WHEN THE DEVIL DRIVES - Christopher Brookmyre
Christopher Brookmyre is appointment purchasing in these parts, but even allowing for that obsession, I do really like the way this Jasmine Sharp series is shaping up. WHEN THE DEVIL DRIVES is the second book now, and whilst it would be better to read them both in sequence, you could get away with just picking up this one, especially if you're aware there's a story behind Jasmine becoming a Private Investigator.
There is a cast of central characters, built around Sharp, featuring hardman Fallan and DS MacLeod. Since Sharp took over running her Uncle Jim's detective agency, it's become increasingly apparent (to her) that she's not completely useless at this PI game. She's particularly good at finding long lost relatives, so when a woman walks through the door looking for her long-lost sister, it's a bit business as usual for Sharp.
For MacLeod, business as usual is the shooting of a well known patron of the arts and man about town, although the location, in the Highlands, and the manner, long-range sharp-shooting are less run of the mill.
More straight-laced than Brookmyre's satirical novels, that doesn't mean that WHEN THE DEVIL DRIVES is without humour, or absurdity or a bit of in your face goings on. But it all fits well into the scenario of PI's, cops and crims. Nicely plotted with intersecting lines that come together in a believable fashion. Combined with a nice line in lurking protection from Fallan again, I do really like this series. It's not dark and noir, it's not light and fluffy. It's not cuttingly satirical. It is, however, very engaging, and enjoyable and I'm really looking forward to following where it goes in the future.
Is the devil merely the name we give the worst in ourselves?
When private investigator Jasmine Sharp is hired to find Tessa Garrion, a young woman who has vanished without trace, it becomes increasingly clear that there are those who want her to stay that way. What begins as a simple search awakens a malevolence that has lain dormant for three decades, putting Jasmine in the crosshairs of those who would stop at nothing to keep their secrets buried.
Uncovering a hidden history of sex, drugs, ritualism and murder, Jasmine realises she may need a little help from dark places herself if she’s going to get to the truth.
But then needs must…