My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Time taken to read - 2.5 days
Blurb From Goodreads
Detective Catherine McLeod was always taught that in Glasgow, they don't do whodunit. They do score-settling. They do vendettas. They do petty revenge. They do can't-miss-whodunit. It's a lesson that has served her well, but Glasgow is also a dangerous place to make assumptions. Either way she looks at it, she recognises that the discovery of a dead drug-dealer in a back alley is merely a portent of further deaths to come. Elsewhere in the city, aspiring actress Jasmine Sharp is reluctantly - and incompetently - earning a crust working for her uncle Jim's private investigation business. When Jim goes missing, Jasmine has to take on the investigator mantle for real, and her only lead points to Glen Fallan, a gangland enforcer and professional assassin whose reputation is rendered only slightly less terrifying by having been dead for twenty years. Cautiously tracing an accomplished killer's footsteps, Jasmine stumbles into a web of corruption and decades-hidden secrets that could tear apart an entire police force - if she can stay alive long enough to tell the tale.
To be honest I have struggled between a 2 or a 3 star rating, I decided on a 3 for two reasons. One it is ok for a crime novel and not the worst I have read by any stretch of the imagination and secondly I have loved all his previous books so that has got to count for something, right?
The story is split really in two, with the police investigating (mainly Detective Catherine McLeod and associates) and Jasmin. Jasmine is a want to be actress working for her uncle at his private detective agency since her mum died and in between her few and none call backs. When a local known criminal is found assassinated Detective Catherine is called in, meanwhile Jasmines uncle is investigating something from way back and goes missing. The story goes chapter to chapter switching from each one.
Most notably from the opening of the book it is now Chris Brookmyre not Christopher, a show of out with the old and in with the new. Gone is the hilarious, outrageous, bizarre and captivating characters and story lines. In it's place we have a crime story with very little of the signature Brookmyre we know, now I like crime stories anyway and as far as that goes it was ok. I did find myself slogging through it and bored at times although the last quarter did pick up and save it from a definite two star review. I can't say I liked any of the characters much, Jasmine was very weak and out of place - detective Catherine had a few moments of potential for liking but really none of them had a patch on Jack Parlabane who you couldn't help but love (or hate) - I didn't feel any draw towards these characters. However that said it is the first in the series and it did give a good introduction to the characters that will no doubt be in the next installment which I will be getting. I just hope we see Brookmyre in it and not this new echoing of Rankin as I always loved his unique style and not sure I would be as loyal to this new style. A respectable 3/5 for me and hopeful for the next one.
Thanks to NetGalley and Grove/Atlantic Inc for providing me with a copy of this to review.
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