Top positive review
33 people found this helpful
Well, I enjoyed it!
on 6 June 2012
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?