Review - Flesh Wounds, Christopher Brookmyre
Flesh Wounds (aka Bred in the Bone) is the third in the Jasmine Sharp series from Scottish author Christopher Brookmyre. One of those authors that is on the "to be purchased immediately" list, under the category "I'm starting to fret about the time it's taking to get to this one". Welded on fan needless to say.
The Jasmine Sharp series is a bit different from some of Brookmyre's more surreal / out there offerings. Although there's always plenty of cutting humour, dry observation and more than a bit of dragging readers down dark alleys at unexpected times.
This is a very good series. It bounces the reader up and down through Jasmine Sharp's life and times, just as she's riding the shockwaves herself. It will work better if you read at least one of the earlier books before embarking on this one, as there's a lot of build up in explaining Sharp, her mother, her uncle, Fallan DS McLeod and just about everybody else that makes an appearance here. To say nothing of how an aspiring actress ended up as a PI.
These does seem to have been a bit of quibbling about the decidedly different - almost mainstream approach - that Brookmyre has taken in this series, which seems a bit unfair as this is extremely entertaining and engaging crime fiction - with a great central character to boot.
Private investigator Jasmine Sharp's father was murdered before she was born, and her mother went to self-sacrificing lengths in order to shield her from the world in which he moved. Since her mother's death, all she has been able to learn is his first name—and that only through a strange bond she has forged with the man who killed him: Glen Fallan. But when Fallan is arrested for the murder of a criminal her mother knew since childhood, Jasmine is finally forced to enter his domain: a place where violence is a way of life and vengeance spans generations.
Detective Superintendent Catherine McLeod has one major Glaswegian gangster in the mortuary and another in the cells for killing him - which ought to be cause for celebration. Catherine is not smiling, however. From the moment she discovered a symbol daubed on the victim's head, she has understood that this case is far more dangerous than it appears on the surface, something that could threaten her family and end her career.
As one battles her demons and the other chases her ghosts, these two very different detectives will ultimately confront the secrets that have entangled both of their fates since before Jasmine was even born.