Fault Lines by Doug Johnstone #BookReview #BlogTour

In a reimagined contemporary Edinburgh, in which a tectonic fault has opened up to produce a new volcano in the Firth of Forth, and where tremors are an everyday occurrence, volcanologist Surtsey makes a shocking discovery. On a clandestine trip to The Inch - the new volcanic island - to meet Tom, her lover and her boss, she finds his lifeless body. Surtsey's life quickly spirals into a nightmare when someone makes contact - someone who claims to know what she's done...

I'm delighted to be hosting the blog tour for Fault Lines by Doug Johnstone today. Many thanks to the author, Orenda Books and Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me and for my advance ecopy of the novel.
I've been looking forward to reading Fault Lines ever since Orenda Books announced they would be publishing Doug Johnstone's next book, I do enjoy books set in alternate yet familiar realities and Fault Lines is exactly that. Twenty five years previously, a volcanic island later called The Inch was being created from an unknown fault line in the Forth of Firth. Surtsey was born on the same momentous day and named after another new volcanic island formed off the coast of Iceland. After a somewhat unconventional upbringing both Surtsey and her younger sister, Iona still live in Edinburgh, in the house they shared with their mother. Her terminal illness has put the  sisters' relationship under great pressure as they handle their imminent loss very differently.
Surtsey has followed in her mum's footsteps and become a volcanologist herself, irrevocably drawn to the island that came into being at the same time as her. Perhaps it's inevitable then that she is a rather volcanic character herself - hot-headed, impetuous and unpredictable. When she discovers the body of her boss and married lover on The Inch she makes a decision which soon sees her life spin out of control. She is not always the easiest person to like and yet her mercurial nature makes her an irresistible character. For all her capriciousness however, she is not in control here and what follows is a chilling tale of obsession as Surtsey becomes both a target and a suspect. The Inch though, still has its own part to play; people may have become used to its portentous presence and the occasional quakes but the tremors increase in magnitude and frequency mirroring the growing instability in Surtsey's life. There is a real sense of danger as to what both humans and nature are capable of as the book races towards its breathtakingly tense and compelling conclusion.
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.

Fault Lines is published by Orenda Books and can be purchased here. Don't forget to check out the other stops on the blog tour, particularly my co-host today, the lovely Noelle over at CrimeBookJunkie. Details are below.

About the Author
Doug Johnstone is an author, journalist and musician based in Edinburgh. He’s had eight novels published, most recently Crash Land. His previous novel, The Jump, was a finalist for the McIlvanney Prize for Scottish Crime Novel of the Year. 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 been Writer in Residence at both Strathclyde University and William Purves Funeral Directors. He mentors and assesses manuscripts for The Literary Consultancy and regularly tutors at Moniack Mhor writing retreat. Doug has released seven albums in various bands, reviews books for The Big Issue magazine, is player-manager for Scotland Writers Football Club and has a PhD in nuclear physics.
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