Crimes in space

13 04 2019

Places in the Darkness by Chris Brookmyre


“This is as close to a city without crime as mankind has ever seen.”
Ciudad de Cielo is the ‘city in the sky’, a space station where hundreds of scientists and engineers work in earth’s orbit, building the colony ship that will one day take humanity to the stars.
When a mutilated body is found on the CdC, the eyes of the world are watching. Top-of the-class investigator, Alice Blake, is sent from Earth to team up with CdC’s Freeman – a jaded cop with more reason than most to distrust such planetside interference.
As the death toll climbs and factions aboard the station become more and more fractious, Freeman and Blake will discover clues to a conspiracy that threatens not only their own lives, but the future of humanity itself.

I think this is Brookmyre’s first off-planet science fiction outing and it’s as gripping and entertaining as his more down to earth offerings. There are plenty of twists and turns in the low gravity plotting as well as some decent characters and credible future society politicking. Great fun and games and many a murder to solve and conspiracy to unravel in space.


Jack’s back

5 01 2019

Want You Gone by Chris Brookmyre

What if your deepest secret was revealed?

Sam Morpeth is growing up way too fast, left to fend for a younger sister when their mother goes to prison and watching her dreams of university evaporate. But Sam learns what it is to be truly powerless when a stranger begins to blackmail her.

Who would you turn to?

Meanwhile, reporter Jack Parlabane has finally got his career back on track, but his success has left him indebted to a volatile, criminal source. Now that debt is being called in, and it could cost him everything.

What would you be capable of?

Thrown together by a vindictive and mysterious mutual enemy, Sam and Jack are about to discover they might be each other’s only hope.

It’s one of the best in the very good eight book Jack Parlabane series by Brookmyre. With all the customary ingredients including moral ambiguities and some complicated plotting the story really races along. Brookmyre often covers some really contemporary themes, including around IT, media and politics, ¬†and this is no exception – it could all sound pretty dated in a few years but at present it feels really convincing. Parlabane is also a great leading character – largely honest and credible with some big character flaws which keep him interesting and unpredictable.

The climax is certainly a gripping one but does depend on the author holding back some narrative which would otherwise have been revealed – a bit of a cheat really but forgivable. Anyway, great fun and recommended.



four stars

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