review by Maryom
When the dead body of Dr Jeremy Ponsonby is found in the flat below his, investigative journalist Jack Parlabane can't help but stick his nose in. The circumstances at first lead the police to believe it's a random burglary-related killing but his instinct for a cover-up leads Parlabane in a totally different direction - to the Midlothian NHS Trust and an executive who's been getting away with murder - both literal and financial.
I've read other Christopher Brookmyre thrillers but never this, Quite Ugly One Morning, his debut novel, first published in 1996, and reprinted now as one of Abacus' 40th Anniversary editions - scandals within NHS trusts are still sadly as topical now as then!
I'd say it was a mix of crime thriller and political commentary - though that sounds like something worthy but dull and Quite Ugly One Morning is far from that! It's fast-paced, full of sharp one-liners and witty dialogue - oh and is very, very bloody - all Brookmyre's trademarks really. There's the journalist main character - used to coming up against the sharp retaliatory end of the people he exposes in the press; two strong female supporting characters; and the most pathetic excuse for a hitman I've ever encountered - he may be a hardened paid killer but with all his outrageous accidents I had to feel sorry for him by the end.
Abacus 40th Anniversary editions
Maryom's review - 5 stars
Publisher - Abacus
Genre - Adult Crime
Buy Quite Ugly One Morning