The Third book in the bestselling McIlVanney – shortlisted Skelfs series! From the discovery of a human foot in a park, to the missing daughter of Jenny’s violent ex-husband… the stakes have never been higher for the Skelf family.
(Author pic credit – Duncan McGlynn)
It’s a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour The Great Silence by Doug Johnstone.
About the Author
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.
About the book
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 Skelfs 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 Skelfs series.
Am I the only one that thinks the way Dorothy handles the whole ‘finding a foot’ business is kind of odd. I know in their profession they are used to dead bodies, death and much more due to the Skelfs little side business, but honestly anyone would think she found a Roman coin and stuck it in her pocket to take home. How many body parts is she used to finding whilst walking the dog? Everyone else – Jesus weeps, Dorothy – ah a foot.
Unfortunately, much like a bad smell, the psycho Craig is lingering in the background again. Just there on the periphery of their lives to make sure they never feel completely safe, which is exactly what he wants. Fear equals control.
Reading The Skelfs is a little bit like watching improv Comedy done by the local AmDram society – you just never know what you’re going to get next, sometimes it is completely out of left field. Johnstone has written the story in a way that gives it a multi interlinked story feel. Each character has their own mystery or problem to solve, and how that is done effectively by supporting and trusting each other.
I am surprised this series is being brought to a conclusion and only presented as a trilogy, but perhaps the author will bring them back in a spin-off or a special Skelf extravaganza. It’s a quirky dark domestic series with a cosy crime feel, subtle sharp humour and the kind of premise that promises an entertaining read – even when it gets serious.