Latest Reads

The Great Silence – Doug Johnstone

I’d like to thank Anne Cater, for invent me to join this blog tour for The Great Silence. The third book in the wonderful Skelf family series by Doug Johnstone. Publishes by Orenda Books.

Keeping on top of the family funeral directors’ and private-
investigation businesses is no easy task for the Skelf women, and when matriarch Dorothy discovers a human foot while walking the
dog, a perplexing case presents itself.


Daughter Jenny and grand-daughter Hannah have their hands full
too: the mysterious circumstances of a dying woman have led them
into an unexpected family drama, Hannah’s new astrophysicist
colleague claims he’s receiving messages from outer space, and the
Skelfs’ teenaged lodger has a devastating experience.


Nothing is clear as the women are immersed ever deeper in their
most challenging cases yet. But when the daughter of Jenny’s
violent and fugitive ex-husband goes missing without trace and
a wild animal is spotted roaming Edinburgh’s parks, real danger
presents itself, and all three Skelf’s are in peril.


Taut, dark, warmly funny and unafraid to ask big questions – of us
all – The Great Silence is the much-anticipated third instalment in
the addictive, unforgettable Skelf’s series.

Our Author – Doug Johnstone

Doug Johnstone is the author of twelve previous novels, most recently The Big
Chill (2020). Several of his books have been bestsellers and three, A Dark Matter
(2020), Breakers (2019) and The Jump (2015), were shortlisted for the McIlvanney
Prize for Scottish Crime Novel of the Year. He’s taught creative writing and been
writer in residence at various institutions over the last decade – including at a
funeral parlour ahead of writing A Dark Matter – and has been an arts journalist
for over twenty years. Doug is a songwriter and musician with five albums and
three solo EPs released, and he plays drums for the Fun Lovin’ Crime Writers, a
band of crime writers. He’s also player-manager of the Scotland Writers Football
Club. He lives in Edinburgh. Follow Doug on Twitter @doug_johnstone and visit
his website: dougjohnstone.com.

My Review – The Great Silence

This is the third and equally brilliant episode in the lives of the Skelf family. It’s essentially an Edinburgh based, strong women’s club. The Skelfs – Dorothy, Jenny, Hannah and their adopted family members, Abi and Indy plough through controversy like butter. The family run Funeral Parlour ran by Dorothy, Indy – girlfriend of Hannah and Archie, who’s worked with the Skelks since before Jim, Dorothy’s husband died.

Jenny’s ex-husband Craig is on the run, after living a double life, he holds a threat over Jenny and Hannah and they feel constantly in his shadow. Part of his double life was another partner and child, Fiona and Sophia were now part of the Skelfs lives too.

Abi lives with the Skelfs after not getting along with her Mum and step-dad and feeling genuine friendship with Dorothy, who teaches her to play drums.

Now, if that doesn’t sound like a lot to deal with, Jenny runs the other side of the family business in the shape of being a Personal Investigator. Set up by Dad Jim and she’s found a flair for uncovering secrets held dear by others. And plenty of them there are, adding to the intrigue.

The Great Silence is of course all served up with an added dash of humour, that Doug Johnstone seamlessly weaves into his books and takes what could be the maudlin and serious subject of dying and plies it with humour and that ultimately we all have to face up to the fact that, dying is harder for those left behind.

Really enjoyable and a delight to read, an amazing sense of place and characters. I can’t not mention all the research and fact finding, and perhaps soul searching Doug Johnstone must have done to write so well about the world of science, physics and the solar system, amongst other things. The world of the under taker isn’t one that you can just write about without having experienced being there too of course.

Please follow the blog tour and read other reviews for The Great Silence.

Please follow the rest of The Great Silence Blog tour – so many great bloggers with their own fantastic reviews.

To purchase The Great Silencehttps://bertsbooks.co.uk/product/the-great-silence-the-skelfs-3/

@Doug_johnstone @OrendaBooks @annecater #TheGreatSilence #TheSkelfs

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