Re-Read: One Fine Day in the Middle of the Night (Christopher Brookmyre)

One Fine Day in the Middle of the Night is a novel by Christopher Brookmyre. [Here are my other Brookmyre reviews.]
Finished on 27.04.2015

Plot:
A group of mercenaries are planning a big coup. One that was short notice and has to be carried out by a teamt hat it less working together and more trying to kill each other, which can only lead to disaster – or at least that’s what retired cop Hector McGregor assumes from the evidence he finds by chance. Not that anybdoy believes him.
At the same time and not far away, Gavin Hutchinson is building the ultimate ressort on an old oil rig: all of the holidays away from home, none of the foreigners trying to screw up your life with their food and culture. It is not quite finished yet, but Hutchinson still organized a school reunion to take place on the reunion. If you can’t show off your success, what’s it even for. So a colorful mix of people who mostly haven’t seen each other in years come together for a night, all for their very own reason.

One Fine Day in the Middle of the Night was the first Brookmyre book I read, about 15 years ago. Since I absolutely fell in love with it then, it is probably no surprise that I still remembered a whole lot about it. More surprising is that I’m just as much in love with it as I was 15 years ago. If you ever wanted to read a good action film, I can only recommend it.

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Not the End of the World (Christopher Brookmyre)

Not the End of the World is Christopher Brookmyre‘s third novel and the first one without Jack Parlabane. [My reviews of the Jack Parlabane books are here.]

Plot:
1999. LAPD cop Larry Freeman (who we’ve met in Quite Ugly One Morning) is easing back into work after the death of his son. He is given what should be a simple task: overseeing a B-movie festival. Unfortunately, right across the street of the festival, there’s a right-wing Christian counter-movement, the Festival of Light. When they start attacking porn-star-turned-actress Madeleine Witherson who is attending the film festival, millenium angst and a bomb threat soon turn the whole situation to shit.

This book didn’t work that well for me, unfortunately. Though it has all the right ingredients, something’s missing. It just took me too long to really get invested in the story. Maybe it’s that it wasn’t set in Scotland (though there is a Scottish main character, so be not afraid!).

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Attack of the Unsinkable Rubber Ducks (Christopher Brookmyre)

Attack of the Unsinkable Rubber Ducks is the last Jack Parlabane book (at least so far) by Christopher Brookmyre.

Plot:
Jack Parlabane has never believed in ghosts. Which is kinda awkward since he now seems to be one. So he tells us what happened so far – and how it all connects to the psychic Gabriel Lafayette who offered himself to science, to prove once and for all that the paranormal exists.

Even though I caught most of the plot-twists that were to come later pretty early on, Attack of the Unsinkable Rubber Ducks is definitely my favourite Jack Parlabane book. Probably because it’s the geekiest. It’s funny, I loved the rants and it features an honest to goodness browncoat. What’s not to love?

[Did I ever mention how much I love the titles of the Brookmyre books? Because I really do.]

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Be My Enemy [Christopher Brookmyre]

Be My Enemy, or Fuck This for a Game of Soldier is the fourth book in the Jack Parlabane series by Christopher Brookmyre.

Plot:
When Jack Parlabane gets an invitation to attend the ultimate team-building experience and then write about it in his paper, nobody would have thought that “ultimate” was to be taken literally. While the participants are growing as a team by shooting each other with paint ball guns, they stumble upon a group of soldiers – who unfortunately start shooting for real. And that’s when the trouble only starts.

I really enjoyed Be My Enemy. It made me laugh out loud on several occasions. It’s also pretty gory, probably the Brookmyre book with the most bloodshed so far. But once you’ve read about somebody accidentally beheading himself, there’s just no going back.

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Teaser Tuesday

It infected the cultural consciousness, Sophie said. Zeitgeist was the German word for it. Happened to an extent after WW2. The whole country, maybe the whole world, has occasion to think ‘Where do we go from here? What happens now?’, and a lot of folks got scared because they don’t know, can’t see, can’t imagine.

Christopher Brookmyre – Not the End of the World

Boiling a Frog (Christopher Brookmyre)

Boiling a Frog is the third novel in the Jack Parlabane Series by Christopher Brookmyre. [My reviews of the other two novels here.]

Plot:
Jack Parlabane’s live has taken a turn for the worse as his illegal investigation methods have finally caught up with him and he’s now in prison. At the same time, a scandal rocks the Scottish parliament, eliciting a turn to more conservative ways – something the Catholic church takes full advantage of. But things aren’t quite as clear-cut as it seems.

This book tackles the (quite up-to-date) topic of the Catholic Church and its media representation, which is interesting by itself. But it also has a great plot, with the trademark sly humour Brookmyre is so very capable of and I just love Jack Parlabane as a character.

[I didn’t mention yet how much I love the cover design of his books, did I? Simple, yet completely recognisable – simply awesome branding.]

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Country of the Blind (Christopher Brookmyre)

Country of the Blind is the second novel in the Jack Parlabane Series by Christopher Brookmyre. [My review of the first book, Quite Ugly One Morning, is here.]

[Mild Spoilers for Quite Ugly One Morning from here on.]

Plot:
Set a couple of years after the events in QUOM, Jack Parlabane and Sarah Slaughter are now happily engaged. Jack has promised Sarah that he will stop the more illegal tactics of his journalistic investigations. Unfortunately, that’s when media mogul Roland Voss, his wife and two bodyguards are found dead, with four robbers fleeing the scene, who are easily blamed for the murder. But then the lawyer of one of the robbers, Nicole Carrow, steps forward, claiming that she has evidence the robbers were being framed and Jack receives a call for help from an old friend via national television and soon everything goes to hell.

The book is fast-paced and full with vivid, wonderful characters. It’s written with a fine sense of humour and a lot of snide remarks when it comes to Scottish politics. In short, a perfect, entertaining crime novel.

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Quite Ugly One Morning (Christopher Brookmyre)

Quite Ugly One Morning is Christopher Brookmyre‘s debut novel and also the first one to feature Jack Parlabane.

Plot:

Jack Parlabane, investigative journalist, returns from LA to Edinburgh. Actually, it’s more of a flight than a return, since somebody just tried to kill him. Now, he should be lying low but when his downstairs neighbour is murdered in a pretty gruesome and extremely weird fashion, Jack’s investigative instincts get the better of him. Unfortunately, the police is not too overjoyed to find him at the crime scene in his underwear…

I very much liked Quite Ugly One Morning. Brookmyre has a fine sense of humour and an uncanny ability to capture the Scottish accent in the written form (though I have to admit that gets more pronounced later in his career. Jack Parlabane is a great character and the plot is intelligent, politically interesting and very engaging.

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Teaser Tuesday

Parlabane sat back on the settee, having wandered around the room for fully five minutes in a second vain attempt to locate the VCR’s remote control before admitting defeat and making the gruelling six-foot journey to the telly to start the tape recording. Pulling his legs up on the settee, an indulgent luxury of Sarah’s absence, he felt a lump under one thigh and proceeded to fish the errant electronic device out from between two of the cushions.

Christopher Brookmyre – Country of the Blind