Doug Johnstone: Black Hearts

Today I’m taking part in the blog tour for Black Hearts. My review is written with thanks to Anne Cater for inviting me on the blog tour and to Orenda Books for my copy of the book.


Death is just the beginning…

The Skelf women live in the shadow of death every day, running the family funeral directors and private investigator business in Edinburgh. But now their own grief interwines with that of their clients, as they are left reeling by shocking past events.

A fist-fight by an open grave leads Dorothy to investigate the possibility of a faked death, while a young woman’s obsession with Hannah threatens her relationship with Indy and puts them both in mortal danger. An elderly man claims he’s being abused by the ghost of his late wife, while ghosts of another kind come back to haunt Jenny from the grave … pushing her to breaking point.

As the Skelfs struggle with increasingly unnerving cases and chilling danger lurks close to home, it becomes clear that grief, in all its forms, can be deadly…


I say this with every review I write for one of the books in the Skelf series, but I think Black Hearts is the best one yet. I love every aspect of Johnstone’s writing and the stories he tells: the way he combines physics and modern music and wonderfully poignant stories with gripping moments of tension. 

The Skelf family never fail to make me smile. The series focuses on three women, Dorothy, Jenny and Hannah, who are three generations from the same family. Johnstone has created three incredibly strong female characters and whilst I am reading I feel as though I am part of their family, beside them with every struggle and sharing in their moments of happiness. Johnstone understands their issues and emotions so well and this comes across on the page brilliantly. 

As always, we join the Skelfs for some intriguing investigations and interesting times in their personal lives. There are several different threads to Black Hearts and they all engaged me completely from beginning to end. 

I can’t wait to be back with the Skelfs next time!

Black Hearts is available from Amazon.

You can follow the rest of the blog tour here:

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