Fault Lines

Doug Johnstone. Orenda (IPG, dist.), $14.95 trade paper (300p) ISBN 978-1-912374-15-1
In this overwrought whodunit from British author Johnstone (Crash Land), volcanologist Surtsey Mackenzie, a member of a team studying the Inch, an island that recently formed in the Firth of Forth off Edinburgh, makes a series of bad choices, beginning with sleeping with her married boss, Tom Lawrie. One day, she arrives on the Inch for a rendezvous with Tom, only to find seabirds feeding on his corpse. Anxious to keep her affair a secret, Surtsey retrieves the cellphone Tom used exclusively for contacting her, and flees the Inch without reporting his death, which is discovered the next day when her research group visits the island. The police treat the death as a possible homicide, and Surtsey is freaked out when someone sends ominous texts to her on Tom’s phone. Johnstone tosses in more melodrama—Surtsey’s mother is in hospice, nearing the end of her battle with cancer—before providing an unsurprising reveal and an implausible denouement. The unusual island setting is about this book’s only virtue. Agent: Philip Patterson, Marjacq (U.K.). (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 09/17/2018
Release date: 11/01/2018
Genre: Fiction
Open Ebook - 300 pages - 978-1-4956-2907-5
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