- 20 Jan 11
The strange world of Scottish whiskey forms the backdrop for Doug Johnstone’s fast-paced new crime novel. He explains why he has developed an aversion to fiction that is clever for its own sake and why the UK publishing industry is stacked against Scottish writers.
Musician, journalist and novelist Doug Johnstone’s third novel, Smokeheads, is one of the flagship books on Faber’s 2011 thriller list. Touted as the missing link between Sideways and The Wicker Man, it’s the high-octane tale of four 30-something gadabouts who embark on a whiskey tasting sortie to the island of Islay in the Inner Hebrides, and find themselves embroiled in a local police bootlegging conspiracy that culminates in multiple murders and exploding distilleries. Spicing chemical generation disaffection with Rankin-type tartan noir in all too familiar sub-zero temperatures, it’s a three-hour read.