Book Review: Where the Bodies Are Buried by Christopher Brookmyre
August 3, 2012 6 Comments
Rating: 4/5 stars
Number of pages: 304
First published: 2011 (UK edition, this USA edition, July 2012)
I got this book: from Grove/Atlantic for review via Netgalley, ebook
A few years ago, I read two books by Brookmyre which I really enjoyed. They were quirky and funny, very original. This new book sounded great as well. It turned out to be a bit more main stream than the other books I’d read by him, but still an enjoyable read.
Where the Bodies Are Buried: What it is about
Description from Netgalley: ”When small-time heroin dealer Jai McDiarmid turns up dead one fine Glasgow morning, no one is that surprised. A heroin dealer openly sleeping with a big-time drug trafficker’s girlfriend, Jai had made a lot of enemies in a city with little patience for those stirring up trouble. As a result, Detective Superintendent Catherine McLeod has no shortage of early leads on the case when she is assigned to investigate it.
Meanwhile, out-of-work actress Jasmine Sharp is facing more pressing problems. She’s agreed to help out her “Uncle” Jim with his private investigation work, but is having trouble learning the ropes. As a former actress, lying to people comes naturally to Jasmine, but she’s less adept at tailing her targets and remaining undercover. She’s facing a steep learning curve—and is thrown in at the deep end when Uncle Jim goes missing and she realizes that it’s going to be up to her to find him.
Jasmine begins looking into the cases that Jim was investigating just before he disappeared and goes to meet a man called Tron Ingrams, whose name and address she finds in one of Jim’s case files. Having tracked him down successfully, she is feeling rather pleased with herself—that is, until the car in which they’re traveling comes under gunfire. Who are the assailants—and are they after Tron or Jasmine? Detective Superintendent McLeod’s investigation is also getting complicated: a tip-off that there are explosives in Glasgow’s train station proves to be fake, and a clutch of further murders of some of Glasgow’s drug dealers ramp up the pressure on her to solve the case. Her investigation and Jasmine’s become intertwined, and it becomes increasingly clear that neither is as simple as it seems.”
Where the Bodies Are Buried: What I thought
This is not like other Brookmyre books I’ve read. This one is a bit more of a standard mystery story.
Both the police, officer Catherine, and two private investigators, Jim Sharp and his niece Jasmine, are followed through the book. The story takes place in Glasgow, which I liked. People talk a bit different and the setting is slightly different from other British cities that I know.
It took me a while to get into this story, but after a killer got involved who had been on the right path for the last 20 years, it became more interesting.
The police didn’t all seem to be as “straight” as you might expect so it wasn’t clear who could be trusted. I liked the insights into the police force, which seemed very believable: for instance, letting smaller offences pass in order to catch the bigger criminals rather than their foot folk.
It was funny how Jasmine managed to solve one of Jim’s cases without realising at first, and how much work she put in solving another one, because she expected it to lead to her uncle Jim. She was very dedicated to find out what happened to him. The help she got in her quest was a dodgy person but one that did know where to look for answers (in the mean time getting them shot at a few times).
It was an enjoyable mystery, especially the second half of the book.