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#SkelfSunday Because the dead can’t speak… The Great Silence by Doug Johnstone @Doug_Johnstone @OrendaBooks #TheGreatSilence #TheSkelfs

Keeping on top of the family funeral directors’ and private-investigation businesses is no easy task for the Skelf women, and when matriarch Dorothy discovers a human foot while walking the dog, a perplexing case presents itself … with potentially deadly results.

Daughter Jenny and grand-daughter Hannah have their hands full too: The mysterious circumstances of a dying woman lead them into an unexpected family drama, Hannah’s new astrophysicist colleague claims he’s receiving messages from outer space, and the Skelf’s teenaged lodger has yet another devastating experience.

Nothing is clear as the women are immersed ever deeper in their most challenging cases yet. But when the daughter of Jenny’s violent and fugitive ex-husband goes missing without trace and a wild animal is spotted roaming Edinburgh’s parks, real danger presents itself, and all three Skelfs are in peril.

Title: The Great Silence
Author: Doug Johnstone
Publisher: Orenda Books
Format: Physical, gifted uncorrected proof
Publication date: eBook – 19th June 2021, Paperback – 19th August 2021
Pre-order here:

I am struggling to name a fictional trio more iconic than The Skelfs; Dorothy, Jenny and Hannah have wormed their way into my heart, not only because of their empathy towards the dead, extraordinary PI skills and family drama, but also because it is refreshing to have strong female protagonists at the front line of a usual male character fronting genre. The Great Silence is the third instalment of The Skelfs series written by the talented Doug Johnstone, if you have not met the Skelfs yet, please do – this series will fast become one of your favourites, believe me.

The Great Silence follows the three Skelf women as they are all drawn into their own mysteries to solve while also balancing their funeral directors and personal lives. First, we have Dorothy who discovers a human foot and is immediately pulled into a case with several questions hanging over it, most importantly who does the foot belong to? After the death of her husband, Dorothy has been working through her grief while immersing herself into the business of the dead, after losing her husband – her life partner I think her heart feels safer comforting those who have lost love ones while taking her mind off her own pain with cases that come in from the family PI company. With Jenny and Hannah’s cases keeping them occupied, we see three independent cases being investigated in parallel to one another, with flickering of point of views (done perfectly as always) I was absorbed, inhaling the unravelling storylines and before I knew it, I turned the last page in a bubble of all the emotions, speechless and needing comfort biscuits.

Doug has created another exceptionally brilliant slice of fiction that incorporates themes of family, mental health, grief and more into the storyline, themes of importance, ones that create for an emotive drive, shaded with darkness at times and sprinkled with humour to lighten pitch black tones. I really cannot adequately express how much I loved The Great Silence; it is written in such a way that you cannot help but place yourself in our protagonist’s shoes, with their individual thought processes and personalities, you feel that you’re returning to see old friends with your detective hat at the ready.

The whole series is fantastic, although it is possible for you to read this book independently of the first two in the series, I recommend that you start off at the beginning because with each instalment you will become to understand the characters as individuals, as well as how they interact with one another, especially with nods to others in the series. The whole Skelf series is NOT to be missed.

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1 thought on “#SkelfSunday Because the dead can’t speak… The Great Silence by Doug Johnstone @Doug_Johnstone @OrendaBooks #TheGreatSilence #TheSkelfs

  1. Now that’s an unusual combination of businesses under one ownership: funeral directors’ and private-investigation


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