I was on The Janice Forsyth Show today


In case you don’t know, The Janice Forsyth Show is BBC Radio Scotland’s flagship daytime arts programme. It’s cracking, and she’s lovely. Anyhoo, I was on it today, as part of their regular Tuesday Review.

Alongside TV critic Paul Whitelaw and playwright Sophie Good, we talked about the new second series of Happy Valley starring Sara Lancashire, Henning Mankell’s posthumous book of essays Quicksand, and Elton John’s new album. A good time was had by all. Except for when we listened to the Elton John album. Tune in from 1hr 25mins onwards. Enjoy!

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Two more cracking reviews for The Jump


After hitting three ‘best book’ lists of 2015, The Jump has started 2016 in fine fettle, picking up a couple of cracking blog reviews. First up, Nigel Bird rates it highly over on Sea Minor: ‘Johnstone pulls no punches in his delivery.’

Then, from the other side of the world, Aussie blog Reactions to Reading has a good old rave about it: ‘The Jump is not the kind of book you should start when you only have a few reading minutes at hand. Once begun you’ll want need to finish it quickly.’

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News Round-Up

Posting the other day about my next book coming out made me realise I have a bunch of other news to catch y’all up on, so here it all is below:

There’s no easy way to talk about books selling well without sounding like a bragging moron, but I’m going to do it anyway. I just learned that I have sold over 300,000 books across all seven novels. Amazingly, two thirds of those sales are for GONE AGAIN, which just seems to keep on keeping on. HIT & RUN is also no slouch at 75,000 and counting. Believe me, no one is more surprised by this turn of events than me. Not complaining, likes!

Not quite. But my UK publisher Faber & Faber are moving into the American market, and are publishing two of my novels, GONE AGAIN and THE JUMP, in paperback in the US later this year. I’ll also be attending the Bouchercon crime writing convention for the first time, in glorious New Orleans in September. Can’t wait!

My most recent novel, THE JUMP, is being published in a lovely new paperback edition with a new cover on May 5th. Look out for it.

I’m going to be at various festivals around the place this year, but annoyingly none of the line-ups have been announced yet, so I can’t tell you exactly where and when. More soon.

August this year is the tenth annivesary of my debut novel, TOMBSTONING, hitting the shelves. I will mostly be celebrating by raising a wee dram and shaking my head wondering where the time has gone. Join me in wondering about the passing of the years!

I’m still RLF Fellow at Queen Margaret University and loving it. I’m also taking part in the RLF’s Bridge project, giving academic writing workshops in schools, and training to be an RLF Consultant Fellow, which will involve doing the same in universities.

I have a ton of new songs accumulated, and plan to record a new EP or album this year if I can find the time. Which I will. Honest.

I’m doing two stints up at Moniack in the Scottish Highlands this year, tutoring creative writing to aspiring writers. February and November. It’s a beautiful place run by amazing people, so if you’re looking for a writing retreat I can heartily recommend it.

Not strictly news as such, but I’ve been assessing manuscripts for The Literary Consultancy for a few years now and I can definitely recommend them as a great service for aspiring writers. Just a wee plug!

I recently took part in an episode of Eggheads with fellow crime writers Val McDermid, Mark Billingham, Chris Brookmyre and Martyn Waites. It was tremendous fun. I can’t tell you the outcome, but it’s due to be aired sometime in September apparently.

That’ll do for now, eh?

Cheers, Doug

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CRASH LAND – New Book News!

I am absolutely delighted to announce that my eighth novel, CRASH LAND, will be published by Faber & Faber in November this year. I won’t say much more about it now, except that it’s set in Orkney, and starts with an incident on a plane. As you might expect with one of my books, things go wrong. Very wrong.


Anyway, very excited! There will no doubt be more chat about the book and hopefully a cover to show you soon.

Cheers, Dx

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My review of Amy Liptrot’s The Outrun in Indy on Sunday


I absolutely loved this book. A great mix of nature writing and memoir, a first book from an amazing writer. Check it out. Here’s my review in the Indy on Sunday.

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Books to look out for in 2016

Here’s a thing I wrote for The Big Issue about books to look forward to in 2016. I picked books by Amy Liptrot, Helen FitzGerald, Jenni Fagan, Megan Abbott and Hollie McNish. I also wrote about a Tim Winton memoir, but that seems to have got lost. Ho hum.

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My favourite book of 2015

Before Christmas, WH Smith asked me about my favourite book of the year. Here it is on their website. I picked Kent Haruf’s Our Souls At Night (Picador).

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