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Archive for the ‘Chris Brookmyre’ Category

   

Black Widow

 

Author: Chris Brookmyre
Published: 28 January 2016
Reviewed: 19 January 2016
What Milo Saw by Virginia Macgregor

Read more at: http://www.london24.com/entertainment/book_review_what_milo_saw_by_virginia_macgregor_1_3750981
Copyright © LONDON24

Copy kindly supplied by Little, Brown Book Group UK in return for an honest review.

  4 out of 5 stars  

 

On the face of it, Dr Diana Jager has it all, she’s a successful surgeon, she’s strong, she’s driven and she’s not afraid to stand up against sexismSo when “Scalpelgirl” writes a blog about the indiscretions in the workplace, the seemingly innocent questions at interviews, the double standards expected of the male and female doctors the medical world is ablaze with gossip.  There’s just enough information there to work out whoScalpelgirl” is for some people, and she’s nicknamed “Bladebitch” for her scathing ferocity towards gender imbalance and seeming hatred of menOnce the details of her blog are hacked, her identity is made public on the internet as payback and her life falls apart.  Those she has written about have their lives thrown in to turmoil and the fall out isn’t pretty, Diana moves away from it all, takes a job in Inverness and embarks on a second chance.  

It’s in Inverness that Diana meets Peter.  He is the helpful IT guy that comes to solve her computer problem, and right away Diana is aware of something about him that’s different to other men.  Within six months of a whirlwind romance there are wedding bells for the pair, six more see the tolling of funeral bells for Peter.  

Enter Jack Parlabane, a disgraced investigative journalist licking his wounds after the Leveson inquiry and on the brink of divorce.   
When Peter’s sister Lucy engages his services to find out the story behind her brother’s disappearance and his mysterious wife, Parlabane has no idea what he‘s getting involved with, but has nothing better to do, and the opportunity for a scoop is too hard to pass up.  Armed with the list of contacts and vital information from Lucy, Parlabane heads out seeking answers.

Narrated by Diana and Parlabane, we weave between past and present cleverly.  Diana mainly recounting the tale of the blog and how it all went wrong, to meeting Peter and getting a second chance for her “happy ever after” and the events leading up to that fateful night.  Parlabane, investigates Peter and Diana as a couple, Diana at university, and Peter before his marriage to Diana, and  reminisces back upon his own marriage before making connections that he feels should be tipped off to the Police that could really bring Peter’s death from the realms of freak accident to murder.  

The characters in general were good, Diana Jager was a hard character to like in the beginning, obviously once I’d read a little of the story and got to know her a bit more, began to like her, reading about her past and budding romance with Peter made me see this character in a different light.  But the more I read on the more I continued to change my mind about her.  The two Police Constables that featured in the book were characters I wasn’t most keen on.  There was just something about them that wasn’t “right”, I can’t really explain it, other than say it felt a little like they were just used to break up the Diana/Peter/Parlabane story.  Granted, the narrative for the two Cconstables was a little like a pause to catch breath with this thriller, it was an infuriating pause, I needed to know what was happening with Parlabane/Diana so wanted to read these as quickly as possible.  Don’t misunderstand that as we not liking the characters or bits of the book, it just felt like a sneaky way of Brookmyre throwing in a hurdle to make me work harder to getting to the conclusion. 

And what a conclusion it was!!  The light bulb moment of this book is well worth the twists, turns and psychological thrill, as many guesses that I made about what might have happened, or what would end up happening, I am so glad my mind isn’t that twisted!

Although this was a continuation of the Jack Parlabane series of books, this can easily be read as a standalone book.  Indeed I read and enjoyed this without having read others for quite some time.  There’s enough detail given about Parlabane to know roughly what’s happened in the past without revisiting anything from previous books, and all the while staying completely in the current story.  

Having not read Brookmyre’s books for some years, I’m happy to say I will be visiting them based on this book.  This was a fantastic read, Brookmyre shows good skill, the narrative was fast paced and the excellent plotting made this a treat to read. 

I would like to thank Little, Brown Book Group UK for the copy of this book in return for an honest review and if you would like to buy a copy, this book will be published on 28th January 2016, a copy can be purchased here Black Widow (UK Kindle Version)

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