Books

by Christopher Brookmyre
Atlantic Monthly Press, May 2014, $24

This is the latest novel by Scottish author Christopher Brookmyre to feature Jasmine Sharp, a former actress turned rookie Glaswegian private eye, and hard-nosed cop Catherine MacLeod, a middle-aged career woman, wife, and mother to two young boys. The two aren’t exactly BFFs. Catherine considers Jasmine “a sneaky, duplicitous and thoroughly sleekit wee bitch” and Jasmine thinks the detective superintendent’s official title should be “Queen Crabbit Cow.”

Fortunately, the paths of this mismatched pair cross magnificently in this third entry, thanks in large part to the return of the shadowy Glen Fallan. A former gangster and unapologetic hard man, Fallan serves as the catalyst when he’s arrested for the fatal shooting of his old running mate, Stevie Fullerton, at a Glasgow car wash.

The case falls to McLeod and her team (the irrepressible rookie “Beano,” the ambitious Laura Geddes, et al.), and it pretty much seems a slam dunk. Witnesses, security camera footage, and physical evidence all point to Fallan. Only a viable motive is missing.

But then Sharp starts to poke around, at the discreet prompting of Geddes, who knows that Fallan and Sharp have become, despite all odds, friends of sorts; the former criminal oddly protective of the much younger investigator. The truth behind Fullerton’s murder is out there, and Geddes thinks Jasmine “may be the only person in a position to look for it.”

Kevin Burton Smith

This is the latest novel by Scottish author Christopher Brookmyre to feature Jasmine Sharp, a former actress turned rookie Glaswegian private eye, and hard-nosed cop Catherine MacLeod, a middle-aged career woman, wife, and mother to two young boys. The two aren’t exactly BFFs. Catherine considers Jasmine “a sneaky, duplicitous and thoroughly sleekit wee bitch” and Jasmine thinks the detective superintendent’s official title should be “Queen Crabbit Cow.”

Fortunately, the paths of this mismatched pair cross magnificently in this third entry, thanks in large part to the return of the shadowy Glen Fallan. A former gangster and unapologetic hard man, Fallan serves as the catalyst when he’s arrested for the fatal shooting of his old running mate, Stevie Fullerton, at a Glasgow car wash.

The case falls to McLeod and her team (the irrepressible rookie “Beano,” the ambitious Laura Geddes, et al.), and it pretty much seems a slam dunk. Witnesses, security camera footage, and physical evidence all point to Fallan. Only a viable motive is missing.

But then Sharp starts to poke around, at the discreet prompting of Geddes, who knows that Fallan and Sharp have become, despite all odds, friends of sorts; the former criminal oddly protective of the much younger investigator. The truth behind Fullerton’s murder is out there, and Geddes thinks Jasmine “may be the only person in a position to look for it.”

Teri Duerr
3631
Brookmyre
May 2014
bred-in-the-bone
24
Atlantic Monthly Press