Today, the Blog Tour for Doug Johnstone's The Jump arrives at Euro Crime where we have a review of The Jump, written by Amanda Gillies.
Doug Johnstone, August 2015, 288 pages, Faber & Faber, ISBN: 0571321577
Reviewed by Amanda Gillies.
(Read more of Amanda's reviews for Euro Crime here.)
THE JUMP is the seventh book written by the very talented Doug Johnstone. Just when you start to wonder how on earth it could be possible for him to write anything better than his last masterpiece, he does it again and ups the stakes still further. Magnificent. This book is full of the usual Johnstone chaos but beautifully mixed in with a sad tale of life after bereavement – specifically, the tragic loss of a teenage son to suicide and how his parents struggle to cope in the aftermath.
Ellie’s life was torn apart when her son, Logan, jumped off the Forth Road Bridge. THE JUMP is set six months after this tragic event, with Ellie taking daily walks onto the bridge, and her husband flyering and obsessed with conspiracy theories, in an attempt to keep on going when they feel as if they have nothing left. One morning Ellie is following her usual pattern when she encounters Sam – another teenage boy – in a highly distressed state and clearly about to hurl himself from the bridge as well. Ellie talks him back from the edge and takes him home, determined to save this life even though she couldn’t save her son. Sam does not want to go back to his parents and Ellie goes to find out what the problem is. By doing so, she becomes embroiled in some very dark secrets and the reader wonders just how far she is prepared to go in order to save Sam. But, as it says on the front of the book, “you can do anything if you have nothing left to lose …”
If you have yet to read anything by this author then I suggest you do so, without delay. His words always have a particularly hard-hitting edge to them, that lingers when the book is done and safely on your bookshelf. THE JUMP is the saddest of all Johnstone’s books and has left me with a lump in my throat, along with, of course, the usual exhilaration from being carried along on the tidal wave of emotions that work by this author never fails to evoke.
I am lost for superlatives to describe this book. It’s excellent. Go and read it. Now.
Extremely Highly Recommended.
Amanda Gillies, August 2015.