Source: Review Copy
A brilliantly constructed piece of speculative crime fiction, Fault Lines is also a psychological thriller and a classic whodunit, in which every cast member is a suspect, and the next blow can come from any direction.
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, and makes the fatal decision to keep their affair, and her discovery of his corpse 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…
In Doug Johnstone’s Fault Lines, he has re-imagined the city of Edinburgh, where twenty-five years ago a tectonic fault opened up and a volcano rose up in the Firth of Forth. For our protagonist, Surtsey who is a volcanologist, this gives her unprecedented access to a field of research. But when Surtsey arrives at The Inch one evening to meet her lover, Tom, who is also her boss, she is shocked to find his dead body. Surtsey keeps quiet about the discovery as she is keen to keep their relationship under wraps, but someone saw Surtsey up on The Inch that evening and they soon begin to target her. Was Tom’s death a tragic accident, or was he murdered? Someone is convinced that Surtsey knows more than she is letting on and they are determined to prove it.
I’ve become a fan of novels that blend genres in recent years. In Fault Lines it feels futuristic but there is a mystery at the heart of it. Surtsey’s life begins to spiral out of control after she discovers Tom’s body and she is hit by a wave of traumatic events. Although I found her character difficult to warm to at times, I couldn’t help but feel sorry for her as she was hit by each new dramatic turn.
The Inch very much became a character in its own right. Doug Johnstone described the volcanic island so well, especially the terrain around it and this is what made this novel so very different and original.
Fault Lines is an imaginative psychological thriller that reels you in from the opening pages. If you’re looking for something that is unique, you really need to try this book. Thank you to Karen Sullivan at Orenda Books for sending me a copy to review and to Anne Cater for inviting me to take part in the blog tour.
Publisher: Orenda Books
Publication date: 28th February 2018 (kindle) 22nd May 2018 (paperback)
Print length: 300 pages
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