The Big Chill
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The Big Chill

4.03 (631 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

Running private-investigator and funeral-home businesses means trouble is never far away, and the Skelf women take on their most perplexing, chilling cases yet in Book Two of the darkly funny, devastatingly tense and addictive Skelfs series!

***Longlisted for Theakston's Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year***

'Compelling, compassionate ... just brilliant. This series gets better with every book. I cannot get enough of the Skelfs' Mark Billingham

'Brilliantly drawn and blackly comic' Herald Scotland

'Confirms the Skelfs as a classic crime clan. I can't wait for the next one' Erin Kelly

'I LOVE the Skelfs ... The only problem with The Big Chill is that you'll devour it so fast you'll feel as bereft as one of the Skelfs' clients. Doug Johnstone has murdered sleep' Val McDermid

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Haunted by their past, the Skelf women are hoping for a quieter life. But running both a funeral directors' and a private investigation business means trouble is never far away, and when a car crashes into the open grave at a funeral that matriarch Dorothy is conducting, she can't help looking into the dead driver's shadowy life.

While Dorothy uncovers a dark truth at the heart of Edinburgh society, her daughter Jenny and granddaughter Hannah have their own struggles. Jenny's ex-husband Craig is making plans that could shatter the Skelf women's lives, and the increasingly obsessive Hannah has formed a friendship with an elderly professor that is fast turning deadly.

But something even more sinister emerges when a drumming student of Dorothy's disappears and suspicion falls on her parents. The Skelf women find themselves sucked into an unbearable darkness - but could the real threat be to themselves?

Following three women as they deal with the dead, help the living and find out who they are in the process, The Big Chill follows A Dark Matter, book one in the Skelfs series, which reboots the classic PI novel while asking the big existential questions, all with a big dose of pitch-black humour.

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'Exceptional ... Johnstone seamlessly presents their stories with depth, elegance, and a delicate touch of wry humor as they get difficult jobs done with grace and kindness. This is a must for those seeking strong, authentic, intelligent female protagonists' Publishers Weekly

'Emotionally complex, richly layered and darkly funny. An addictive blend of Case Histories and Six Feet Under' Chris Brookmyre

'Johnstone's intuitive depiction of this trinity of resilient women is never less than flawless, in this tale punctuated by emotional depth and moments of dark humour...' Raven Crime Reads

Praise for The Skelfs series

***Shortlisted for the McIlvanney Prize for Best Scottish Crime Book 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

'This dark but touching thriller makes for a thoroughly enjoyable slice of Edinburgh noir' Mary Paulson-Ellis

'This enjoyable mystery is also a touching and often funny portrayal of grief, as the three tough but tender main characters pick up the pieces and carry on: more, please' Guardian

'A tense ride strong, believable characters' Kerry Hudson, Big Issue

'They are all wonderful characters: flawed, funny, brave and well set up for a series. I wouldn't call him cosy, but there's warmth to Johnstone's writing' Sunday Times
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Product details

  • Paperback | 300 pages
  • 130 x 198 x 25.4mm | 299.37g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1913193349
  • 9781913193348
  • 471,017

Review quote

"'This enjoyable mystery is also a touching and often funny portrayal of grief, as the three tough but tender main characters pick up the pieces and carry on: more, please." --Guardian
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About Doug Johnstone

Doug Johnstone is an author, journalist and musician based in Edinburgh. He's had eight novels published, most recently Crash Land. His previous novel, The Jump, was a finalist for the McIlvanney Prize for Scottish Crime Novel of the Year. Several of his other novels have been award winners and bestsellers, and he's had short stories published in numerous anthologies and literary magazines. His work has been praised by the likes of Ian Rankin, Val McDermid and Irvine Welsh. Several of his novels have been optioned for film and television. Doug is also a Royal Literary Fund Consultant Fellow. He's worked as an RLF Fellow at Queen Margaret University, taught creative writing at Strathclyde University and William Purves Funeral Directors. He mentors and assesses manuscripts for The Literary Consultancy and regularly tutors at Moniack Mhor writing retreat. Doug has released seven albums in various bands, and is the drummer for the Fun Lovin' Crime Writers, a band of crime writers. He also reviews books for The Big Issue magazine, is player-manager for Scotland Writers Football Club and has a PhD in nuclear physics.
Follow him on Twitter @doug_johnstone and visit his website: dougjohnstone.com
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Rating details

631 ratings
4.03 out of 5 stars
5 33% (206)
4 44% (280)
3 18% (115)
2 3% (21)
1 1% (9)
Book ratings by Goodreads
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