If you’re so special, why aren’t you dead?
Meet Martha. It’s the first day of her new job as intern at Edinburgh’sThe Standard. But all’s not well at the ailing newspaper, and Martha is carrying some serious baggage of her own.
Put straight onto the obituary page, she takes a call from a former employee who seems to commit suicide while on the phone, something which echoes with her own troubled past.
Setting in motion a frantic race around modern-day Edinburgh,The Dead Beat traces Martha’s desperate search for answers to the dark mystery of her parents’ past. Soundtracked by and interspersed with a series of gigs from the alternative music scene of her parents’ generation in the early ’90s, Doug Johnstone’s latest page-turner is a wild ride of a thriller, and a perfect follow-on to his #1 Kindle bestseller, Hit & Run.
Hit & Run is my favourite novel by this author so was over the moon to see Billy the main character from it pop up in this stand alone novel, The Dead Beat.
You don’t have to have read Hit & Run but believe me you will want to as Billy’s story well and truly gripped me. The Standard which is an Edinburgh newspaper is what links both books as Billy already works there and Martha has just started.
Right from the start it is obvious that Martha has a lot of issues and to be honest I felt even more sorry for her when her first day at the paper finds her working on the obituaries. Like her, I expected it to be a very boring job but after answering her very fist phone call, well her whole world just seems to spiral out of control.
The authors books always make for quite a dark reading experience, with topics such as depression and mental health issues they certainly are not the lightest of reads yet they are so compelling. I literally can not get enough of them.
Every character in this novel is damaged in some way or another. They all seem to be fighting their own battles and demons. For most, what is in the past is better off staying there, but Martha is determined to delve into the past which drags up some shocking discoveries.
The Dead Beat is a compelling read that is steeped in darkness. It had me hooked all the way through and didn’t disappoint. If you haven’t read any of this authors books yet, you really should.
Goodreads rating 4/5 but personally would have liked to have given it 4.5/5 stars.
The Dead Beat is available to purchase from Amazon.