Breakers by Doug Johnstone – Blog Tour Review.

About The Book

A toxic family … a fight for survival…

Seventeen-year-old Tyler lives in one of Edinburgh’s most deprived areas. Coerced into robbing rich people’s homes by his bullying older siblings, he’s also trying to care for his little sister and his drug-addict mum.

On a job, his brother Barry stabs a homeowner and leaves her for dead, but that’s just the beginning of their nightmare, because the woman is the wife of Edinburgh’s biggest crime lord, Deke Holt.

With the police and the Holts closing in, and his shattered family in devastating danger, Tyler meets posh girl Flick in another stranger’s house, and he thinks she may just be his salvation … unless he drags her down too.

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. Every so often I read a book where I am reluctant to put it down. Where I need to know what the characters would be facing next. Breakers was one of those books. I needed to know that Tyler, aged seventeen, responsible for his younger sister, Bean, would stay safe. 

He isn’t entirely innocent, the danger he is in is because he was breaking the law. But when you start to see how how relationship with his elder siblings Barry and Kelly and the terrible situation his mother was in you know he had little choice.

Each of the siblings had an affect on me. Tyler is still at school, is trying his best to be there for Bean, clean up after his drug addict and alcoholic mother and avoid the local police officer who tries to help, of only he could see it. If it was possible to help a character in a book I would do. Kelly, out of her depth, with a misguided loyalty, probably governed by fear. Barry, a vicious bully, coke head, and capable of anything. Barry was a character who I feared more than many others I have ‘met’ in fiction. And Bean, adorable, outspoken, wise beyond her years.

But Tyler isn’t the only one whose family life is tough. Flick, wealthy, privileged, but whose family are not as perfect as you’d expect them to be. Pearce, the police officer who tried to be a friend because she knew how difficult it was. And who proved that life could be turned around.

The relationship between Tyler and Bean was something special. Warmth, love and devotion in an impossible situation. Their scenes together, even the bedtime stories were special. Even more so when you could see their relationship with Barry. 

It is a believable read. I imagine there are families like Tyler’s everywhere. 

Fault Lines by Doug Johnstone – Blog Tour Review.

Faultlines final Cover aw_preview (1)

About the Book

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…

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received.I had never read a book by Doug Johnstone before and I can honestly say that I have never read a book quite like Fault Lines before either. I had been a little bit dubious, worrying whether it would be too scientific for me, but they were needless worries. I had no problems at all and I thoroughly enjoyed the book.
Many people will be familiar with Edinburgh, but the version of Edinburgh in the novel is make-believe, with its addition of a volcanic island in the Firth of Forth. It is here that the body of Tom is discovered by Surtsey.
Surtsey is the main character in the book. She is more flawed than many other characters who feature in other novels with her sometimes heavy drinking, recreational drug taking and her affair with her married boss. But she also was a character who I liked a lot and she was no different to many of the others who featured. As well as her flaws, she also had a conscience. She was devoted to her terminally ill mother and dealt with her situation a lot better than her sister. This side to her softened her a lot and helped me appreciate the depth to her personality.
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.

FINAL Fault Lines blog poster 2018