A Lover of Books

Archive for the tag “set in Edinburgh”

Blog Tour – ‘The Devil Upstairs’ by Anthony O’Neill ~ @bwpublishing @LoveBooksGroup #LoveBooksTours

‘The Devil Upstairs’ by Anthony O’Neill was published last September by Black and White Publishing in hardback and eBook formats.  It is being released in paperback next year on the 30th June 2021.

I would like to thank Kelly Lacey of Love Books Tours for inviting me to participate in this tour.  It really is a pleasure to be taking part.

I have an excerpt from the ‘The Devil Upstairs’ for you all which I hope you enjoy.  Let’s just take a look at what this book is about first though.

 

Book Blurb

In a quiet corner of Edinburgh, Cat Thomas is going through hell.

She’s tried everything. He respects nothing.

If your neighbour was making your life hell …

Would you call upon the devil?

Cat Thomas, a brilliant fraud investigator, has just relocated from Florida to a dreamy flat in historic Edinburgh. Everything seems perfect. Everything seems serene. Except for the unbelievably noisy wannabe rockstar upstairs.

Soon Cat’s blissful new life is in ruins. Desperate, she’s willing to try anything. When all else fails, she makes an appeal … to Satan.

And suddenly everything is eerily quiet. But her nightmare has only just begun …

 

Excerpt

‘When I bought the place,’ Cat admitted, ‘I didn’t even realise there was an apartment upstairs. You can’t really see it from the street – the roof slopes in dramatically – and I just assumed it was a storage space or an empty loft or something.’

Agnes grunted. ‘Lots of buildings in Scotland have old nooks and crannies that’ve been converted into living spaces. You should’ve been more careful.’

‘Uh-huh. And then, for my first five or six weeks in Edinburgh, the flat was empty. The guy who lives there was away somewhere. I think he was away when I inspected the place, too, or just super quiet. But now he’s back. And suddenly I get why the previous owner was so eager to sell.’

‘He’s some sort of maniac?’

‘He’s a musician.’

‘Same thing.’

‘And he makes noise. Lots of noise.’

‘All musicians do.’

‘But it’s not just the music – though that’s bad enough. It’s all sorts of things. Dropping stuff. Stamping around. Banging doors.’

‘All through the night?’

‘Day and night. Every night. He never seems to sleep.’

‘Just kill the cunt.’

‘I wish I could,’ Cat said, grimacing. ‘I wish I could.’

It was an unusually humid early August evening and, with Agnes at the wheel, the two women were hurtling down the A91 towards Edinburgh after interviewing staff at the ABC branch in Montrose. It had only been Cat’s third such expedition since reviving her career in Scotland, so she had let Agnes take charge while familiarising herself with the local idioms and procedures. In fact, Agnes, though wildly different in most ways – as plump as Cat was slim, as loud and impulsive as Cat was prudent and methodical – had become her closest colleague in the department, and the nearest thing to a friend outside office hours, for all her fondness for booze, deep-fried food and the c-word.

‘Is the cunt renting?’

Cat grimaced again. ‘I don’t know . . . I don’t know.’

‘Complain to the landlord, if he is. Tenants need to maintain good records, you know – especially in a compact city like Edinburgh.’

‘The previous owner surely would have done that, if it was going to do any good.’

‘Complain to the factor, then.’

‘I don’t know what a factor is,’ Cat admitted.

‘The building superintendent.’

‘I don’t think there is one.’

‘How many flats in the building?’

‘Six, one atop the other.’

‘Maybe the place is too small.’

Honking the horn at a motorist who swung into her lane, Agnes mouthed the c-word again.

Cat shook her head. ‘In Florida I lived for a while in a condo, and there were strict rules in place. Anyone with floorboards had to cover at least seventy per cent of them to reduce noise.’

‘Got bare floorboards, has he?’

‘They creak like ship timbers. And – I swear to God – I think he deliberately leans on them, at their weakest points, just to make a racket.’

‘It’s an existential thing,’ Agnes said.

 

Like the sound of ‘The Devil Upstairs’?  It can be purchased from Amazon UK – https://amzn.to/372fbkd

 

About Anthony O’Neill

ANTHONY O NEILL is the son of an Irish policeman and an Australian stenographer. He was born in Melbourne and now lives in Edinburgh. He is the author of seven novels including The Dark Side and Dr Jekyll & Mr Seek, recommended by Ian Rankin as ‘clever, gripping and reverent’.

 

Links

Website – https://www.anthonyoneill.net/

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/220734.Anthony_O_Neill

Blog Tour – ‘A Dark Matter’ by Doug Johnstone ~ @annecater @OrendaBooks @doug_johnstone

I am absolutely thrilled to be taking part in this blog tour today.  ‘A Dark Matter’ by Doug Johnstone is the first book in the Skelfs series.  It is being published in paperback on the 23rd January 2020 by Orenda Books and is also available as an eBook.

I would like to thank Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for inviting me to participate in this tour.  Thanks also to the publisher for my review copy of this book.

I will tell you all in a minute what I thought about ‘A Dark Matter’.

 

 

Book Blurb

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 Review

It has been a long while since I have read anything published by Orenda Books but this year I will be changing that for sure.

I totally loved ‘A Dark Matter’ and I am so very happy that this is the start of a new series otherwise I would probably be in mourning by now. This is the first book by Doug Johnstone I have read, and I am seriously impressed. What an ingenious storyline. The writing flowed easily, and I was able to follow the story without any problem. I also liked the way the chapters were set out.

I found this to be an extremely dark and intriguing read. The further I got into the book the more addicted I became. There were shocks and surprises aplenty throughout. There just seemed to be so much going on and it was really interesting to see how things unfolded. The author kept me guessing which was a good thing.

This story is narrated by the main characters Dorothy, Jenny and Hannah; three generations of a family. I thought this worked really well. They all came across as very strong women. Despite the grief they were understandably going through they took hold of the reins and kept both businesses going between them.

I really liked the main characters. My other favourite was Indy who was such a lovely and caring person.

You would think that reading about a funeral-home business and death would be morbid, but it actually wasn’t. It anything it was fascinating and thought-provoking if not a bit grisly at times.

I will definitely be reading more of Doug Johnstone’s books and am already really looking forward to the second book in the series. I can’t wait to find out how the Skelf family are getting on.

I highly recommend you read ‘A Dark Matter’.

‘A Dark Matter’ is available to pre-order/buy from Amazon UK:-

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dark-Matter-Skelfs-Doug-Johnstone-ebook/dp/B07X9X2J4X/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1578597834&sr=8-1

 

About Doug Johnstone

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.

 

Links

Website – https://dougjohnstone.com/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/doug_johnstone

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/758942.Doug_Johnstone

 

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