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The Great Silence (The Skelfs Book 3) Kindle Edition
The discovery of a human foot in an Edinburgh park, the inexplicable circumstances of a dying woman, and the missing daughter of Jenny’s violent ex-husband present the Skelf women with their most challenging – and deadly – cases yet… Book THREE in the addictive The Skelfs series!
‘Simply stunning. Tense, funny and deeply moving’ Mark Billingham
‘If you loved Iain Banks, you’ll devour the Skelfs series’ Erin Kelly
‘Nobody portrays modern Edinburgh better than Doug Johnstone. The Great Silence speaks volumes about the power of story’ Val McDermid
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 … with potentially deadly results.
Daughter Jenny and grand-daughter Hannah have their hands full too: The mysterious circumstances of a dying woman lead 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 yet another 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, and the stakes are higher than ever.
‘The power of this book, though, lies in the warm personalities and dark humour of the Skelfs, and by the end readers will be just as interested in their relationships with each other as the mysteries they are trying to solve’ Scotsman
‘Remarkable’ Sunday Times Crime Club STAR PICK
‘Keeps you hungry from page to page. A crime reader can’t ask anything more’ The Sun
‘Mysteries aplenty … a poignant reflection on grief and the potential for healing that lies within us all. A proper treat’ Mary Paulson-Ellis
‘A thrilling, atmospheric book, set in the dark streets of Edinburgh. That great city really came alive for me in this gripping tale. Move over Ian Rankin, Doug Johnstone is coming through!’ Kate Rhodes
‘An unstoppable, thrilling, bullet train of a book that cleverly weaves in family and intrigue, and has real emotional impact. I totally loved it’ Helen Fields
‘This enjoyable mystery is also a touching and often funny portrayal of grief ... more, please’ Guardian
‘Wonderful characters: flawed, funny and brave’ Sunday Times
‘Exceptional … a must for those seeking strong, authentic, intelligent female protagonists’ Publishers Weekly
Praise for The Skelfs series
***Shortlisted for the McIlvanney Prize for Best Scottish Crime Book of the Year***
***Longlisted for Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year***
***Shortlisted for Amazon Publishing Capital Crime Thriller of the Year***
‘An engrossing and beautifully written tale that bears all the Doug Johnstone hallmarks in its warmth and darkly comic undertones’ Herald Scotland
‘Gripping and blackly humorous’ Observer
‘A tense ride strong, believable characters’ Kerry Hudson, Big Issue
‘I wouldn’t call him cosy, but there’s warmth to Johnstone’s writing’ Sunday Times
"I was addicted from the first page; gripping, gritty and darkly funny as hell." Erin Kelly, author, He Said/She Said on A Dark Matter
"I'd say that A Dark Matter showcases a writer at the peak of his powers, except that with every book, Doug Johnstone just gets better.' Val McDermid on A Dark Matter
"This is a must for those seeking strong, authentic, intelligent female protagonists."Publishers Weekly starred review on The Big Chill --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
About the Author
- ASIN : B08WS62T7R
- Publisher : ORENDA BOOKS (19 June 2021)
- Language : English
- File size : 2781 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 347 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: 50,166 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
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1) Doug Johnstone has given us some of the most memorable and original opening scenes in crime fiction. It doesn't matter which of the three books you pick up, you could read the opening paragraphs and know just whose work you were reading. They may shock - this one in particular certainly made me smile - but they will stick in the mind long after you have finished the book.
2) In the Skelf women - Dorothy, Jenny and Hannah - you have three characters who are full of anxiety, passion, melancholy, determination, resignation and loyalty and everything in between. The characters are infused with a touch of the author's own love of family, science and music which adds such authenticity to their personalities that you become completely invested in their lives. Who could help but love drumstick wielding rock-chick Gran Dorothy, or admire Hannah's absolutely love for all things scientific, or Jenny's dedication to her family.
3) The stories are a perfect blend of tension, emotional depth and honesty which will have you on the edge of your seat one moment, laughing out loud the next and then experiencing the trembly bottom lip as Doug Johnstone skilfully plays with your emotions. Trust me, there are scenes in this book that will get that pulse thumping and others where you will be wiping the tear from your cheek, the one you really didn't want to have to shed. Each story has an element within that is socially relevant, so representative of modern life, that it will in turn make you more aware of things and people around you. And the author does not skimp on putting these women through the mill - each time I wonder just how much further he can push them. Apparently, a long way ...
4) The scene setting and narrative skill of the books put you right at the heart of the action. I can picture each setting perfectly, find myself salivating over the thought of a lovely Söderberg pastry every damned time, and almost feel the biting wind as it blows its way across the city of Edinburgh.
Are you tempted yet? I could tell you more about the story itself, about the missing person case, the unexpected family reunion, the Beast of Bruntsfield with its surprisingly emotional conclusion, or Hannah's foray into the world of alien communication - yes really - but I think to understand and to feel the powerful emotions that the story elicits, you need to read it for yourself. So yes, I'm sad to see the end of this trilogy. We are brought pretty much full circle in this story, ending as we begin, the Skelfs a little more battle scarred and world weary than when we first met them, but I kind of love them all the more for it.
If you'd told me two years ago that a story of three generations of Edinburgh women - Funeral Directors-come-Private Investigators, would come to be one of my favourite crime series, I may have looked at you kind of funny. But, you know what? You'd have been right. Honest, gritty, socially relevant, powerful, emotional and just bloody good fun, this is a series and a book I would heartily recommend. Immerse yourself in the world of the Skelfs. You won't regret it.
It’s fair to say that the Skelf family have been through a lot over the three books. There is intrigue right from the start in the latest book in this series, and Doug Johnstone certainly knows how to hit the ground running. When Dorothy is out walking her dog, Einstein, he comes across an embalmed human foot in a local Edinburgh Park. Hannah, her granddaughter, is asked to help out a friend of hers, who may or may not be in contact with aliens, as part of his research into possible life elsewhere in the universe. He thinks someone is deliberately targeting him. Things take an even darker turn when the daughter of Jenny’s violent ex-partner goes missing. And big cats are also stalking the city.
The Skelf women are still reeling from the events at the end of the last book. This doesn’t stop them from carrying on investigating the strange events that are taking place. Only the Skelf family could come across an embalmed human foot and not be particularly perturbed. I wanted to know just what was going on in Edinburgh, particularly with the reports of the big cats as well. It makes for a very chilling atmosphere which Doug Johnstone writes so well.
This story really gets dark as the events which are happening in the city are explored further. It is perhaps their most challenging case to date. In the Skelf family, Doug Johnstone has created a unique set of characters. They’re what makes this series so good and so original. I think Dorothy, in particular, is my favourite. You can see how they have developed over the course of the series and I have really grown attached to them.
What I loved particularly about this book and the last book in the series are the discussions Hannah has with her friends about exoplanets, which is a topic I am fascinated by. The nerdy part of my brain was buzzing when they talked about Seti and the exoplanets discovered so far in the universe.
This is a series which you really must read if you haven’t read it already. It’s dark, intriguing, and so, so original. Doug Johnstone is such a brilliant writer and he knows how to create unique and unforgettable characters. I highly recommend it.
The Great Silence is the third of the Skelfs series of books and you could read this one as a standalone, but I heartily recommend starting at the beginning as this series is seriously good. All three women of the family are such strong female leads that you can't help falling in love with the family and their madcap adventures. Scratch that - all the recurring characters are just as devilishly good.
You can see so much of Doug as a person in the Skelf books. He is a keen drummer and even plays in a band with Val McDermid, has a degree in physics and a PhD in astrophysics. The scenes where Dorothy is playing the drums are magic, as you can feel the passion pulsating through the page. Btw Doug or Orenda you should set up a Spotify playlist for all the songs which are referenced in each book!
A moot point here - if you mess around with Hannah and Indy at any point in this series I will stalk Edinburgh until I find you! 🤣 Their relationship fills me with hope and a feeling of light when I am reading their sections. A genuinely profound couple.
I really hope that there are many more Skelfs books to come as I adore them! This is where I need to praise Orenda books. Karen is not afraid to take a risk on what other publishers would be terrified to touch. But it's their loss as I don't think there has been an Orenda book that hasn't been amazing. Imagine rocking up to your publisher or agent going ‘yeah I want to set it in a funeral parlour and they are also private eyes!’ They would think you are crazy. But Karen embraces that and let's writers imaginations run wild and due to that you get exceptional books like the Skelfs. Roll on the next one!
There is so much going on in The Great Silence but I never felt overwhelmed and I had equal interest in each subplot - I wanted to know how each part of the novel would work out. Through the different subplots, Johnstone has the opportunity to explore so many different themes that there will be something in this novel to resonate with everyone and I love that it covers so many elements of humanity.
Since reading The Great Silence, I have found out that the Skelf series will not be a trilogy as I originally thought and there will be more to come from these characters. I was delighted to hear this, and I can't wait to see how the series continues.
Sorry to hear that there will be no longer any more written.........................started to read his other books but not the same as the scelff family!!