The Big Chill

by Doug Johnstone

Part of the The Skelfs Series

Crime and Mystery Family Drama Humorous fiction Thriller and Suspense eBooks of the Month

LoveReading Expert Review of The Big Chill

A heady mix of emotions are encouraged to run riot as three women from one family operate a funeral home and private investigation business side by side.

A stimulating, provocative brew containing drama, intrigue, dark humour, and thoughtful contemplation. It shouldn’t work, yet it does! The Skelf women return for a second outing running their funeral home and private investigation business side by side. Still affected by the turmoil from the first book in the series A Dark Matter (do read this first), investigations begin after a car crashes into the grave at a funeral. The first sentence is a corker, and sets the tone. Each chapter is headed by one of the three Skelf women, with the individual voices of grandmother Dorothy, her daughter Jenny, and granddaughter Hannah independently vibrant. I particularly like the multi-generational aspect to this series with the storyline bustling from one woman to the next. There is a fair bit of death to be found here, but where there’s death there is life too. All the small things that make up our existence, plus some huge pummelling emotions such as grief and anger are on offer. Doug Johnstone paints a multi-dimensional 360 degree vibrant view, and sparked a heady mix of thoughts and feelings as I read. The Big Chill is an energetic, colourful, and dare I say entertaining read that encourages both smirks and reflection.

Liz Robinson

The Big Chill Synopsis

Running private investigator and funeral home businesses means trouble is never far away, and the Skelf women take on their most perplexing, chilling cases yet in book two of this darkly funny, devastatingly tense and addictive new series!

Haunted by their past, the Skelf women are hoping for a quieter life. But running both a funeral directors' and a private investigation business means trouble is never far away, and when a car crashes into the open grave at a funeral that matriarch Dorothy is conducting, she can't help looking into the dead driver's shadowy life.

While Dorothy uncovers a dark truth at the heart of Edinburgh society, her daughter Jenny and granddaughter Hannah have their own struggles. Jenny's ex-husband Craig is making plans that could shatter the Skelf women's lives, and the increasingly obsessive Hannah has formed a friendship with an elderly professor that is fast turning deadly.

But something even more sinister emerges when a drumming student of Dorothy's disappears and suspicion falls on her parents. The Skelf women find themselves sucked into an unbearable darkness - but could the real threat be to themselves?

Following three women as they deal with the dead, help the living and find out who they are in the process, The Big Chill follows A Dark Matter, book one in the Skelfs series, which reboots the classic PI novel while asking the big existential questions, all with a big dose of pitch-black humour.

About This Edition

ISBN: 9781913193348
Publication date: 20th August 2020
Author: Doug Johnstone
Publisher: Orenda Books
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 300 pages
Collections: 80+ Humorous Novels - from Wry and Sly Observations to Outright Chuckles and Laughter.,
Primary Genre Crime and Mystery
Other Genres:

What To Read After The Big Chill

Murder, Forgotten
Remember Me This Way
The Guest List

Doug Johnstone Press Reviews

‘Confirms the Skelfs as a classic crime clan. I can’t wait for the next one’  Erin Kelly


Other editions of this book

ISBN: 9781913193348
Publication date: 20/08/2020
Format: Paperback

ISBN: 9781913193355
Publication date: 20/06/2020
Format: Ebook

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About Doug Johnstone

Doug Johnstone is the author of four novels, most recently Hit & Run, acclaimed by Ian Rankin as 'a great slice of noir' and by Irvine Welsh as 'a grisly parable for our times'. He is also a freelance journalist, a songwriter and musician, and has a PhD in nuclear physics. He lives in Edinburgh.   Author photo © Chris Scott  

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