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Smokeheads Paperback – 4 Aug 2011

3.5 out of 5 stars 75 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber; Main edition (4 Aug. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571260632
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571260638
  • Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 1.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars 75 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 291,651 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


'A taut and efficient thriller . . . it's also so permeated with the love of whisky that the fumes seem to seep from the very pages.' -- The Herald

'Nifty thriller.' -- Sunday Herald

'What starts as a drink-and-drugs socked piece of superior lad-lit turns into a ferocious thriller reminiscent of Straw Dogs . . . you won't want to stop reading.' -- Independent on Sunday

'This is a hugely atmospheric thriller soaked in the spirit of life on the outer fringes of the British Isles: Local Hero in reverse, a Scottish Straw Dogs laced with whisky and gore . . . Sip and savour.' -- The Times

'It will have you laughing and wincing in equal measure as thanks to the passion with which Johnstone writes about his main subject you are left punch-drunk by the whisky fumes that rise from the page.' -- Guardian

'In a drug, sex and booze-fuelled weekend, a whole barrel of trouble is brewing for this eclectic mix of friends. With some gruesome imagery and delightful descriptions of aged whiskies, Smokeheads is undoubtedly 'man material', although that's not to say that this action-packed, black comedy thriller would not have general appeal. Written with acute attention to detail and wily wit, it's an easy read that'll make any Smokehead reach for another.' -- Press Association

'This is a brilliant and disturbing tale that is perfect for people who love the blacker side of crime fiction . . . A well-written, whisky-fuelled nightmare. Johnstone leads you into it gently enough, then swiftly bashes you over the head with a sherry cask and runs off, leaving you with the peaty memory of a fine Ardbeg on your lips but wondering what on earth has happened and how it could all have gone so horribly wrong. Settle yourself down with this book one evening and you are in for a real malt-soaked treat.' -- eurocrime.co.uk

'Smokeheads is a crime novel. Not the kind of crime novel you d find in an airport bookshop though - this isn t the book for casually passing the time on a beach. This is the book for locking yourself in your room, turning your phone off and forgoing sleep until you ve finished it. To use a common term, it s a page turner . . . it's wickedly funny, with Johnstone proving himself to be an expert in black humour . . . whilst extreme things do happen, Smokeheads is also full of subtle and clever musings on modern Scotland . . . Johnstone certainly has gotten somewhere with Smokeheads: he s written a clever, funny, endlessly exciting novel and proven that quiet jaunts up to remote distilleries don t always end with just a souvenir from the gift shop.' -- Strathcylde Telegraph

'All of [the characterisation] gives the book depth, but if you are of a more shallow persuasion, worry not. The action comes hard and fast and you ll find the pages turn at a fair lick. In his third novel, Doug Johnstone shows he is a skilled writer. His prose is pared down, highly effective and at times dips into the poetic and the world he creates on the island of Islay is deeply convincing. This book has cult movie adaptation written all over it.' --crimesquad.co.uk

Book Description

Smokeheads by Doug Johnstone is a wild trip to the Scottish Highlands - Johnstone's debut on the Faber crime list is a classic violent thriller, doused with black humour.

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