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The Opposite of Lonely

by Doug Johnstone

Paperback £9.99
Published 14th September 2023
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in Bath

in Edinburgh

in Ely

in St Andrews


A body lost at sea, arson, murder, astronauts, wind phones, communal funerals, stalking and conspiracy theories … This can ONLY mean one thing! The Skelfs are back, and things are as tense, unnerving and warmly funny as ever!
‘A terrific read with all of Johnston’s trademark warmth and wicked wit in the latest gripping outing for this beguiling family’ A K Turner 
‘Some of the best female characters in crime fiction. Pitch-perfect balance of dark and light … disturbing, compassionate and brilliantly funny’ Sarah Hilary
The Skelfs series just gets better and better! Outstanding characters and a gripping plot … Doug Johnstone is one of the greats of Scottish crime fiction’ Luca Veste
Even death needs company…
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 an illegal campsite 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…
Tense, unnerving and warmly funny, The Opposite of Lonely is the hugely anticipated fifth instalment in the unforgettable Skelfs series, and this time, danger comes from everywhere…
‘If you loved Iain Banks, you’ll devour the Skelfs series’ Erin Kelly
‘Authentic female characters … Short, punchy chapters mean that the pace is brisk, and Johnstone’s deft way of portraying old and new characters means that even novice readers of the series won’t be left behind’ Scotsman
‘An absolute joy to read … full of such wonderful characters, brilliantly realised, with more peril and intrigue. Certainly the best one yet’ James Oswald
‘Wonderful characters: flawed, funny and brave’ Sunday Times
Johnstone never fails to entertain whilst packing a serious emotional punch’ Gytha Lodge
‘A unique brand of crime fiction boasting rare heart and depth’ Ambrose Parry
‘Some of the most unique characters in crime fiction’ Daily Express
‘Gritty, atmospheric and, above all, profoundly moving. An emotional education in the most unexpected of ways … I loved it’ Sarah Sultoon
‘A must for those seeking strong, authentic, intelligent female protagonists’ Publishers Weekly
‘The Skelfs books are brilliant’ Miranda Dickinson


The Opposite of Lonely
by Doug Johnstone


Orenda Books


Publication date
Sept. 14, 2023