Yes, it was quite the high adventure. Plenty of profanity, satire and characters spouting misanthropic vitriol. Took quite a bit of effort to parse the Scots lingo at times, and there was some I still couldn't get. It took a visit to the Urban Dictionary to figure out what an eejit was, although in retrospect I should have noticed how phonetically close it is to idiot. But the sports references sailed right by -- I don't even follow American stuff. The cultural mismatch slowed down my reading so the hook didn't really sink in until one third of the book was gone, but eventually the shenanigans should grab anyone.
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Can't say that I think Brookmyre is the next greatest thing, but still a fun read. Reminded me mightily of Max Barry.
I seem to recall that his Jennifer Government had many similar elements, although it also had a heavy-handed futurist satire of a global corporate takeover. Update, November — Isn't this the book that had an assassin using bullets made of ice? That flummoxed the local constabulary, despite that everyone knows that before it melts the ice will cause recognizable damage to adjacent tissue. Anyway, y'all should know you can now buy molds for ice bullets View all 4 comments.
Jul 02, James rated it liked it Shelves: fiction , crime. A good light fun read.
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As a very gentle spoiler We all lived with narcissistic prototypes of evil in our second year of university. Mine turned into a perfectly pleasant organic farmer who lives in Wales. The conceit that this person gives full rein to their evilness was a real pleasure. The plot was a little silly A good light fun read. The plot was a little silly but hard to see that not being the case.
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Brookmyre never disappoints. Thriller with a fantastic black comedy twist. Think british Carl Hiaasen. I'm very glad I took their advice. Highly cynical, sporadically violent, pretty implausible, an action-packed rollercoaster of a plot, brilliant and well observed characters, loads of popular culture references, and generally amusing with some great one liners. It's so addictive that upon finishing I have immediately purchased The Sacred Art of Stealing , the next in the series, to share more time with super cop Angelique de Xavier, arch villain Simon Darcourt, and - hopefully - the everyman character Raymond Ash.
This is the first in the Angelique de Xavia series, but I had already read the 3rd, A Snowball in Hell, which I felt at the time I would've enjoyed more if I'd already read the previous books, and so will probably reread once I finish The Sacred Art of Stealing. Brookmyre is not for everyone, I think you have to have at least lived in Scotland as I did for ten years to follow a lot of the language and get many of the jokes.
Not everyone likes satire either, and the humour here is very black, This is the first in the Angelique de Xavia series, but I had already read the 3rd, A Snowball in Hell, which I felt at the time I would've enjoyed more if I'd already read the previous books, and so will probably reread once I finish The Sacred Art of Stealing. Not everyone likes satire either, and the humour here is very black, but I thought the plot and the build-up were brilliant and really liked the characters - some very improbable heroes.
I read a lot of thrillers and it's refreshing to know upfront who the baddie is and there not always being a twist, at least not in terms of the characters. Simon Darcourt is a professional terrorist known as the Black Spirit who returns to Aberdeen to plan his latest atrocity, and is recognised at the airport by an old friend from Uni, mild-mannered newbie English teacher Ray Ash, who believes that he died in a plane bombing years earlier. Angelique is a Glaswegian Special Branch police officer who recognises signs that the Black Spirit could be in Scotland and sets about finding him.
And two kids are skiving off from school and slip into a van left open outside and find themselves trapped inside with crates of guns and explosives. It is a bit slow to get going and there are deliberate distractions and lots of backstory, but the action kicks off in the final third and then wraps up very satisfactorily, leaving room for the next books but no annoying cliffhangers.
Jun 04, Shihab Azhar rated it really liked it. Although The Sacred Art of Stealing will always remain my favorite Brookmyre book, this book, as a prequel of sorts, is equally fantastic. Brookmyre knows how to write - he has a knack for the English language, akin to chewing up words and spitting them out, that few other authors have been able to master.
Introducing the kick-arse Angel X, the living-in-a-computer-game Ray and the oh-how-i-love-to-hate-him Simon. It's a perfect mix of action adventure, suspense, geekery, nostalgic friendship and mishaps. Oh, and humour. Can't forget the humour. The alternating between time, places and characters helps the story move swiftly, without losing interest and never making it drag.
It is, once again, some damn fine writing. Jul 17, Lynn rated it really liked it. A good rollicking read, although he does go on a bit sometimes, but there are so many brilliant lines and a great plot that you can forgive him. The plot is clever and jumps in and out of events so that you do need to keep up. Great characters, Ray is the perfect side-kick to the totally awesome Angelique de Xavia and their dialogue is hilarious.
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Totally enjoyed and will likely read the next Mar 30, Stephen Wallace rated it really liked it. This book, like many of Brookmyre's novels, starts slowly as the plot and the characters are developed in depth. As you begin to wonder when the action is going to start, it suddenly kicks off and speeds at a million miles an hour towards the climax. Brookmyre is an excellent author who is able to move between the present and past with ease, before expertly bringing the two periods together for a breathtaking and absurdly funny ending.
An excellent book for anyone who has a sense of humour and This book, like many of Brookmyre's novels, starts slowly as the plot and the characters are developed in depth. An excellent book for anyone who has a sense of humour and is no way easily offended. Sep 08, Jamie Collins rated it liked it Shelves: contemporary-fiction , noir-crime.
Another good "tartan noir" read from Brookmyre. They always do, after a long, violent, crude adventure, and the comeuppance is as satisfying as it is Another good "tartan noir" read from Brookmyre. They always do, after a long, violent, crude adventure, and the comeuppance is as satisfying as it is predictable. This time we have Ray Ash, who is feeling miserable and trapped with a quotidian job, a mortgage, a marriage and a colicky baby.
The references were mild and few enough that I could understand them yet not be bored by them. This is the first book featuring officer Angelique de Xavia, who is apparently one of Brookmyre's recurring characters. I liked her and I look forward to the next book.
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Feb 10, Gail rated it liked it. New to Brookmyre, this book was sent in the post by a friend. Uninspired by the cover yes I do judge books by their covers - until I've read them I didn't pick it up for quite a while. But when I did I couldn't put it down. It is funny, well-observed and pertinent. Brookmyre has captured Real Life and exposed it. The language, which I think some reviewers regarded as some kind of shock factor, merely reflected the reality.
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And provided some rip-roaring laughs from this reader. Lexy and Wee New to Brookmyre, this book was sent in the post by a friend.
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Lexy and Wee Murph are just genius characters that provide many moments of comic genius. Simon on the other hand was a little flakey as the villain - and his motivation for going bad was a little flimsy but I guess that is also true to life? I enjoyed this. I'm encouraged to read more by Brookmyre because of it though I wouldn't go as far as to say my life has changed because of it - albeit it has its poignant, thought-provoking moments. A satisfying read that tickles the chuckle muscles. Mar 29, Javier rated it really liked it. Terrorism, 80's culture, indie music, band egos, gaming and a lot of witty humor, what else can I ask for?
Right, the best opening chapter ever written! The only con I can find for this book is that the climax is maybe just a little too long, other than that, this book was always fun and entertaining. To close this short and badly written review I'll just say that I'll start right away to compulsively read everything Brookmyre wrote in the past 16 years. This review sucks, I'm tired, you are Terrorism, 80's culture, indie music, band egos, gaming and a lot of witty humor, what else can I ask for? This review sucks, I'm tired, you are welcome.