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3.9 out of 5 stars
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3.9 out of 5 stars
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on 20 February 2004
Like other reviewers here, I had my order in for this some time ago and started reading as soon as it arrived. Well .. it's a good read, it's entertaining and witty; but it doesn't compare with his previous works. If this was the first Brookmyre I read, I wouldn't rush to get others by him, which is what I did when I first encountered him. It lacks the political satire that usually exemplifies his work and although it's high on black humour - it's not for the squeamish - this means that it lacks the acerbity that raises his work to such a high level.
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on 11 January 2014
I could imagine Christopher Brookmyre smiling all the way through writing this brilliant romp. He handles a number of characters so deftly and the plotting is superb, as is the description of all the action in the final scenes.
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on 3 August 2013
I love Christopher Brookmyre and this book is another brilliant read - what goes on in Mr Brookmyre's head? It is funny, audacious and at the same time a brilliant thriller with more twists and turns than a rollercoaster.

Can't recommend it enough
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on 30 January 2011
Brookmyre returns to his original protagonist, journalist Jack Parlabane for this novel, although a lot of the other characters get a chance to shine. A seemingly random group of individuals are invited to a trial run of an outward-bound team-building weekend, which is fine, until people go missing, and bodies turn up.

Although it takes a lot of set up time before the action gets going, it's certainly worth it. The gore is as full on, if not more so, than usual so the squeamish would definitely want to avoid. In fact this is the first one that I've actually found went beyond my comfort zone (but only once).

The characters are rich and varied, and even those who seem to be stereotypes at first turn out to be deeper, and as we see more of them under pressure they become more likeable, in a strange sort of way. The plot however is a bit of a rehash. In my mind, it's too similar to the events of 'One Fine Day in the Middle of the Night', particularly earlier on, though later it diverges significantly.

It's not going to go down as my favourite of Brookmyre's novels, but I can't fault its humour and grossness at all. An enjoyable read.
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VINE VOICEon 28 August 2006
I've got every Christopher Brookmyre book having been introduced to him by a friend who was a fan a good while ago. I can say that it is not one of his best but it is not the worst.

Some of them (Boiling A Frog, Not The End Of The World) are a bit of a struggle to get to the end and this almost joins them.

It doesn't really stand alone like some others as you really need to have read one fine day In the middle of the night to get introduced to one of the main characters (Tim Vale) and to see what he did for HM Government. This is hinted at in this book that he wasn't a mere desk jockey but the other book go into more depth of his character. Parlabane for once is a side character and i think it suits him quite well as to be honest after him appearing in 3 of the previous 7 books i was beginning to tire of him.

I won't spoil the plot but this is based upon a covert army sourced counter terrorist group which has been re-activated after a gap of over 10 years. It's clear Brookmyre has essentially taken this idea from the group Black Cell in the movie Swordfish (John Travolta and Hugh Jackman) in that movie there is a counter terrorist organisation authorized to covertly kill the enemies of their country without ever looking like a government authorized cell. He's taken inspiration from this film and mixed it into British themes so to speak. There is more than this to the plot of this book but the premise of the idea is there.

It does labour a bit at times but once it gets going it is worth finishing. I wouldn't say it's an ideal book to introduce yourself to Brookmyre but by no means is it a disaster if you start with this one. Pick up Boiling A Frog or Not The End Of The World as your first and you may not ever read another Brookmyre book.

For people familiar with most of Brookmyre's work but not to this i would say it's on a par with A Big Boy Did it or Country Of The Blind.
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on 30 May 2011
I first read this when it came out , borrowed from the library. Loved every word of it and couldn't wait to read more by Brookmyre. I've recently decided to read them all again but in the right order , which doesn't really matter , they all stand alone,but it adds to the experience to recognise recurring characters. This one,for me , was a laugh a minute , but maybe I have a warped sense of humour! It's a thriller , a farce , a comedy , a biting commentary on the weirdness that calls itself a 'team- building-exercise' and a splendid outing for our hero Jack Parlabane , a man who can, of course, do anything! We'd all love to have him on our side.
Always very cleverly written, by a man who can dream up amazing plotlines that no-one else would imagine yet make them seem plausible or even possible , and who's ascerbic opinions of modern life - delivered through the views of his protagonists -make you think what an absurd world we live in.
If you've never read any Brookmyre and are thinking of dipping a toe in the water this is absolutely my recommendation as a perfect starting point. You may well end up addicted like me.
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on 6 January 2005
Maybe Mr P should have stayed in "retirement". The plot carries echoes of "One fine day..." but is weak, lacking real drama, way beyond the plausibility horizon and with shallow characterisation. I found the recycling in plot or just off stage of characters from previous yarns annoying, and I imagine that to a reader who had not read Brookmyres previous books this would be quite confusing. Yes there were some good gags, but the level of insight exposed by his satire on the world of corporate PR, team building, and the process of "maturation" of political views with age was fairly superficial. On the other hand. I now know where one can obtain organic climbing rope.
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on 3 March 2004
I have read ( and re-read ) all of Mr Brookmyres books, and thoroughly enjoyed them. This effort however was so disappointing, Jack Parlabane is such a good character and this was a total waste of time, it was almost like a re-hash of " One fine day in the middle of the night " just in a castle, not on an oil rig, without the tension and humour. Has Mr Brookmyre run out of ideas / steam ? or was this a contractable obligation run off over a quiet weekend ?? Very disappointing indeed !
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on 12 April 2014
Agatha Christie meets Inglorious Basterds with laugh-out-loud Scottish humour. Haven't read a Brookmyre for a while as I didn't enjoy the last one I read, but this one is back on top form.
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on 18 September 2013
Christopher knows how to mess with your expectations. Just like always he drags you in until you can't stop reading, then the conclusion comes out of nowhere. Love it.
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