Monday, May 26

The Sacred Art of Stealing - Christopher Brookmyre

Harry's stuck in a small Mexican town, a hitman for the Estobal family, now led by Alessandro, a guy too dumb to know he's dumb. Angelique de Xavier's an Aberdeen detective, workaholic, different from her colleagues and holding her ground. Mr Jarry's the mastermind behind one of the most daring and outrageous burglaries in British history - and he has his own agenda.
The plot is intricate and deft, and though there's much more to it I can't really describe anything without diminishing the power of the book - I did finish it and want to go back and re-read it just to pick up plot points and subtle touches I know I missed on the first read through. Unlike anything I've read before, Brookmyre masterfully establishes a variety of strands, dynamically culminating each separate plot line into a cohesive, spectacular and satisfying whole. And he manages to convey, which I had never before even dreamt of, the complex importance of football supporters in Scotland - who you barrack for partly articulates who you are and what you believe, or at least what others think you are and believe.
I've seen Brookmyre's books around for several years but, for some reason, have avoided reading any until my eye was caught by this one on the library shelf last week. Now I'm conflicted - what a waste, but what a joy I now have them to look forward to! Funny, filthy, breathtaking and clever, if The Sacred Art of Stealing is anything like the rest of his writing I'm going to have to pace myself. - Alex

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