Hit and Run by Doug Johnstone

Book Review by Amy Balloch | 29 Feb 2012
Book title: Hit and Run
Author: Doug Johnstone

Doug Johnstone continues his fascination with cliffs and cars in his fourth novel Hit and Run, a story following trainee reporter Billy Blackmore, who, after a night of drinking and drugging, accidentally knocks down Edinburgh’s biggest crime boss. True to the novel’s name, Billy panics and flees the scene of the crime, but fate catches up with him when he finds himself in the unfortunate circumstance of having to cover the story the following day.  

Hit and Run promises much, and establishes a great, foreboding atmosphere, but somehow lacks the element of surprise even when it does provide the occasional curveball. You may not see it coming, and yet you remain unsurprised when it does. However, its predictability does not make for a dull read; it’s still a gripping plot with real characters and easy dialogue, which is not to mention its accomplishment in developing a charming central character (and criminal) within the crime genre. Johnstone makes writing an interesting story look easy. He is an exemplary author who works the ‘less is more’ angle perfectly. Anyone, and especially any Scot, will enjoy relating to this novel, at least on a cultural level.


Release date 1 March. Published by Faber. Cover price £12.99.