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Fault Lines

Narrated by: Caroline Guthrie
Length: 6 hrs and 43 mins
4 out of 5 stars (1 rating)
Non-member price: $22.78
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Publisher's Summary

Doug Johnstone returns with his most explosive and original thriller yet.... 

A little lie...a seismic secret...and the cracks are beginning to show.... 

In a reimagined contemporary Edinburgh, where 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 new volcanic island The Inch, 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, a 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.... 

©2018 Doug Johnstone (P)2018 Audible, Ltd

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  • Simon
  • 10-07-2018

The Heat Disappears Through The Cracks!


Impressed by favourable reviews elsewhere and intrigued by the synopsis . . . murder, volcanoes, earthquakes . . . I decided I'd give this one a go. The first thing to say is that if you're expecting a book full of violent eruption and constant volcanic thrills this isn't it. What it is is a decent thriller plot that is well-written and over fairly quickly, I never got bored though the plot itself and the characters are pretty much by the numbers stuff and the lead Surtsey is not that easy to like.

Highlights for me included her relationship with her dying mother which I thought was well done and gave the best depth to any of the characters and there was also an exciting ending. Where i felt the author failed was in delivering a "re-imagined Edinburgh". Sure there are tremors throughout but I never felt that the author ever really explored the impact of it on Edinburgh at all. How it would have changed daily lives or impacted the local infrastructure. I never got the feel of this new reality for the city's citizens.

The characters also never felt fully-developed and Surtsey seemed to shrug off some major trauma and pressure all too easily. For my personal tastes this book needed more development of place and people to deliver on its promise and become fully realised. If I'm also nitpicking that exciting finale will probably have real vulcanolgists wincing somewhat but whether you like it will very much depend on how much leeway you're willing to give the author.

The narration by Caroline Guthrie brings what to my ignorant ears sounded like authentic accents but it is heavily accented and there isn't great character voicing so you might want to check out the sample before you buy. My ears tend to be more forgiving than most I think when it comes to accents.

So, it's actually a reasonably decent story and I liked Johnstone's writing style. GIven that he chose to "re-imagine Edinburgh" though I don't think he delivered what he promised and the large majority of the main plot could easily have happened without the leap of faith that a volcanic Edinburgh requires. So, half decent popcorn munching movie type stuff but not the greatest of reads.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful