Fault Lines by Doug Johnstone @doug_johnstone @OrendaBooks #BookReview

Faultlines final Cover aw_preview (1)

  • Action and Adventure
  • Alternative History
  • Fiction

| Synopsis |

A classic whodunit
Dark psychological suspense

Doug Johnstone returns with his most explosive and original thriller yet…

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…

| Review |

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.

Johnstone creates an alternative version of present-day Edinburgh, showcasing his imaginative writing style, while still portraying an extremely accurate depiction of the city even with the addition of a fictionalised volcanic island in the Forth. It is a great skill to describe locations so precisely that Edinburgh residents, who know the area inside-out, can place themselves within the narrative where the words in the novel match up with real life. In addition to this realism, the fictional elements of the new fault line and the island are not only believable, but stunningly visual in their descriptions, and develop the originality of the novel as they interweave with the plot.

The characters in Fault Lines are well-rounded and as an ensemble, they offer a range of perspectives and personalities. In the foreground is Surtsey, a 25-year-old volcanologist born on the same day that The Inch was formed after the first volcanic eruption from the fault line, and who is central to the plot. The novel is unsettlingly and yet beautifully atmospheric due to the parallels between Surtsey and the island. It is ever-present in her life and her interest in (and perhaps dependence on) the island becomes a significant part of the storyline.

My only criticism of the novel is that it was a little predictable in places. I found it easy to predict some of the key revelations in the story, and I’m not usually very good at figuring out those sorts of things. However, this did not detract from the story at all as there were still many surprising moments and unexpected twists. Furthermore, the last quarter or so of the novel, leading to the incredible climax, is extremely compelling. I could not put the book down and was entirely immersed in the events unfolding.

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.


By Kim Ford on behalf of Love Books Group

| Buy Link |

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