Written by Doug Johnstone

Review written by Kirstie Long

A fanatical book reader, Kirstie has works hard to fit the ‘evil day job’ of Financial regulation around her passion of writing, promoting writers of all genres and encouraging more people to read books. Kirstie is the News and Events Co-ordinator for Shots.

Faber and Faber
RRP: £12.99
Released: 1st March 2012

Driving home from a party with his girlfriend and brother, all of them drunk and high on stolen pills, Billy Blackmore accidentally hits someone in the night. In a panic, they all decide to drive off. But the next day Billy wakes to find he has to cover the story for the local paper.

It turns out the dead man was Edinburgh's biggest crime lord and, as Billy struggles with what he's done, he is sucked into a nightmare of guilt, retribution and violence. From the author of the acclaimed Smokeheads, Hit & Run is another pitch-black psychological thriller – and the product description is correct.

Billy Blackmore has a happy life, living with his girlfriend and brother Charlie, training to be the reporter he wants to be, when he makes a mistake. A mistake that will have rippling repercussions and take him to the edge of sanity whilst he comes to terms with his guilt, responsibility and life style choices. Without giving away the plot too much, the story leads us through both the physical and mental ramifications of not only what he did, but also what he was persuaded to do - not stop. It is this fact that really leads the narrative through dark spiralling depths until the final implosion.

Doug leads us effortlessly through descriptions of rival factions of gangs and their inherent violence and beliefs whilst entwining it with both the police and newspaper investigations, Billy’s gradual loss of sanity and the behaviour of the widow. Full of strong and gritty characters that bring the book alive, there are hidden depths of morality and lessons shining dimly through the darkness to give a rounded story of a man loosing his sanity because of one decision.

Set in Edinburgh, which is skilfully illustrated, Hit & Run is dark, suspenseful and full of twists that will keep you wondering what the end can possibly be. 


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