40 of 41 people found the following review helpful
A welcome change of tone from Brookmyre,
This review is from: Attack of the Unsinkable Rubber Ducks (Hardcover)
Well now, this is a pleasant surprise. Brookmyre's last novel was the first to really break the familiar though hugely enjoyable formula of all his other books - incompetent terrorists or wannabee gangsters getting into explosive siege situations with high bodycounts and an even higher expletive quotient. It was a formula however that was starting to get a bit stale, but with 'Blood and Hard Black Pencil' Brookmyre showed that he was capable of stretching his range a little bit. 'Attack of the Unsinkable Rubber Ducks' goes much further.
It might be slightly toned-down and lacking the usual barrage of one-liners, but Brookmyre's mordant sarcasm and bitter cynicism is still there, and there is no slacking in the writer's mischievous debunking of the establishment. If anything, his target in 'Rubber Ducks' is a rather more pertinent one than the usual government-led conspiracies, small-time ned gangsters and anonymous terrorist organisations. In his targeting of the fraudsters and tricksters who call themselves mediums, spiritualists and psychic entertainers, it's not too much of a stretch to see he is attacking the credulous public's growing tolerance and acceptance for the unscientific beliefs of Creationism and Intelligent Design and their encroachment into the nation's classrooms. (A few sideswipes at the Holyrood and the Daily Mail don't go amiss either).
Anyone looking for the familiar explosive Brookmyre pyrotechnics is going to be disappointed by this new book, but those who consider the author a talented writer will be delighted to see him develop his style and range and put all that bitter rage towards something more meaningful than the enjoyable but all-blurred-into-one homogeneity of his previous books. It's not perfect however. Brookmyre attempts a few sleights of hand of his own here which are delightful to see play out - his research into the tricks of the trade is evident and he makes a convincing case - but the major revelations are rather predictable in their outcome. Still, it's a welcome new change of direction and a progressive one that is very promising indeed.