Monday 25 September 2023

BLOG TOUR: The Opposite of Lonely (The Skelfs Book 5) - Doug Johnstone


The Skelf women are recovering from the cataclysmic events that nearly claimed their lives. Their funeral-director and private-investigation businesses are back on track, and their cases are as perplexing as ever.

Matriarch Dorothy looks into a suspicious fire at a travellers’ site, and takes a grieving, homeless man under her wing. Daughter Jenny is searching for her missing sister-in-law, who disappeared in tragic circumstances, while grand-daughter Hannah is asked to investigate increasingly dangerous conspiracy theorists, who are targeting a retired female astronaut ... putting her own life at risk.

With a body lost at sea, funerals for those with no one to mourn them, reports of strange happenings in outer space, a funeral crasher with a painful secret, and a violent attack on one of the family, The Skelfs face their most personal – and perilous – cases yet. Doing things their way may cost them everything...

What did I think?

I always get excited when a new Skelfs book comes out and The Opposite of Lonely is the fifth outstanding instalment in this fantastic series.  The three Skelf women are funeral directors and private investigators so there's a lot going on in the book to keep the reader entertained.

Dorothy, Jenny and Hannah have three separate but intermingling storylines in this novel and I was completely enthralled by each of them.  Something unusual always seems to happy at one of Dorothy's funerals and I have to admit to having a little giggle at the funeral at the start of the book.  Jenny is trying to track down her sister-in-law and a female astronaut hires Hannah to investigate increasingly dangerous threats.

As well as the riveting storylines for the three main characters, there are some really interesting things in the book that led to further discussion in my house, particularly the alternative funerals that I had never heard of before.  I have to say that a lot of the astrophysics went right over my head but it really puts into perspective our place in the universe.  

Incredibly entertaining and completely enthralling, The Opposite of Lonely is as thought-provoking as it is gripping and I absolutely loved it.  I love The Skelfs series and simply can't get enough of it so I hope Doug Johnstone has many more books planned.

I received a digital ARC to read and review for the blog tour and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

My rating:

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About the author:
Doug Johnstone is the author of sixteen novels, many of which have been bestsellers. The Space Between Us was chosen for BBC Two’s Between the Covers, while Black Hearts and The Big Chill were longlisted for the Theakston Crime Novel of the Year. Three of his books – A Dark Matter, Breakers and The Jump – have been shortlisted for the McIlvanney Prize. Doug has taught creative writing or been writer in residence at universities, schools, writing retreats, festivals, prisons and a funeral home. He’s also been an arts journalist for 25 years. He is a songwriter and musician with six albums and three EPs released, and he plays drums for the Fun Lovin’ Crime Writers, a band of crime writers. He’s also co-founder of the Scotland Writers Football Club and lives in Edinburgh with his family.

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