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A Snowball in Hell Paperback – 14 Aug 2008


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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown; Exclusive to Waterstones edition (14 Aug 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 140870062X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1408700624
  • Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,460,523 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Chris Brookmyre was a journalist before becoming a full time novelist with the publication of QUITE UGLY ONE MORNING. Since writing A BIG BOY DID IT AND RAN AWAY he and his family decided to move away from Aberdeen and now live near Glasgow.

Product Description

Review

'Dazzling comic skills' The Times 'Sharply satirical and poignantly funny, this is a gripping and highly entertaining read.' Time Out 'Chris Brookmyre is a genius.' Mirror 'Brookmyre has no equal.' Maxim 'Achingly funny' Sunday Times 'Exhilarating linguistic fluency and keenly subversive intelligence' Scotland on Sunday

Book Description

He's alive. Simon Darcourt, professional assassin par excellence, only now behaving more like an amateur serial killer with attitude. And it's up to Angelique De Xavier to bring his particular brand of mayhem to a halt. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By G. J. Oxley TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 24 Aug 2008
Format: Paperback
One of the three main characters in this book is a sleight of hand specialist. Zal Innez previously appeared in the excellent `The Sacred Art of Stealing' alongside Angelique De Xavia, the policewoman who hunted him down, then let him escape because she loved him. His stagecraft is a metaphor for this book insofar as NOTHING is as it seems and author Christopher Brookmyre stuns us regularly throughout with a whole series of brilliant set-pieces of misdirection.

Here, Angelique relocates and recruits Zal to help her capture arch-baddie Simon Darcourt (who previously appeared in `A Big Boy Did it and Ran Away, together with Angelique). Zal and Angelique put their unresolved love affair on hold as they pursue Darcourt, who is capturing celebrity after celebrity and killing them in his own bizarre version of a reality TV show. She also has a special vested interest in apprehending him that I won't give away.

Halfway through this book I actually thought Christopher was trowelling on the satire too heavily, taking pot shots at too many easy targets: crap racist 70s comedians, gold-digging WAGS, reality TV, manufactured teen bands, splenetic right wing newspaper columnists. And some of these had already been covered by Ben Elton in `Dead Famous' and `Chart Throb'. But I have to say I was then bowled over by an excellent bit of misdirection - pure Jeffrey Deaver in execution - and was later actually punching the air and grinning from ear to ear at the audacity of later examples of his legerdemain.

It goes without saying that there are several hilarious passages, and that Christopher is 1000% more caustic than Ben Elton, or the other writer he's often compared to, Florida's own moral guardian, the great Carl Hiaasen.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By G. J. Oxley TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 6 Dec 2008
Format: Paperback
One of the three main characters in this book is the sleight of hand specialist, Zal Innez who previously appeared in the excellent `The Sacred Art of Stealing' alongside policewoman Angelique De Xavia. His stagecraft is a metaphor for this book insofar as NOTHING is as it seems and author Christopher Brookmyre stuns us regularly throughout with a whole series of brilliant set-pieces of misdirection.

Here, Angelique relocates and recruits Zal to help her capture arch-baddie Simon Darcourt (who previously appeared in `A Big Boy Did it and Ran Away, together with Angelique). Zal and Angelique put their unresolved love affair on hold as they pursue Darcourt, who is capturing celebrity after celebrity and killing them in his own bizarre version of a reality TV show. She also has a special vested interest in apprehending him that I won't give away.

Halfway through this book I actually thought Christopher was trowelling on the satire too heavily, taking pot shots at too many easy targets: crap racist 70s comedians, gold-digging WAGS, reality TV, manufactured teen bands, splenetic right wing newspaper columnists. And some of these had already been covered by Ben Elton in `Dead Famous' and `Chart Throb'. But I have to say I was then bowled over by an excellent bit of misdirection - pure Jeffrey Deaver in execution - and was later actually punching the air and grinning from ear to ear at the audacity of later examples of his legerdemain.

It goes without saying that there are several hilarious passages, and that Christopher is 1000% more caustic than Ben Elton, or the other writer he's often compared to, Florida's own moral guardian, the great Carl Hiaasen.

`A Snowball in Hell' is a high-octane mix of thriller, satire...
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Ryan Miller on 25 Aug 2008
Format: Paperback
So let's consider the facts, familiar characters (from at least 3 different previous books), familiar unapologetic in-your-face style, typical west of Scotland sense of humour...so, you have to ask, is it all going to start getting a bit boring?...answer, not a snowball's chance in hell (sorry about that!).

After waiting patiently over the last few months for my next Brookmyre fix, I polished off 'Snowball in Hell' in two mesmeric sittings. As always, I found myself laughing out loud throughout the novel at Brookmyre's depiction of Scottish humour and attitudes. If there is another writer out there doing what he does better, I have yet to come across him/her. While this ability to make people laugh is undoubtedly a key to Brookmyre's success, his ability to tell a story and seduce the reader into suspending their disbelief and losing themselve in the plot is what keeps me and i'm sure many others coming back for more.

Snowball sees the return of Simon Dacourt, Brookmyre's resident ego-maniacal mercenary terrorist. Again, the fate of Dacourt is tied to the success of the book's heroine, Angelique de Xavier, Glesga Polis' posterchild for equal opportunities given her ugandan/glasweigan heritage. Xavier has aged both physically and emotionally since thwarting Dacourt's last terrorist outing, years which have added even more venom and cynicism to her professional posterier. Brookmyre does a much better job though of revealing a softer side to the character, making her a much more multi-dimensional and, for it, likeable heroine.
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