A toxic family … a fight for survival…
Seventeen-year-old Tyler lives in one of Edinburgh’s most deprived areas. Coerced into robbing rich people’s homes by his bullying older siblings, he’s also trying to care for his little sister and his drug-addict mum.
On a job, his brother Barry stabs a homeowner and leaves her for dead, but that’s just the beginning of their nightmare, because the woman is the wife of Edinburgh’s biggest crime lord, Deke Holt.
With the police and the Holts closing in, and his shattered family in devastating danger, Tyler meets posh girl Flick in another stranger’s house, and he thinks she may just be his salvation … unless he drags her down too.
A pulsatingly tense psychological thriller, Breakers is also a breathtakingly brutal, beautiful and deeply moving story of a good kid in the wrong family, from one of Scotland’s finest crime writers.
I first came across this author after reading his novel, Hit and Run. Since then I have gone on to read nearly every one of his novels, there’s just one that i still need to read, but have enjoyed them all. There was something about Hit and Run that has remained one of my personal favourites and for me Breakers is very much on par with it.
The author has created a young protagonist that will have the reader really caring about. Tyler is a young adult whose life certainly isn’t one he would choose for himself. There is very much a conflict of good versus evil going on in his head. Right from the start I knew he was a good lad but circumstances have him involved with stuff that he knows is wrong but he does it for the easy life to be left alone by his controlling older brother.
The relationship between Tyler and his younger sister Bean (Bethany), was so heart warming. I just wanted to pick them up and take them away from it all. Their childhood is certainly one that no child should endure but sadly they do. The author has created a very credible story of how easy it is for young adults to fall into the life of crime and what life is like in the poorest parts of a big city where crime and drugs are rife.
Breakers is a hard hitting and at times, heart wrenching, story. There is so much depth and meaning in this novel that it was hard not to get emotional at times. It is dark and gritty and had me gripped throughout. This is a novel where the main character really captured my heart and whose story will stay with me for a long time to come. Would love for the author to do a follow up book at some point.
My thanks to Orenda and Anne Cater for inviting me to be part of the blog tour and for a readers copy of this book. All opinions are my own and not biased in anyway.
Breakers is available to purchase from Amazon. (Please note that link used is an affiliate link).
Doug Johnstone is an author, journalist and musician based in Edinburgh. He’s had nine novels published, most recently Fault Lines. His previous novel, The Jump, was a finalist for the McIlvanney Prize for Scottish Crime Novel of the Year. Several of his other novels have been award winners and bestsellers, and he’s had short stories published in numerous anthologies and literary magazines. His work has been praised by the likes of Ian Rankin, Val McDermid and Irvine Welsh. Several of his novels have been optioned for film and television. Doug is also a Royal Literary Fund Consultant Fellow. He’s worked as an RLF Fellow at Queen Margaret University, taught creative writing at Strathclyde University and William Purves Funeral Directors. He mentors and assesses manuscripts for The Literary Consultancy and regularly tutors at Moniack Mhor writing retreat. Doug has released seven albums in various bands, and is drummer, vocalist and occasional guitarist for the Fun Lovin’ Crime Writers, a band of crime writers. He also reviews books for The Big Issue magazine, is player-manager for Scotland Writers Football Club and has a PhD in nuclear physics.