Meet the Skelfs: 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 woman, 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…
A compelling, tense and shocking thriller and a darkly funny and warm portrait of a family in turmoil, A Dark Matter introduces a cast of unforgettable characters, marking the start of an addictive new series.
I have been so excited about this latest offering by the author. An under takers as well as private investigators, what is not to love? The title couldn’t be anymore perfect for this brilliant read.
The story alternates in chapters between the three main characters, Dorothy the head of the family, Jenny her daughter and Hannah her granddaughter. I love how the author introduces us to these three generations of women. All quite different in character yet all appealing to the reader in their own way.
There is plenty going off within this story, more from the private investigator side of things. Not only is Hannah’s best friend missing, the investigating jobs come rolling in which has us see Jenny and Hannah especially, in action.
The funeral home side of things is very intriguing. I have to say how fascinating I found the parts to do with the home, how they dress the bodies for one. It’s a real eye opener that had me gripped yet raised the hairs on my arms. You can tell the author has done his research and it really shows.
A Dark Matter is a knock it out of the park start to a crime series featuring the Skelfs. I can not wait to be back with them again to see what else is in store for these three women as well as us readers. It has a little bit of everything going on that teased and delighted me throughout. This is proper top notch crime writing. Pure brilliance!
My Thanks to Anne cater and Orenda Books for a readers copy of this book. All opinions are my own and not biased in anyway.
A Dark Matter is available to purchase from Amazon. (Please note that link used is an Amazon Affiliate link).
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.