Dead Girl Walking, Christopher Brookmyre
The 6th Jack Parlabane novel, listened to as part of my audio wander back through the series, this outing is post Jack stuffing everything up. He's lost his career, his marriage and, for once in his life, his mojo. Pulled into the investigation of a missing pop-star by the sister of his oldest (now dead) friend, he sort of finds a bit of the old Jack along the way.
This is possibly my least favourite of the Parlabane books for incredibly unfair reasons. Jack's in trouble, and he's lost a hell of a lot of the devil may care, sod you all attitude as a result, and that kind of felt flat. The book also alternates his story with that of Monica Halcrow, bandmate of the missing music sensation Heike Gunn, she's a violinist not best equipped for the hedonistic world of a phenomena rock band on tour. Having said that, as her story is revealed there's very dark sides to the touring game, which might come as a shock to Monica, but feels like business as usual for Parlabane.
When I say least favourite, it's a bit of a dip down from a series that flies very high normally.
Life is dangerous when you have everything to lose. Famous, beautiful and talented, Heike Gunn has the world at her feet. Then, one day, she simply vanishes.
Meanwhile, journalist Jack Parlabane has lost everything: his career, his marriage, his self-respect. A call for help from an old friend offers a chance for redemption — but only if he can find out what happened to Heike. Pursued by those who would punish him for past crimes, Parlabane enters the secret-filled world of Heike’s band, Savage Earth Heart, a group at breaking point. Each of its members seems to be hiding something, not least its newest recruit Monica Halcrow, whose alleged relationship with Heike has become a public obsession.
Monica’s own story, however, reveals a far darker truth. Fixated on Heike from day one, she has been engulfed by paranoia, jealousy and fear, as she discovers the hidden price of fame. From Berlin to Barcelona, from the streets of Milan to remote Scottish islands, Parlabane must dredge up old secrets to find Heike before it’s too late.