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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hit & Run
Doug Johnstone's previous novel Smokeheads was one hell of a read, a breakneck tear-up of a book following four blokes on a whiskey tour of Islay which descends into sex, drugs and extreme violence. Peat black and shot through with scorching wit, plaudits came in from all angles. So expectations were always going to be high for Hit and Run, his second outing on Faber and...
Published on 2 April 2012 by Eva Dolan

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fast paced and good reading!
The book is well written and keeps the reader on the edge of the seat, or to put it bluntly to keep reading into the wee hours of the morning! The plot thickens with the soon to be (ex) girlfriend and the 'honour amongst thieves' to keep order in a seemingly dull and predictable modern life style. This is bound to be upstaged by intrigue, deceit and obvious mystique...
Published on 24 May 2012 by Ms Kim Sturgeon


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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hit & Run, 2 April 2012
This review is from: Hit and Run (Paperback)
Doug Johnstone's previous novel Smokeheads was one hell of a read, a breakneck tear-up of a book following four blokes on a whiskey tour of Islay which descends into sex, drugs and extreme violence. Peat black and shot through with scorching wit, plaudits came in from all angles. So expectations were always going to be high for Hit and Run, his second outing on Faber and Faber's eclectic and rapidly expanding crime list.

Driving home from a swanky PR do in Edinburgh with his girlfriend and brother - everyone up to the eyeballs on pilfered narcotics and beetroot schnapps - Billy Blackmore drives through a pedestrian. Reporting it will mean lost jobs, arrest, maybe prison, so they do the only logical thing, take the body and dump it over the side of Salisbury Crags.

The next morning, bashed up and hungover, Billy finds himself dragged back to the scene in his professional capacity as trainee crime reporter on The Evening Standard. They've got a scoop and the story is going to be huge - Edinburgh's gangster number one has been found dead at the bottom of the Crags. Frank Whitehouse wasn't the kind of man to commit suicide so that only leaves murder and the police have plenty of suspects. The Mackies, a rival crime family looking to expand; Frank's psychotic brother Dean; or maybe the widow Adele, a bong-hitting femme fatale who soon has Billy's balls nestled in the palm of her hand.

Frank Whitehouse isn't the only person who took a knock in the crash though and as Billy's professional reputation is shooting up his personal life is fracturing. He is dogged by guilt about leaving the scene of the crime, and dosed up against the injuries which have got him passing out and smelling smoke. The closer he gets to Adele the more conflicted he becomes. But there's no time to reflect on any of that because the story has to be written and if Billy backs out of his scoop now how's that going to look?

Johnstone has written an elegant explosion of that `what if' moment which starts when someone gets behind the wheel drunk. It's something that happens all the time, and that's genuinely scary. If that all sounds a bit po-faced I can assure you the book isn't. Yes, it's dark and brutal as you would expect from Johnstone, stuffed with drugs, violence and some rather disturbing sex, but it's also very funny. Johnstone has a great ear for banter, and the relationship between Billy and his mentor Rose is really quite touching.

I absolutely tore through Hit and Run. Johnston knows how create pace and thrust in a book, his prose is crisp, his characterisation pin-sharp and even when he's handling a classic noir plotline like this his journalistic sensibilities keep everything credible. Scottish crime fiction is a tough playground right now but with Hit and Run Doug Johnstone proves he can hold his own with the best of them.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fast moving and realistic tale, 23 May 2012
By 
GM Harlow (England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Hit and Run (Paperback)
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This novel is brilliant. There is no unnecessary description, and the dialogue is natural. I love the way the story gets straight to the point of whatever is afoot at the time. I almost read it in an afternoon.

At first I was amazed at the pill popping, but then realised that much of it was due to Billy's state of mind at the time, and also his easy access to various medications. He is so tortured by what has happened that he is gradually self destructing.

The story unfolds from a dramatic start and ends dramatically too. I couldn't put it down, as I wanted to know how on earth things would work out. I daresay it makes most readers wonder how they would react in a similar situation.

I liked the way the dog was woven into the story. The fact that he cared about it seemed to emphasise the fact that he was not the sort of person to hit and run.

I could picture the crag and the path, though perhaps if I actually went there it would look different. I think we all use bits of places we've seen in our lives, and fit them with descriptions we read in books.

I would definitely recommend this book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beware the red Nissan Micra!, 2 July 2012
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This review is from: Hit and Run (Kindle Edition)
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.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars All actions have consequences ., 14 Mar 2012
By 
S. Welham (Scotland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Hit and Run (Paperback)
A fast paced thriller with a good insight into how remorse about actions can tear you apart. As is usual with his books the dialogue is streaked with dark humour, the characters come alive and so does Edinburgh. I really enjoyed the book. With each book the writing gets better and he now has a place in tartan noir along with Brookmyre and McBride.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fast, Gripping and Brilliant, 20 April 2012
By 
C. buckland "Cb. Buckland" (Glasgow, Scotland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Hit and Run (Kindle Edition)
I'm a big fan of the crime genre, in particular noir authors like Chester Himes. While the crime genre is noted for its pace and "page turning" plotting, few can hold a candle to Doug Johnstone. Hit & Run runs at a frenetic pace (I read this on two train journeys in one day) and you'll find yourself compulsively turning the pages.

Johnstone has shaved all unnecessary fat from the text to create a lean and exciting prose style. Couple that with a simple premise that creates an ever intriguing and winding plot, and you have this- a hugely impressive modern crime thriller.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars K.p., 29 May 2014
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This review is from: Hit and Run (Kindle Edition)
Great novel about truths and consequences, good settings around Edinburgh. Cannot wait to read another storyline like this. Five stars.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Straightforward book worth reading, 10 Mar 2013
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A good plot and with a storyline that makes you want to read on. Enjoyed the book and will read more.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hit And Run by Doug Johnstone is well-written with a good balance between action and descriptions, 16 Jan 2013
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This review is from: Hit and Run (Kindle Edition)
There is a straightforward storyline with none of the usual extraneous cut-and-paste filling, so there is no need to skip poorly written repetitive paragraphs. The Edinburgh setting seems to be quite authentic although I'm not very familiar with the city. This is a perfectly balanced crime novel from the start, throughout the story and right to the end.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Book not to put down!, 2 Jan 2013
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Very exciting and well written book which keeps you on the edge of your seat from the beginning. The language was a bit extraneous which took the edge off it a bit.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Language!, 29 Dec 2012
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This review is from: Hit and Run (Kindle Edition)
If you don't like or apprechiate bad language don't read this boo! It was the only let down and the reason I did not give it 5 stars. Good story keeping the reader on edge all through. Good read. I personally just don't appreciate the foul language used...................
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Hit and Run
Hit and Run by Doug Johnstone (Paperback - 31 May 2012)
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