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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well, I enjoyed it!
I reviewed 'Where the Bodies Are Buried' last year, ending with "more please...and soon!" And finally, here it is. For me, this next instalment didn't disappoint - the mark of a great book for me is in its ability to keep me reading without wanting a break, and I can usually count on a Brookmyre for that. In fact this book kept me engrossed all over the Bank Holiday...
Published on 6 Jun 2012 by NinaJ

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I want it to be better
A continuation of the characters in his last book with Jasmine being the lead and Catherine being mostly irrelevant to the story. It's a perfectly good read but I don't read Chris Brookmyre for "perfectly good reads", I want something a little more surprising which this wasn't. I'll continue to read his books (which says something I guess) but without the level of...
Published 23 months ago by S. Young


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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well, I enjoyed it!, 6 Jun 2012
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This review is from: When The Devil Drives (Hardcover)
I reviewed 'Where the Bodies Are Buried' last year, ending with "more please...and soon!" And finally, here it is. For me, this next instalment didn't disappoint - the mark of a great book for me is in its ability to keep me reading without wanting a break, and I can usually count on a Brookmyre for that. In fact this book kept me engrossed all over the Bank Holiday weekend, which conveniently saved me from having to get involved in any Jubilee celebrations - thank you for the excellent timing Mr. Brookmyre/Amazon (but that's another story!)

Back to the book and the overall style...it's certainly true that the pace of these last two novels has been far less frenzied, with little trace of the surreal humour, sweary political rants and crazy bouts of violence that we've come to expect from Brookmyre, and if you didn't enjoy 'Where the Bodies Are Buried' then I doubt this will convert you - it's definitely more of the same. But that's what I personally liked about it. The humour is understated but still crackles throughout, plus Brookmyre slowed down means a full injection of dark, well-crafted descriptions and dialogue that doesn't detract from the story, so I found more depth in this than in some of his previous novels. Jasmine Sharp and Catherine McLeod are fantastically drawn characters; the one thing Brookmyre always manages to keep consistent with his writing (in my opinion, at least!) is his ability to create real people that live and breathe almost independently from the pages. His characters - even the minor ones in most cases - always keep me hooked. So while I do agree with the other reviewers in that the Jasmine Sharp/Glen Fallan relationship seemed a little bit underplayed in this book, for me this was done realistically and with a simmering undercurrent that suggests a lot more action and development to come. Ditto Catherine McLeod and her home life, and of course in the two characters' paths crossing on various cases. There is so much potential here and I'm really looking forward to reading more about both of these characters in future books.

And so to the plot of this particular book, which was elaborate without being overly complicated or hard to follow, launching me in all kinds of different directions as I read. The final denouement left me with a few tears pricking my eyes and a real longing to read the next instalment, and as a reader I can't ask for much more than that, can I?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I want it to be better, 9 Dec 2012
By 
S. Young - See all my reviews
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This review is from: When The Devil Drives (Kindle Edition)
A continuation of the characters in his last book with Jasmine being the lead and Catherine being mostly irrelevant to the story. It's a perfectly good read but I don't read Chris Brookmyre for "perfectly good reads", I want something a little more surprising which this wasn't. I'll continue to read his books (which says something I guess) but without the level of expectation I used to have.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable detour, 31 July 2013
By 
Jakeisthecoolest "Jake" - See all my reviews
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This review is from: When The Devil Drives (Kindle Edition)
This is the second of Brookmyre's forays into a traditional style thriller following on from 'Where the bodies are buried'. I have not read the first one, but, as usual with his books, continuity does not really matter and he subtly fills in the gaps from the previous novel.
The characters are well drawn out as you would expect from Brookmyre and the story is clever and original. While it does not have his obvious fingerprints all over it, unlike his more usual style books, it still has a the level of class and sophistication of an accomplished writer.
Great read and Jasmine is a great character, but i must confess that I'd rather see more of Angelique and Jack.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellently twisty, but lacking the comic moments that just made the last one, 29 July 2012
By 
Jim J-R (West Sussex, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: When The Devil Drives (Hardcover)
Chris Brookmyre's second 'serious' crime novel sees the returns of private investigator Jasmine Sharp, hunting for a missing person, and police detective Catherine McLeod, investigating the death of a leading figure in the arts world.

It's another fun-filled read littered with twists and turns in the plot as each of the investigators works through their clues. Jasmine has grown since her last appearance and as a character steals the show, while Catherine's appearance seems a little weaker and is perhaps slightly more of a supporting act.

There are still a few comic moments that remind of Brookmyre's previous run of thirteen humorous crime novels, but they are fewer than in the previous book and it gives the impression that he is trying to gradually distance his writing from this and transition into more serious storytelling. As a result I didn't find I enjoyed this story quite as much as Where the Bodies are Buried.

Overall though I was won over by the genius of the plot and Brookmyre's talent for misdirection. There was one thing that I thought fairly obvious throughout and was disappointed to find it wasn't a red herring, but plenty more had me baffled. I remain a Brookmyre fan.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but not great..., 22 July 2012
By 
Mr. T. Cook (London, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: When The Devil Drives (Kindle Edition)
I'm a big brookmyre fan and have read pretty much everything I can get my grubby little mits on. This book kept me engaged and happy while I was reading it but unlike most of his other books I forgot the plot almost instantly upon finishing it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brookmyre as good as ever, 20 July 2012
This review is from: When The Devil Drives (Hardcover)
Bought for the boy and he just chuckles next to me, taps me and reads entire pages to me. good to see some old characters again.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Wake me when it's over, 6 July 2012
By 
Denis Reed (Stockton-on-tees, Cleveland England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: When The Devil Drives (Hardcover)
Having very much enjoyed 'where the bodies are buried' I was looking forward to reading this the second in the Jasmine Sharp series.How wrong I was!
The first sixty pages or so were full of exposition about Jasmine's history from the first novel that was tedious in the extreme to someone coming to it from that book.But even when that was over it failed to pick up.At the half way mark I had just about decided to send it straight to the charity shop bag,so weary had I become of nothing interesting having occurred.The re-appearance of Glen Fallon momentarily raised my spirits-and the tempo of the story-but even he was engulfed by the general tedium of the narrative.I kept on to the end but what an ordeal it was.It is a boring book and has put me off reading any more in this series-should a third ever emerge.'Where the bodies are buried' was a cracking read-so good I read it twice-but this is dreadful.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Terribly disappointing, 9 July 2012
By 
A. W. Skinner (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: When The Devil Drives (Hardcover)
I have mainly enjoyed Brookmyre's work over the years. His early works usually went way over the top, but there was always humour, some great dialogue and some memorable characters. "When the Devil drives" is his second novel as "Chris" Brookmyre and he appears to be trying to lose all traces of his past. As a result, he underplays everything, there is no humour, there is desperately stilted dialogue and the characters are completely forgettable. I would have read an early Brookmyre in one sitting. This one took me a full week, and every time I picked up the book, I had genuinely forgotten who the characters were. Not a single one of them leaps off the page and I have terrible difficulty trying to visualise his mousy little heroine, Jasmine. The plot is all over the place. There is one interesting little twist, which is more Agatha Christie than Brookmyre, but,other than that, the book is absolutely forgettable. I do hope his publishers encourage him to return to the old style that made him such a vivid and imaginative writer.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars When the Devil Drives - I should have let this one drive by, 2 Aug 2012
By 
Mrs. S. Mccarra (Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: When The Devil Drives (Kindle Edition)
I've read them all. Usually put Christopher (Chris) Brookmyre on pre-order and get the hard back but I've got the Kindle now.

His early books were hilarious. Occasionally I'd need to add a warning with the recommendation to friends about lengthy "scene building" sections with "but it's worth it to get to the ending".

His first book with Jasmine was excellent a good new line for him with a strong character and good story. I won't be recommending his second. There have been lengthy chunks of wittering, boring "thoughts" of characters. There have been too many characters - not one sleuthing female but two with the dose of background family "scene setting" with the secondary one as well just to help us understand how she "solved" it.

There are also so many Shakespearean references which the author assumes every reader should understand that it comes across as arrogant and patronising. I'm a mature well educated reader looking for a good murder mystery/thriller and not a literary works to further my education.

I'm 95% of the way to the end when I should be racing to the finale and I'm off for my shower as he is now developing the baddy's relationship with another character. Sorry but for me this breaks the tension that I need in a thriller - no this is not.

Sorry, Chris, I've been with you all the way but perhaps you should stop racing to fire out the holiday read each year and wait till you have a good one. I'll wait next time till the price drops - if I bother at all.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars When the Devil Drives, 17 July 2013
By 
S Riaz "S Riaz" (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: When The Devil Drives (Kindle Edition)
This novel is the second featuring PI Jasmine Sharp and Detective Superintendent Catherine McLeod, the first being Where the Bodies are Buried. Jasmine Sharp has been asked to track down a missing person, which is quite common in her line of work. Alice Petrie is dying and wants to get in touch with the younger sister she lost touch with, actress Tess Garrion. As we know from the previous book, Jasmine wanted to be an actress herself, before inheriting her Uncle Jim's business, so she is interested in the case. She becomes more interested when she discovers that Tessa Garrion dropped out of existence shorting after working with Hamish Queen's fledgling theatre company. What happened in 1981 which meant that the company split up and all traces of Tessa vanished? Jasmine joins up with Glen Fallen to unmask a killer from a theatrical cast who include a headteacher, the head of Scottish tv drama, a horror film director, a theatre director and a minister amongst their number.

Meanwhile, Catherine McLeod is called to a corporate hospitality event, where someone linked to Jasmine's case is shot. Sir Angus McCready was hosting a Shakespeare play at his castle, when one of the guests is felled during a photoshoot. Jasmine, though, may be one step ahead - and closer to danger, as she unmasks old secrets. I really like this series, which has great characters and fantastic twists to the plot; as well as a lot of funny one liners. The next book is Flesh Wounds, which I am really looking forward to.
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When The Devil Drives
When The Devil Drives by Christopher Brookmyre
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