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North Sea Hijack
on 13 July 2010
School reunions sound about as much fun as watching the entire run of `Heartbeat' back to back, but throw in some free booze and people will turn up. This is essentially the plot of Christopher Brookmyre's `One Fine Day in the Middle of the Night', but with luxury hotels, oil rigs and incompetent mercenaries thrown in. Brookmyre has revisited the idea of school days several times in his work and most time he is successful at it. Having a large group of characters with a shared past means that you can have a lot of emotional turmoil going on. In `One Fine Day' Brookmyre perhaps explores the inner most feelings of too many characters as far too much of the story is a retrospective and not about what is going on in the present. This is a good way of making the character dynamic fizz, but it did break up the flow of the story.
The actually action elements of an oil rig cum luxury complex being under attack are top quality crime comedy. The mercenaries are just the right level of stupid to make them more dangerous than if they were professional. I enjoyed the madcap mayhem and how Brookmyre put normal people into incredible situations, but as mentioned the past kept taking over. This meant than when the finale finally did happen it was all over too quickly and was a little confused. I still found the book highly amusing, but it could have been structured just a little more coherently to be a must read.