Friday, 15 June 2012

A Tale Etched in Blood and Hard Black Pencil by Christopher Brookmyre

With Friends Like These, Who Needs Enemies?
review by Maryom

When two inexpertly disposed-of dead bodies are discovered  DS Karen Gillespie feels like she's returned to her schooldays. Not only was one of the bodies a class mate but the two chief suspects were as well... and the celebrity lawyer that one of them persuades to help for old times' sake ....and the pub landlady that the lawyer tries to pump for information and other things. The clues to the murderer's identity are not going to be found by the normal processes of forensics and interrogation of suspects but by delving into the shared past of these characters. While DS Gillespie uncovers a trail of corruption in the local planning department, it seems that more hinges on what these people got up to back in primary school.

Despite the whodunnit crime novel set up most of the story is told in flashbacks to the characters' schooldays - sometimes funny, sometimes painful look back at childhood and the influences it has on later 'grown-up' life.
If you like your humour dark and twisted, you'll love this - the opening scenes of totally inept body disposal were some of the funniest things I've read in ages.

Warning - a lot of the language throughout is robust, colourful or crude, depending on your viewpoint - maybe to be expected in the fumbling idiots trying to dispose of the bodies in the opening scene but not so much from a group of  5 year olds just starting at primary school.

This book has been sitting on the TBR pile for a long long while. Having read and immensely enjoyed Brookmyre's All Fun and Games Until Somebody Loses an Eye, I bought this one for my hubby, who decided it wasn't his kind of thing (!) and I've been meaning to read it myself ever since. So glad I did!

Maryom's review - 4 stars
Publisher -
Little, Brown
Genre - Crime, humour

Buy A Tale Etched in Blood and Hard Black Pencil from Amazon

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