In this dark, violent and thoroughly enjoyable novel by Scots author Doug Johnstone, you get exactly what it says on the tin, or I should say cover.
Hit & Run tells the story of an accident, three young professionals on their way home in the early hours, drunk and off their heads with goodness knows what, when suddenly, boom, they hit a man in the middle of the road.
If the driver had then done the right thing, called the police and an ambulance, this would have been a short story. Thank goodness they didn't.
Do you ever, in the silent hours when you can't sleep, think back on your life and try to map out the precise choices and decisions that you made that brought you to where you are now? We think that we can plan out our lives, that we are in charge of the big decisions that ultimately determine our destiny, but are we? How would our lives be different if we'd gone home that night by bus or if we hadn't gone to that party or if we hadn't answered the phone that particular day?
Doug Johnstone examines in Hit & Run how one fateful act can alter the course of our lives forever, how one wrong decision made in a panic, can drastically affect everything that we know and hold dear from that moment on.
Hit & Run is mostly set in the small area of Edinburgh in and around the Scottish Parliament, Dynamic Earth and Arthur's Seat, well known by natives and tourists alike. He expertly brings together the genteel elegance of the city and its dirty underpants, one never far away from the other. There are suggestions of corruption at all levels in the city and as Billy, the main character, drives around from the rich to the mean streets, his guilt swelling like a mushroom in the dark, he takes on a one man crusade to sort out the moral and criminal mess that the accident has uncovered, a mess not of his making but one he powerfully released as if he had squeezed the trigger of a starting pistol.
Paired down to it's main components, Johnstone never loses his goal, doesn't get sidetracked into other character's lives even though this would have been easy to do and interesting for the reader. Billy is Johnstone's focus, his is the story to tell and as the clock ticks inside Billy's head, he launches himself down a path of destruction in a bid to make amends for one quick mistake.
Great reading so don't miss out on this one.