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My first Brookmyre, and I went on to read one more, but ...
on 8 September 2012
I was attracted to the book's ridiculous plot - 'school reunion on an oil rig? Okay, I'll go with that' - and the novelty sustained me enough to get to the finish. But it was touch and go. The prose style puts me in mind of a book of Woody Allen short stories I bought many years ago. Like Allen, Brookmyre is torn between being a writer and being a humorist - and too often the latter wins out. It's good to read funny, but he isn't always as funny as thinks he is - or else he strains at it, as if afraid he'll get caught being one of those soft southern 'literary writer' types. So too often he displays a this'll-get-a-laugh attitude to the material, where a simple telling of the tale would work just as well.
Maybe I was looking for more than the book could give. It's an easy read and makes portrays ordinary working class Scots without resorting to drunken violent stereotypes. His style isn't pretentious but it's definitely smart-alecky. The persistent mining of modern/popular culture might appeal to fans of Tarantino. And the mix of high-concept blockbuster movie tropes and cheeky wee Scottish types is at least an oddity in terms of conventional crime thrillers.