Thieving honorably

22 12 2011

The Sacred Art of Stealing by Christopher Brookmyre

Their eyes met across a crowded room. She was just a poor servant girl and he was the son of a rich industrialist. Er, no, this is a Christopher Brookmyre novel, although the eyes meeting across a crowded room part is true. Where it differs from the fairy tales is that the room in question was crowded with hostages and armed bank-robbers, and his eyes were the only part of him she could see behind the mask. He is an art-thief par excellence and she is a connoisseur of crooks. Her job is to hunt him to extinction; his is to avoid being caught and he also has a secret agenda more valuable than anything he might steal. There are risks he can take without jeopardising his plans. He can afford to play cat-and-mouse with the female cop who’s on his tail; it might even arguably be necessary. What he can’t afford is to let her get too close: he could could end up in jail or, even more scary, he could end up in love

Brookmyre is a pretty impressive writer and I must admit I really enjoy his intelligent and pacy thrillers. This one is no exception and is certainly one of his better ones. I suspect he is particularly pleased with the endorsements from two leading literary journals:

‘If you enjoy intelligently written crime thrillers with a healthy dollop of satire, then this will be the answer to your prayers.’ MORNING STAR


‘An entertaining read.’ NEW WOMAN


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