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Crash Land

3.52  ·  Rating details ·  158 ratings  ·  46 reviews
Sitting in the departure lounge of Kirkwall Airport, Finn Sullivan just wants to get off Orkney. But then he meets the mysterious and dangerous Maddie Pierce, stepping in to save her from some unwanted attention, and his life is changed forever.

Set against the brutal, unforgiving landscape of Orkney, CRASH LAND is a psychological thriller steeped in guilt, shame, lust, dec

Kindle Edition, 265 pages
Published November 3rd 2016 by Faber & Faber
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3.52  · 
Rating details
 ·  158 ratings  ·  46 reviews

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3.5 stars

Finn Sullivan has spent the last few days visiting his grandmother Ingrid on the Orkney Islands. They’re close & it was good to catch up but now all he wants is to get back to uni, finish his course work & figure out what to do about his girlfriend.

He’s sitting in Kirkwall Airport when he first sees her. Maddie is a beautiful, older woman who shares Finn’s desire to leave the Orkneys. So when their flight is delayed they pass the time getting to know each other at the bar. Fina
Nov 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: crime-thrillers
Crash Land – Another Johnstone Classic

Doug Johnstone is back with Crash Land and he has delivered yet another classic thriller that will keep you on edge throughout and constantly questioning what you know. This brilliant thriller takes place with the background of winter out on the Orkney Island, with its harsh backdrop and the full force of winter.

Finn Sullivan wants to get off Orkney and it cannot happen quick enough, he wants to be back in Dundee for Christmas and away from the harsh island.
Kate~Bibliophile Book Club
Bloody hell that Doug Johnstone knows how to hook a reader! Crash Land starts of with a bang and the pace is absolutely relentless. I devoured this book in less than 24 hours, reading at every available opportunity to see what the hell was going on!

Starting off innocuously enough, the reader meets Finn waiting at the airport for his flight home. Seeing Maddie in the lounge getting hassle, he goes to try and help her out. This moment will change the course of their lives forever.

I’ve read a coupl
Oct 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
Even though I have enjoyed all this authors novels, Hit and Run has always been my personal favourite. Well, that is until today. After reading Crash Land, it is without a doubt now my firm favourite, very closely followed by Hit and Run.

Crash Land is a very atmospheric read. Set in Orkney you get a real feel for how isolated a lot of the area is. No doubt it is a beautiful place but due to the story line it left me feeling quite chilled to the bone. The weather can be relentless at times and so
Dec 08, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016
*May contain spoilers*
I enjoy books where the facts are all laid out and you have to draw your own conclusions about what happened; you aren’t given concrete answers. This is the case in Crash Land. I enjoyed that aspect of the story. However, this will bother some readers.

This author is very descriptive. There were times when I appreciated these details such as the plane crash and the action scenes, but there were others, like the island descriptions when it was too much and caused me to skim.
Oct 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Excellent writing as I've come to expect from Johnstone. Orkney comes alive in this tense thriller.
Claire Wilson
Oct 31, 2016 rated it liked it

Having read and enjoyed author Doug Johnstone’s previous novels, I jumped at the chance to read crash land – even though it begins with my least favourite subject – a plane crash! When his plane is delayed, Finn meets Maddie at the bar and a spark of attraction is ignited. But when the plane crashes and Maddie escapes unharmed, why is she intent on contacting Finn and why does she have a bag of money? With the Police deploying tactics to track her down, Finn knows he should stay away. But the at
Oct 04, 2016 rated it liked it
 This book is a real page turner.  At just under 300 pages this is the perfect book to read in one afternoon.   The author has done a fantastic job with the descriptions of both places and characters in this book, I felt like I was there.  He also did a great job with the main character Finn, whom I loved. All in all a good read. I received this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review,
Linda Hepworth
Nov 06, 2016 rated it did not like it

University student Finn Sullivan has been visiting his grandmother on Orkney but is now about to return to Dundee, where he lives with his girlfriend. Whilst waiting at the airport on the island for a flight back to the mainland, he is attracted by fellow traveller Maddie Pierce, an attractive woman more than ten years his senior. When she is clearly upset by some unwanted attention from a group of oil workers, who are also waiting for the flight out, he takes the opportunity to make contact wit
Nov 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
Following hot on the heels of last year’s The Jump, I had high expectations for Crash Land. Doug Johnstone knows how to write a cracking thriller. Crash Land was masses of dark fun and incredibly engaging. I was shaking my head at the stupidity of Finn for most of the time.

The story itself takes us to remote Scotland. Finn lives on the Scottish mainland, with his girlfriend. He is coming back to Orkney, when he encounters an older mysterious woman. This sets off a tragic chain of events. Finn sp
Linda Boa
Sep 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-for-blog
I'm doing a blog tour for this nearer publication - my review will appear November 2nd, so I'll be sure to copy my thoughts onto here. But my star rating will give you an indication of my thoughts! Oddly, it's the first Doug Johnstone I've read, although I was reading The Jump en route to Bloody Scotland, as it was in the last 4 up for the McIlvanney Prize - it didn't win; that honour went to Chris Brookmyre's exceptional Black Widow. Anyway, as ever, I digress - but I really must finish it!
Liz Barnsley
Aug 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
Read this on the train yesterday.

Really thought it was great, great story, divisive characters, poignant setting. Full review nearer publication.

Oct 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing

Crash Land is a compulsive thriller. It is packed full of action and intrigue, with an unlikely super hero lead character and the wonderfully depicted Orkney island. It's far from my usual sort of read, but I was absolutely gripped by the writing, and the plot and the tension that the author so brilliantly creates.

Finn Sullivan was brought up on Orkney, but now lives on the mainland with his girlfriend, he's been
back to visit his Gran and is waiting for a flight home. At the airport he rushes t
Oct 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
I'm a big fan of Doug Johnstone's books and heard him mention this book briefly last year at the book launch for his previous novel The Jump. I am not a fan of flying, however, and this book did little to dispel my fears! It begins with Finn Sullivan meeting and having a few drinks with stranger Maddie Pierce at Kirkwall airport after their flight is delayed due to bad weather. Once in the air, in the tiny plane, Finn becomes involved in a fight with an oil worker who is harrassing Maddie - a bi ...more
John Travers
May 17, 2018 rated it liked it
again im giving a higher rating to a Doug Johnstone book that it deserves. again the main plot is mince. again in the last 10% of the book the baddie is chosen and theres a struggle and the good guy comes out okay.

but.... what Johnstone always gets right, gets 5 star, is the descriptions, the characters, the back story. in this, the majority of the book is great, the whole start at the airport, the crash, the characters, excellent. like his other books, he takes a bad story and fills it out wond
Apr 10, 2018 rated it liked it
This was an ok book to read whilst on holiday but it didn’t have much substance to it. Weak characters who never really developed. I just got annoyed by Finn, who would do what he did after just meeting a woman, never mind how enticing she was? Although I did enjoy the descriptions of Orkney and I did dream about a plane crash last night, so maybe the book got to me more than I thought!
May 07, 2017 rated it liked it
Oh dear. There's a plane crash, and while the circumstances leading up to it were a bit of a stretch, so was everything else. It wasn't so bad that I failed to finish but I was happy when it was all over. Couldn't care less about any of the characters - wished they'd all died!
Leigh Lennon
Aug 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is another favorite by Doug Johnstone. When Maddie single handedly brings down a plane, Finn is intoxicated by her and makes bad decisions about hiding her until he can't anymore. She is mysterious but dangerous, part of the alure for the young Finn.
This is a great mystery and a must read!
Doug Johnstone will appear at Durham Book Festival on Oct 14th 2017 so I got his latest book in preparation for the event

It did appeal to me right from start as Orkney is one of my favourite places in Scotland and the setting was very atmospheric. I didn't quite warm to Finn and wanted to slap him a few times but I guess he was a young man finding himself in a very bizarre situation.

I registered a book at!
Alexandra Brown
Aug 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio-book
Aside from the ongoing mystery of the murderer etc, I loved the descriptions of the Orkney landscape. I would like to read more by this author.1
Aug 24, 2017 rated it liked it
enjoyed reading it but didn't love the ending.
May 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Thoroughly enjoyed this book, especially given it was a blind pick from the local library, will definitely keep an eye out for others from Doug Johnstone
Chip Midnight
Nov 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
very good thriller. recommended.
Gillian Black
Mar 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Brilliant fast paced story.
Aug 17, 2017 rated it liked it
Enjoyable page-turner set in Orkney (which has made me want to drag myself up there to visit the islands), which is pleasingly unpredictable throughout.
May 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
The best Doug Johnstone book imo.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 28, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
didn't quite get the motivation of the main character, but intrigued by the loaction descriptions
David Kenvyn
Jan 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I love Doug Johnstone’s books.   They do not end happily ever after.   He recognises that life is messy, that people make mistakes and that there are consequences.   And there is no question that Finn makes a mistake.   It is not so much that he lets an older woman chat him up at Orkney Airport, when it is obvious that she is only doing it to get away from an oil worker who is sexually harassing her.   It is the fact that he gets involved in a fight with the oil worker on a plane when all he had ...more
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Doug Johnstone is a writer, musician and journalist based in Edinburgh. His fourth novel, Hit & Run, is published by Faber and Faber on March 15th 2012. His previous novel, Smokeheads, was published in March 2011, also by Faber. before that he published two novels with Penguin, Tombstoning (2006) and The Ossians (2008), which received praise from the likes of Irvine Welsh, Ian Rankin and Chris ...more
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