I believe this is Christian Cooks first novel, and reveals a very creative authorship which will only get better with future projects.
I was very impressed with Cook's character descriptions. This novel does not seem to revolve around one central character, but around a myriad of supporting characters, each beautifully crafted and unique, and how they view events in this mad world.
While there appears to be two central plot points; (solving a homicide mystery involving the London mafia, and ludicrous terrorist bombings/threats that make no sense to the world populace) the author does a fine job of taking serious events and putting a spin of dark humor on them. The characters really do take a serious approach to events, but clearly shows the reader how flawed we are as humans and interpret things so wrongly. The terrorists are anti-social, anti-commercial culture, anti-establishment but are bumbling fools. The cops involved in solving a mysterious homicide are portrayed as the keystone cops, yet they really do think they are doing well.
There are funny moments throughout the book that will have you laughing, but more that will make you smile or grin than will have you rolling on the floor. Again, its not so much the two plots that drive this book, but the bumbling characters and the desire to see what happens next to them and how they will handle it...brilliant.
The toughest obstacle for me as the reader was the constant jumping around of time frames and scenes. The novel doesn't flow chronologically as the reader is taken from 1999, to the late 60's, then to the mid 80's, etc...etc... And the plot points don't follow as well, it is as if you are reading 2-3 separate short stories, only for them to come together in a loose way towards the end of the book.
Now, I'm not knocking the novel. It was entertaining...the style to me reminded me of the movies 'Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels' meets 'Pulp Fiction'. Humor and tragedy coupled with both cultural and political statements.
I will read Cook's second novel if it is anything like Broken Eggshells.