Sunday, January 12, 2020

A Dark Matter by Doug Johnstone

A DARK MATTER by Doug Johnstone

After an unexpected death, three generations of women take over the family funeral-home and PI businesses in the first book of a brilliant, page-turning and darkly funny new series The Skelfs are a well-known Edinburgh family, proprietors of a long-established funeral-home business, and private investigators. When patriarch Jim dies, it’s left to his wife Dorothy, daughter Jenny and granddaughter Hannah to take charge of both businesses, kicking off an unexpected series of events.Dorothy discovers mysterious payments to another women, suggesting that Jim wasn’t the husband she thought he was. Hannah’s best friend Mel has vanished from university, and the simple adultery case that Jenny takes on leads to something stranger and far darker than any of them could have imagined.As the women struggle to come to terms with their grief, and the demands of the business threaten to overwhelm them, secrets from the past emerge, which change everything... It’s a compelling and tense thriller and a darkly funny, warm portrait of a family in turmoil. 

My Thoughts

So you say you are going to take over the family business...hmmm you sure you can handle that?!  A Dark Matter, is in fact dark indeed. Dark in all my favorite ways. It was a gritty, humorous at times read, that was all kinds of wrong. Just read the opening paragraph and you will be hooked! Go ahead and peek, you know you want to.

When Jim Skelf passes away the family business must go on. Except the family business is a "hands on" type of work, one where you can't be afraid to get a little dirt on your hands....literally...or some bodily fluids...the family business is a funeral home- they handle everything from picking up the bodies to hosting the funeral. So when Jenny Skelf decides to take over for her father and her 70 year old mother decided to help, well things get interesting. Add in the fact that dear dad was also a private investigator things get all kinds of crazy.

Digging up corpses, missing people, things that go bump in the night, human BBQ's....yes, I just said there was a human BBQ, you heard right. This book has so much going on that you would think it would be hard to keep track, but it all flowed nicely. Working in emergency medicine, I enjoy a bit of dark, deathly humor and the author deliverers this nicely. I have to admit that some details did make a cringe a bit, but it just added to the atmospheric vibes. Several mysteries going on that all were nicely wrapped up in the end kept me highly engaged the entire book.

Wait, what this is going to be a series???!!! YES please! I can't wait for the next book. Sign this girl up for book #2!!

Thank you so very much to Anne Carter from Random Things Tours for this invitation on this fantastic blog tour!!!

Doug Johnstone is the author of ten novels, most recently Breakers (2018), which has been shortlisted for the McIlvanney Prize for Scottish Crime Novel of the Year. Several of his books have been bestsellers and award winners, and his work has been praised by the likes of Val McDermid, Irvine Welsh and Ian Rankin. He’s taught creative writing and been writer in residence at various institutions – including a funeral home – and has been an arts journalist for twenty years. Doug is a songwriter and musician with five albums and three EPs released, and he plays drums for the Fun Lovin’ Crime Writers, a band of crime writers. He’s also player-manager of the Scotland Writers Football Club. He lives in Edinburgh.