Monday, June 16

One Fine Day in the Middle of the Night - Christopher Brookmyre

I'm not even going to try to describe the plot this time! Suffice it to to say that Brookmyre manages to combine an inept band of mercenaries, a daring operation, a unique (and not in a good way) holiday resort, a collapsing marriage, a recently retired policeman, and elaborate series of twists with a high school reunion to stunning effect. (If you do want a comprehensive plot review, check out this one from blogcritics).
As with the previous Brookmyre novels I've had the joy to encounter, One Fine Day... sparkles with wit, fantastic characterisation, a brilliantly unique premise, intelligent plot twists and (which I only noticed this time around) truly gifted use of dialect - enough to give the reader a strong sense of place without being intrusive.
Of course, it's the high school reunion that tips this over the edge for me - they exert a strange spell of fascination over me that I can't resist, and Brookmyre delivers on this promise comprehensively. He manages to take stock characters - the overlooked nobody turned success, the violent bully fighting his own demons, the strong man turned sensitive new age artist (in this evening's performance the roles of violent bully and strong man will be played by Davie Murdoch), the loud mouth turned successful comedian, the Hollywood star regaining perspective by returning to his roots, the retired inspector falling over mayhem in his own back yard, and the unarmed civilians fighting off an invading force using only equipment to hand and their own plucky ingenuity - and make them fresh, compelling and original, while making the most outlandish scenarios seem wholly convincing.
Don't even read another novel until you've begged, borrowed or stolen a Brookmyre. It's the perfect thing for getting the taste of eh! out of your mind's eye. Bet Brookmyre wouldn't mix his metaphors like that! - Alex

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