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The Great Silence

Book #3 of Skelfs
Published by Orenda Books
Distributed by Simon & Schuster

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

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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.
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‘This is their third outing and the stories get better each time … Told with a wry humour and affection, the novel underlines just how accomplished Johnstone has become’ Daily Mail

‘The power of this book 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

The Skelfs series has been:

***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***

Doug Johnstone is the author of eleven novels, most recently The Big Chill, the second in the Skelfs series, which has just been optioned for TV. In 2020, A Dark Matter, the first in the series, was shortlisted for the McIlvanney Prize for Scottish Crime Novel of the Year and the Capital Crime Amazon Publishing Independent Voice Book of the Year award. In 2019, his thriller Breakers was also shortlisted for the prize. Several of his books have been bestsellers and award winners, and his work has been praised by the likes of Val McDermid, Irvine Welsh and Ian Rankin. He’s taught creative writing and been writer in residence at various institutions, and has been an arts journalist for twenty years. Doug is a songwriter and musician with five albums and three 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.

  • Publisher: Orenda Books (August 19, 2021)
  • Length: 300 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781913193836

More books from this author: Doug Johnstone

More books in this series: Skelfs