Smokeheads, By Doug Johnstone

Four forty-something friends take off for a whisky-drinking winter weekend on the Scottish island of Islay: single-malt connoisseur Adam, who dreams of opening his own distillery; über-hedonist banker Roddy, who practically breathes cocaine; straight man Ethan, and sensitive Luke. The boys not only fall out among themselves, but also run into trouble with the locals. Roddy cops off with a barmaid; Adam entertains tender feelings for a distillery guide who is the ex-wife of a brutal and corrupt copper. What starts as a drink-and-drugs soaked piece of superior lad-lit turns into a ferocious thriller reminiscent of Straw Dogs. The characterisation is a little broad, but you won't want to stop reading. It also makes you thirst for whisky.