade.”
Another rave review over at Thriller Books Journal, courtesy of Nicola Mira: “Well done Doug Johnstone for, once more, successfully treading new ground in urban crime fiction, giving us a heroine both gritty and moving, and a clever psychological plot with a host of shocking surprises.”
Here’s a tidy wee Q&A over at Crime Thriller Girl about inspiration, advice for writers, plenty of other gubbins.
Meanwhile, over at There’s Been a Murder, Lynsey Adams says I’m “the master of writing gripping thrillers.” I’ll inform John Grisham he’s been usurpted asap!
Raven Crime Reads loving The Jump: “The Jump is one of the most emotive and intense books it’s been my pleasure to read. Prepare to be moved.”
Another absolutely terrific review over at What Are You Reading For. ‘Exceptional’, ‘heart-breaking’ and such like.
And here’s a list of my favourite movie, album etc I did for AAA Edinburgh.
Here’s the story behind the story of The Jump, written by me for Upcoming4.me.
I love the Reading Matters blog, and Kim Forrester loves The Jump in return. An astute and in-depth review, as always from Kim, but she ends with this wee bit of wishful thinking: “This would make a terrific movie — I can already see Kelly MacDonald and Ewan McGregor in the lead roles!”
Pam Norfolk gives the book a rip-snorting review in The Lancashire Evening Post. “A pulsating psychological page-turner which blends edge-of-the-seat suspense with a searing exploration of love, loss and parenthood.”
“Incredibly moving!” say the good people at Northern Crime, and who am I to argue? No one, that’s who.
Here’s a Q&A I did with The Crime Warp to go with their previous lovely review.
Amanda Gillies wrote the most amazing shit-hot, absolutely loving it review at Eurocrime. “Just when you start to wonder how on earth it could be possible for him to write anything better than his last masterpiece, he does it again and ups the stakes still further. Magnificent.”
David Robinson gives a typically considered opinion over at Wow 24/7. “Although this book is a thriller, what it says about parenting is just as important.”
A great review over at Liz Loves Books – “The writing is clever, the narrative style is addictive and the character building is superb… I loved it.”
Over at Shots Mag I wrote something about what it was like to write The Jump.
This is a terrific review over at Our Book Reviews by Mary Mayfield, where she says: “I sometimes feel Doug Johnstone isn’t very well known outside Scotland but he certainly deserves to be! If you haven’t discovered him yet, why not?” Good question, Mary!
Here’s a thing I wrote called How I Became an Author for the Scottish Book Trust.
I wrote a thing over at Crime Time about the inspiration behind writing The Jump. Lots of chat about suicide, basically.
I did the Off The Shelf column for The Big Issue in the North, which was a similar thing, except this time I talked up books by Helen FitzGerald and James Sallis to go with Megan Abbott and David Gates. And I got to share the page with the inimitable Limmy.
I appeared in The Metro, talking about the books On My E-Reader. I don’t have one really, but I just banged on about books I love by David Gates, Megan Abbott and Don Winslow. Good excuse.
Keith Nixon at Crime Fiction Lover gave it another cracking review, coming up with this line, which I like a lot: ‘It’s like the author’s wrapped a brick in velvet and hit you over the head with it a couple of times. Smooth and blunt.’ Warning: The review contains a few spoilers.
I wrote a thing over at the Faber Academy about Why I Write. In summary, because I’m fucking angry.
Next, the good people at The Crime Warp loved the book as well, calling it ‘insightful and unsettling!’ Nice.
First out the blocks was from Joanne over at The Portobello Book Blog, who gave the book a glowing review, saying: ‘I found this a real page turner and recommend it if you like a gripping thriller’. That’ll do!
THE DEAD BEAT
Sarah Hardy is a one-woman Doug J publicity machine, and here’s her review of The Dead Beat.
Here’s Pam Norfolk at the Lancashire Evening Post, declaring it ‘a mystery with its own special beat’. Lovely.
Here’s another cracking review of The Dead Beat over at the Promoting Crime blog, where Lynne Patrick talks about ‘fluent, effortless writing’ and ‘characters that get under your skin’. Thanks!
Here I am picking three of my favourite ever books in The Sun newspaper. Here’s a taster: one of them is Trainspotting. I’m just above the advert on home improvements, on the left hand side.
The Dead Beat got an absolute rave review over at The Puffin Review, courtesy of Karyn Dougan. “Sharp, clean prose that moves at break-neck speed, there’s no stopping once you’ve started,” she writes. Thanks, Karyn!
Here’s a lovely review in the Forres Gazette of the gig I did at the Inverness Book Festival.
Here’s a lovely interview by Calum Macleod that ran in The Northern Times and a bunch of other local Highland papers, where I talk about politics, football, music, pretty much everything except books.
Over at East Coast FM, here’s a cracking review by Jim Walsh of my event with Tom Benn in Edinburgh, which gets a lot of the flavour across.
Here’s a great review on the excellently named What Are You Reading For? blog, an in-depth look at the book from someone who really seems to get what it’s about.
And here’s a wonderful review in Northwords by Paul Cockburn, equally perceptive and very flattering it is too.
Here’s a rave review over at Raven Crime Reads. ‘A reading experience that went far beyond the average thriller,’ no less.
In fact they loved it so much they made it Book of the Month over at Raven Crime Reads. Very nice – thanks!
Here’s an interview I did with the lovely Ceris Aston at The Skinny, where I talk about grabbing you, yes you, by the balls. Metaphorically speaking.
And here’s a thing I did for The Courier called Hello Me. It’s basically a letter to my younger self, where I mostly talk about football. There’s a cute picture of me in a Scotland top. And on the same page there’s a Courier offer for heuchera which, as everyone knows, are famed for their spectacular foliage. Worth checking out that foliage.
I tackle the Author Confessions over at the Scottish Book Trust, talking about booze, drugs and becoming a gravedigger.
Here’s a big Q&A in The Big Issue in the North, where I talk about Twitter obituaries and the time Dave Grohl bought me a pint.
Over at The Skinny Bram E. Gieben gives the book four stars, bandying the word ‘superior’ around willy-nilly. Cheers!
At Crimewarp, the book gets a lovely write up alongside fellow Faber crimesters Stav Sherez and Adam Creed. Go Team Faber!
There’s a terrific review of the book over at Scots Whay Hae courtesy of Ali Braidwood. ‘If there is a more exciting writer around today, they’ve passed me by,’ he says at the end. Oof!
The Lancashire Evening Post get in on the act, Pam Norfolk raving about the novel. ‘There is an almost tangible sense of expectation and excitement to this rollercoaster tale.’
Harriet Devine gives it the once over at Shiny New Books, and declares herself ‘tremendously impressed’. Cheers!
I had a good blether with Yasmin Sulaiman at The List magazine, about death and all that funny stuff.
Mr Hyde, ‘the in-the-know email for the cultured man’ no less, gave the book a wee write-up and advised ‘the cultured man’ to fill his kindle with it. Good advice!
Here’s a total rave review by Nigel Bird over at Sea Minor: ‘This is intelligent, gripping, thoughtful fiction that demonstrates how a thriller can be so much more than a clinical dot-to-dot.’
Over at Eurocrime Amanda Gillies goes totally bananas about the book. Any review that begins ‘Just when you think an author can’t possibly get any better – he does. I love this book!’ and ends ‘Extremely Highly Recommended’ is fine by me, oh yes.
I wrote a piece over at Shots Mag about how the ghosts of slackerdom and grunge haunt the novel.
Five star review, you say? Thank you Lynsey Adams at There’s Been a Murder!
Another five star job over at Crime Squad courtesy of M.M., who ends by saying ‘this is quite possibly Johnstone’s best book yet’. Isn’t that something.
Here’s a feature I wrote for Upcoming4.me about the obsessions behind the book.
Over at Endless Falls Up, Ray Garraty gives the book a considered once over, claiming that I grow with each book as a writer. Very kind, sir!
Over at Crime Fiction Lover Andre prefers the characterisation to the plot – can’t win ’em all, eh?
The lovely Andy Watson posted a terrific write-up of the launch party event on his blog. Many thanks, Andy!
Here’s a thing I wrote for Crime Time all about death, BIG BLACK DEATH STALKING ME!
I answered some very astute questions over at Female First, all about my feisty female protagonist and all that guff. Enjoy!
I wrote a big old feature for The Herald about writing The Dead Beat. Turned out it was a double-paged spread and the front cover of the Arts supplement. Nice. Anyway, here it is. I mention AL Kennedy and a whole bunch of other shit.
As a sidebar for that Herald thing, I WROTE MY OWN OBITUARY. Here it is. It was both funny and weird to write.
Upcoming4.me reviewed The Dead Beat and loved it, winding up the review by saying: ‘It is an excellent Edinburgh novel and is, just like grunge, fast and dirty.’
An awesome review by Shari Low in The Daily Record which ends: “Riveting. Fearless. Twisted. If Tartan Noir was a family with an irreverent rebel child, his name would be Doug Johnstone.”
A lovely four-star review over at Library Thing by ‘Atticus Finch’, who loved all the music stuff and thought the mental health issues were handled well. Ta!
I was interviewed by the Edinburgh Evening News, where I talked about Kurt Cobain, feeling old and my obsession with obituaries. Read all about it here.
Three weeks before publication and we have the first review of The Dead Beat, by Bethany Anderson over at Subtle Melodrama. And it’s a cracker, Ms Anderson describing it as ‘funny, moving, exciting and, as always, Johnstone really brings the city of Edinburgh alive’. Cheers, Bethany!
Here’s a lovely review of Gone Again by Sarah Hardy over at By The Letter blog. Thanks, Sarah!
Gone Again gets a great review in Our Book Reviews, courtesy of Maryom, ‘another great read from Doug Johnstone’, no less.
Following hot on the heels of the recent interview in The Puffin Review, they’ve got a cracking review of Gone Again up on their site now. ‘This was a refreshing change from the tired crime staples of tough cops and sleazy characters, and shows the bravery and confidence of the author,’ they say, and who am I to argue?
Here I am in The Puffin Review going on about all sorts of stuff, from football to self-publishing, from music to muses. I’m mostly talking about Gone Again here, but The Dead Beat gets a wee mention.
Over at Endless Falls Up, Ray Garraty finds a lot to love, though to be fair he loves the first half of the book more than the second half. That’s up to him, likes.
Rich Westwood over at Eurocrime loved it, saying very nice things left, right and centre.
Also, lovereading made it their book of the month for November, Sarah Broadhurst using the word ‘touching’, indeed.
The Daily Express got in on the act, Thom James calling it ‘deeply compelling’, which is nice.
And The Herald did the business, referring to the novel as ‘smouldering’.
Here’s a rather lovely review of Gone Again by Andrew Nette over at Pulp Curry. ‘Razor sharp,’ Andrew says, and he seems like a trustworthy sort. It’s a combo review with Liam McIlvanney’s Where the Dead Men Go, which is an excellent read.
I was Crime Author of the Month for August over on the There’s Been a Murder blog run by Lynsey Adams. There’s a big old Q&A on there, where I blether on about all sorts of guff.
The reliably awesome Nerd of Noir gives the book the once over on Spinetingler – and gives it the thumbs up.
Here’s in interview about all sorts of shit over on Geekzine.
Here’s John O’Connell in The Guardian declaring that the book has ‘elegant clarity’, of all things.
Here’s Rebecca Armstrong in the Independent on Sunday saying that I’m the anti-Lee Child – I hope she doesn’t just mean in terms of sales, eh?
Over at Loitering With Intent, Eva Dolan has a cheeky wee rave about the book, and comes to the conclusion that this book’s change of pace from previous outings is ‘hugely successful’. Thanks, missus!
At Manic Pop Thrills, I’m described as ‘the literary equivalent to Big Black’, which I fucking LOVE, by the way.
At Northwords, Paul Cockburn comes up with the lovely idea of a literary event horizon, inescapable for readers. I like that a lot, Paul.
Geekzine sees Roanna Branigan declaring the book an ‘out-of-control thriller’ – like a motherfucking runaway train, Roanna!
Over at Subtle Melodrama, Bethany decides that the book has ‘big themes, big heart’. Awww, I’m all about the heart, Bethany, cheers!
At Prosecco Bubble, Dawn Goodwin says Gone Again is just the kind of book she loves, and she highly recommends it – thanks Dawn, have a glass of bubbly on me!
Not a review as such, but the Independent included the book in its 50 Best Spring Reads. Good for them.
Some newspaper called The Times had a wee rave about it, Marcel Berlins describing it as ‘quietly excellent’. Ooh, I like that. I’m gonna walk around being quietly excellent all day, I think.
Over at Eurocrime, Amanda Gillies’s head basically explodes with excitement like that bit in Videodrome, saying it’s better than her favourite book of last year, which happened to be my last book. ‘Pure dead brilliant!’ she exclaims. I love her.
At the Scotland on Sunday, Alice Wyllie gives it a very considered, positive write up, saying: ‘The book’s strength lies in its portrayal of the minutiae of life while grief unfolds around it.’
And here’s a big feature interview in The Herald where, thanks to Teddy Jamieson, you find out how I eat soup and what my career low was, amongst other things.
Over at Crimesquad the mysterious M.M. loves Gone Again, and gives this advice: ‘Students of creative writing should read and take note: this is how you use foreshadowing.’ Oh, I live for a tasty bit of foreshadowing.
Yikes. You gotta love a review that begins: ‘Wow! That was amazing!’ Welcome, one and all to the wondrous world of Roberta Bocchese at The Book is on the Table.
Here’s a thoroughly lovely and kind review in The Daily Record by the delectable Shari Low, who calls it ‘harrowing yet touching, intimate yet explosive’. Thanks, Shari!
You love books, right? So do the good people at We Love This Book. Over there, Ann Landmann has a wee rave about Gone Again, saying that ‘Doug Johnstone’s stripped-back style achieves in a few words what others achieve in paragraphs’. Cheers, Ann!
And congrats to Shotsmag – not afraid to go against the tide of opinion, they’ve given Gone Again it’s first snippy review, Gwen Moffat churning out a couple of dismissive paragraphs while presumably sucking a lemon. Well done!
Not a review as such, but over at Lovereading, Gone Again is apparently Ebook of the Month. Good times!
Here’s a brilliant review over at Killing Time, where we get a highly pertinent piece of Star Wars chat, then they claim I’m better than Harlan Coben. Take it easy, now, folks.
For a very in depth review, check out Scots Whay Hae, where Alistair Braidwood is pretty blown away. I love this review, Ali really gets it! Cheers! He describes the writing as ‘…still recognisably punk; angry and unsettling, but with heart, soul and raw emotion.’ That will do nicely, sir!
Meanwhile, over at Style Parla, Adam Walters manages to squeeze plenty of enthusiasm into his wee review.
Next up, Kim Forrester goes to town on the book at Reading Matters, declaring it as ‘exceptionally good… a glorious page turner’. Nice one, Kim!
Then at The List, not a review as such, but Kirsty Logan, inspired by my book, knocked together a list of Top Five Watery Thrillers which includes the fantastic A Summer of Drowning by John Burnside. Cheers Kirsty!
Over at The Skinny, the astute and undoubtedly handsome Bram E. Gieben reckoned it was ‘riveting from start to finish’. Thanks!
Raven Crime Reads gave the book a lengthy going over, describing it as ‘a pitch perfect examination of familial relationships’ before casually chucking the word ‘compelling’ at the poor, unsuspecting reader. Very kind indeed.
Throwing her hat into the reviewing ring next was Rush Hour Reads, who claims to have only stopped reading to eat and sleep. That’s the kind of dedication you just don’t get in the New York Times, Ms Reads! And she thought ‘Doug Johnstone’s style is brilliantly raw’. Well, if that don’t beat all. I did make these britches myself out of twine, which is pretty raw.
Next to tip a kindly nod at the book was Samuel Best over on his blog. Claiming to have read it in one sitting, he went on to claim: ‘Johnstone’s previous novels have all been high-speed journeys into a variety of different shitstorms, but this one is darker, more brooding, and more emotionally trying than the rest.’ I’m all about the shitstorms, Sam!
The blogger who popped the book’s review cherry, as it were, was The Book Boy. Declaring me ‘a maverick’ (I hope he means a la Top Gun), he then went on to claim: ‘In this book Doug quite happily takes you to the edge of a cliff and pushes you over the edge with a dark smile on his face.’ I’d just like to state I have never been found guilty of literally doing that. Thanks, Mr Boy!
HIT & RUN
Here’s Hit & Run getting a wee rave at The TLE Books blog.
Next, author and reviewer Chris Beakey absolutely loving it on his blog.
Katy Guest, Literary Editor of the Independent on Sunday, has written a rather lovely feature on the Fiction Uncovered scheme here, which includes a few quotes from me. Swearing. Which is nice.
Here’s a profile of me on the Cision UK website, which is a kind of media-industry thang.
Here’s a feature by Nick Mitchell on the scotsman.com website about the whole Amazon #1 bestseller thing. Dunno if I mentioned that, but Hit & Run was an Amazon #1 Bestseller.
I get a quick fix of Tony Black’s questions over at Pulp Pusher.
Here I am comparing myself to Hollywood stars and rock gods over at Malcolm Holt’s A Bit on the Side blog, rather arrogantly. Also answering a few questions in less of a dickish manner.
Here’s a big interview in The Scotsman , in which I mention Helen FitzGerald and Deliverance in the same sentence, and slag off my first two books. Oops.
This is a fun Q&A over at Allan Guthrie’s Criminal-E blog, in which I big up Boards of Canada and talk about ‘gliding through the fucking Matrix’, which is a line ripped off of Charlie Brooker. Sorry, Charlie!
Another cracking Q&A at Tony Black’s Pulp Pusher blog, where I rave about modern hillbilly noir and declare that I don’t like Alasdair Gray’s Lanark. Boof!
Here is a small but lovingly formed piece by me over on Eva Dolan’s excellent Loitering With Intent blog, as part of her series on Criminal Classics. I picked Stevenson’s Jekyll & Hyde.
Here’s me over at Faber’s blog, The Thought Fox, saying that all long novels are shite, and talking about some short classics.
I was interviewed by The Edinburgh Evening News. Sandra Dick, who interviewed me, was very interested in the fact my main character was a murderous reporter for, ahem, The Edinburgh Evening Standard. Hmmm.
McDroll loved Hit & Run on her excellent I Meant To Read That blog, describing it as ‘dark, violent and thoroughly enjoyable’. Yowzer, thanks!
Here’s the shortest review ever in The Evening Standard. It is here. If you can’t be arsed clicking, it’s basically a one-paragraph summary of the first three chapters, then this: “Fast and exciting.” Thanks, William Leith, it is fast and exciting, isn’t it?
Here’s a rave review of Hit & Run over on the Fiction Uncovered website.
I think Amanda C M Gillies wins the prize for the most enthusiastic review of any book EVER. Here she is over at Eurocrime raving about Hit & Run. The review begins: “Following on from last year’s truly awesome Smokeheads, Doug Johnstone has done it again.” Then ends with: “If you like your crime fiction black, then you are going to love this book. I have a feeling that I have just read my top book for 2012. Extremely highly recommended.” I love you Amanda C M Gillies, even though I’ve never met you!
Another cracking review over at Crimesquad, who reckon it’s “an excellent, ‘read it all in one gulp’ kinda book.” Damn straight.
Nigel Bird goes nuts for the book over at his Sea Minor blog. He says: “It’s a kind of Hard-Boiled ‘Crime And Punishment’ for the post-ecstasy generation, the love-child of a Dostoevsky/James M Cain/ Allan Guthrie triangle.” Boof!
Nerd of Noir gives the book a massive thumbs up in his inimitable style over at Spinetingler. He advises you to check out the book ‘toot-fucking-sweet’. Don’t argue with The Nerd.
A great review from Lisa Glass at the excellent Vulpes Libris blog, although Lisa didn’t like some of the dog violence. Ignoring the fact that, actually, dogs come out rather well in the book. But I won’t spoil that for you.
Theresa Munoz gives the book the once over for The Herald, and she likes it. ‘The novel’s opening crash scene will draw most readers in, Johnstone gets that moment of dread and misfortune just right.’ I hope so, I worked on that scene for fucking ages!
Here’s Kim Forrester’s amazing review over at Reading Matters. She claims to have read it in one sitting – wow! Thanks for the review, Kim!
Over at Subtle Melodrama, Bethany said loads of great things about the book, and only broke off from reading it to get fillings at the dentist. That’s dedication.
Our Book Reviews gave H&R a fantastic review, courtesy of Maryom, who described it as ‘unputdownable’, which is as clumsy and heart-warming a compliment as I’ve had all day.
There’s a very nice review from journalist Paul Cockburn on his site in which he claims I’m ‘an author approaching his prime’! My prime! Jean Brodie would be proud.
Interestingly, there’s a slightly edited version of this review on the Scottish Review of Books site in which that glorious moneyshot ending has been excised. Does that mean my prime is over? Does it, Paul? Shit, that wasn’t much of a prime.
Over on his Manic Pop Thrills blog, Mike Melville is keen to set up The Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Fictional Characters. Don’t sign me up, Mike, I love throwing shit at those guys. Great review, though.
And Alistair Braidwood wins the prize for the best review headline over on Scots Whay Hae. ‘Pills, Thrills & Faulty Brakes’, indeed. Very smart. Although technically incorrect, the brakes weren’t faulty.
Boof! Check out Crime Fiction Lover‘s review of Hit & Run. Wow. They love it. Specifically, Eva Dolan loves it – cheers, Eva! ‘Scottish crime fiction is a tough playground right now but with Hit and Run Doug Johnstone proves he can hold his own with the best of them.’ Boof!
Over at The Skinny, Amy Balloch is a bit meh about the book, giving it three stars, despite the fact that I am, apparently, ‘an exemplary author who works the ‘less is more’ angle perfectly’. Less IS more, Amy, it really is.
Kirstie Long gets behind the wheel over at Shotsmag. She likes Hit & Run. According to her it’s ‘a rounded story of a man losing his sanity because of one decision’. Dead straight, Kirstie.
Here’s a glowing review by author and blogger Malcolm Holt over on his A Bit On The Side blog. Apparently, ‘this is Johnstone’s best yet’. That’s not me talking, that’s Malcolm – cheers, sir!
Andrew McPake gives Hit & Run its first once over on his blog. And you know what? He likes it. ‘This is a straight-up page turner with a scintillating premise,’ he writes, and he’s not wrong. What an astute guy.
Here‘s my favourite book of the year over at Tony Black’s excellent Pulp Pusher blog, in some seriously impressive company.
Here‘s my round up of the year over at the fantastic Manic Pop Thrills site.
Here are my cultural highlights of 2011 and 2012 over at Faber’s Thoughtfox blog, in more seriously impressive company.
I pick my favourite books of the year over at The Herald. And hold some deer antlers in a forest. Obviously.
Here’s a penetrating Q&A with me over on the bookgeeks website. In which I talk about my loft, strong female characters and the best writing advice I ever had (‘never apologise, never explain’).
Here I am over at Art Is Art Is Art talking about cinema for some reason.
Me interviewing myself on the wonderful Nigel Bird’s Sea Minor blog. Reading this back, I have quite a go at myself, suggesting I maybe need to go see a mental health professional or something.
In depth interview with the inimitable Len Wanner over on the fantastic The Crime of it All, where you can find out who’s on my ideal dinner party list (including Yoda) and what my favourite word is (take a fucking guess).
An extensive and swear-strewn blether with Kyle McCrae over at Audacious Author, all about new media and all that bullshit.
A cheeky wee blether over on Untitled Books about what books I was taking on holiday.
Napier University interviewed me recently about various shit. Read it here.
The first interview about the solo music has popped up on the Tidal Wave of Indifference Scottish music blog, thanks to Stu Lewis.
Fantastic crime writer Tony Black interviewed Doug for his Pulp Pusher blog. You can read it here.
Another great piece of coverage for Smokeheads in The Press and Journal, in a big feature on the Ullapool Book Festival.
A whopping interview with Jen Cosgrove over at The Courier, where Doug prattles on about all sorts of shit.
A lengthy interview over on the Scots Whay Hae blog, courtesy of Alistair Braidwood.
A great review/interview hybrid piece in The Strathclyde Telegraph, courtesy of Sam Best.
Brilliant author, agent, editor and ebook maestro Allan Guthrie interviews Doug over on his Criminal-E blog, talking crime writing, ebooks and other shit.
Here’s Doug blethering on about books to Untitled Books. They love books, and so does Doug. All good.
Not really a feature, as such, but here’s something Doug wrote for the Faber blog, The Thoughtfox, about whisky and fiction and whisky as a metaphor for blah blah blah.
Interview with The Skinny, March 2011.
A mention in a Flavorwire feature on writers-turned-musicians.
Extensive feature in the Scottish Review of Books on the current crop of young Scottish writers, featuring Alan Bissett, Rodge Glass, Sophie Cooke, Zoe Strachan and Doug Johnstone, Feb 2011.
Doug picks his top ten whiskies for GQ magazine.
Interview with The List magazine, Feb 2011
Self-penned article for The Big Issue magazine, Feb 2011
Interview with Hot Press magazine in Ireland, Jan 2011
Here’s a cheeky wee review over at The Book is on the Table, which ends with ‘Nice book, read it!’. Who am I to argue?
Here’s (Female) Opinionated Reader giving Smokeheads the thumbs up over on her blog. Cheers, whoever you are, with your opinions and everything. Although I should point out that Smokeheads is published by Faber, not Cargo.
Smokeheads somehow makes it to South Africa, where Karen Moolman gives it a thumbs up in Business Day.
Wowzer, an awesome review by Kim Forrester on her Reading Matters blog. ‘Reservoir Dogs meets Trainspotting meets The Wicker Man’. Huge thanks Kim!
Another great review of Smokeheads has appeared from a clearly very erudite, intelligent and beautiful blogger, Bethany over at Subtle Melodrama – cheers Bethany!
There’s a massive review over at The Crime of it All, courtesy of Cormac O’Siochain, who was ‘left with a similar feeling to watching a dog eat its own vomit’. Excellent.
Excellent review in The Independent on Sunday. Choice quote: ‘a ferocious thriller reminiscent of Straw Dogs.’
The prize for the most concise review goes to The Sunday Herald – a 50-word plot summary followed by ‘Nifty thriller.’
Rave review over at Bookgeeks. Choice quote: ‘The foul-mouthed put-downs flow as freely as the single malts.’
A great review of Smokeheads in the Mail on Sunday courtesy of John Williams.
Russian blogger Ray Garraty gives Smokeheads the once over on his Endless Falls Up blog. Very nice.
A pretty sizeable review of Smokeheads by Euan McClymont over on the Curious Joe blog.
Jonny McCormack gives it a good whisky-related grilling over at a Malt Advocate-related blog.
Amanda Gillies pretty much raves about the book over at Eurocrime.
A rather fine four-star review in Metro by Anthony Cummins.
A very positive Press Association review in which Georgina Cotton gave it 7/10.
A really very enthusiastic review over at Sea Minor courtesy of Nigel P. Bird, who also posted his review on Good Reads, Kindle Users Forum and Amazon.com – what a stand-up guy!
A cracking write up over at Shots ezine, thanks to Calum MacLeod, who gets extra points for spotting the cheeky wee reference to the movie of The 39 Steps in the book.
A great write up in The Guardian from Laura Wilson in her Crime Fiction Roundup.
Hands down the funniest, sweariest and most positive review of the book so far, courtesy of Nerd of Noir in Spinetingler Magazine.
A fantastic review by Peter Millar in The Times. Wow.
A really rather nice review in The Financial Times. Well, well. Aren’t they nice.
A considered and balanced review over on the Manic Pop Thrills blog.
A review of two halves in The Scotsman, where Tom Adair seems to have loved the first 100 pages, and hated the rest. Ho hum.
A very positive write up on crimesquad.com.
Here’s a fantastic review in leading Scottish literary journal Gutter.
Here’s a snippy one in Time Out.
Interview at The Book Depository
Doug chatting to fellow writer Rosy Barnes at Vulpes Libris
Interview in Edinburgh Evening News
Snippets from reviews of the first two novels can be found over on the Novels page.
And Tombstoning gets a welcome dust down courtesy of Sarah Hardy over at By The Letter.