Smokeheads

Doug Johnstone

Smokeheads

Four friends, one weekend, gallons of whisky. What could go wrong? Driven by amateur whisky-nut Adam, four late-thirties ex-university mates are heading to Islay - the remote Scottish island world famous for its single malts - with a wallet full of cash, a stash of coke and a serious thirst. Over a weekend soaked in the finest cask strength spirit, they meet young divorcee Molly, who Adam has a soft spot for, her little sister Ash who has all sorts of problems and Molly’s ex-husband Joe, a control freak who also happens to be the local police. As events spiral out of control, they are all thrown into a nightmare that gets worse at every turn. 3.1 out of 5 based on 4 reviews
Smokeheads

Omniscore:

Classification Fiction
Genre General Fiction
Format Paperback
Pages 304
RRP £12.99
Date of Publication March 2011
ISBN 978-0571260621
Publisher Faber and Faber
 

Four friends, one weekend, gallons of whisky. What could go wrong? Driven by amateur whisky-nut Adam, four late-thirties ex-university mates are heading to Islay - the remote Scottish island world famous for its single malts - with a wallet full of cash, a stash of coke and a serious thirst. Over a weekend soaked in the finest cask strength spirit, they meet young divorcee Molly, who Adam has a soft spot for, her little sister Ash who has all sorts of problems and Molly’s ex-husband Joe, a control freak who also happens to be the local police. As events spiral out of control, they are all thrown into a nightmare that gets worse at every turn.

Reviews

The Guardian

Laura Wilson

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.

19/03/2011

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The Times

Peter Millar

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. My only disappointment was the lack of a final, bitter twist.

12/03/2011

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The Financial Times

Christopher Fowler

There are subtler novels set in the extreme north, but it’s unlikely you’ll find one with the same rocketing pace.

07/03/2011

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The Scotsman

Tom Adair

There is plenty of flesh and blood here, much of it splashing across the page, yet too many characters are ciphers, Molly and Adam being exceptions. While Johnstone writes beautifully in patches, overall his book, and his characters, are hostages to a lack of singular vision.

05/03/2011

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