Chris Brookmyre’s latest novel ‘Where the Bodies Are Buried’ represents something of a departure for the author. Whilst many of his previous novels flirt with the crime genre, I’ve always tended to think of them as thrillers and quite improbable thrillers at that.
‘Pandaemonium’ was probably the furthest outreach of the Brookmyre repertoire – pitting a class of school children against demons from another dimension. In contrast ‘WTBAB’ is very much a down to earth crime thriller with private investigators and corrupt polis meshed in with an unlikely anti-hero.
An apparent gangland hit opens the novel with a typically gorey Brookmyre flourish and over subsequent pages the author builds up the different strands of a fairly labyrinthine plot around main characters DI Catherine McLeod. Reluctant PI Jasmine Sharp and man of mystery Tron Ingrams.
There’s a noticeably darker tone to the book with Brookmyre’s trademark humour and satire largely posted missing in favour of character development and intricate plotting. In terms of the latter all is definitely not as it seems and even as some of the mysteries are revealed in the book’s closing stages there are plenty of surprises left in store.
It’s a style that suits Brookmyre well and WTBAB is his finest novel for several years.
It’s also a book that nods a fair few times in the direction of up and coming Scottish bands (check Chris’s blog for more details) and here’s a song that provides the title of one of the chapters:
By coincidence the (long!) campaign towards the release of the second Jetpacks LP kicked off last week with the release of a clip on their website soundtracked by one of the new songs and a second clip was released this week. The LP is due out on Fat Cat Records in the autumn.