Christopher Brookmyre - Flesh Wounds (4 stars)

Scottish crime fiction author goes darker in latest novel

Christopher Brookmyre - Flesh Wounds

(Little, Brown)

Jasmine Sharp, the aspiring actress-turned-private investigator who first appeared in Where the Bodies are Buried, returns for a third outing in Chris Brookmyre’s latest delve into the murky world of Glasgow’s criminal underworld. When top gangster Stevie Fullarton is shot dead, his former comrade-in-crime Glen Fallan is the prime suspect. Fallan has become a guardian angel for Sharp since he admitted that he killed her gangster father before her birth, perhaps feeling he owes her. She quickly determines that Fallan is being set up but doesn’t know why or by whom. Meanwhile DS Catherine McLeod, no friend to Sharp, not only has to find out who killed Fullarton, but also why her investigation is being subtlety hindered by someone in the upper echelons of the police force. This is darker than Brookmyre’s previous novels, although his trademark pitch-black humour is still present. The wanton violence has consequences – usually devastating – and innocent bystanders bear the brunt of it. It is a well-paced thriller with a satisfyingly complex plot and a vivid cast of larger-than-life characters.

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