Outed as the controversial blogger who targeted sexists in her workplace, surgeon Diana Jager is suspected of murdering her new young husband, leading maverick reporter Jack Parlabane on a circuitous investigation of the couple.
Diana, who wrote as Bladebitch, is reputed to be a cold piece of work, though in her first-person narration, she comes across as smart and sympathetic. Swept away by the fun and caring Peter, a computer programmer with whom the lonely Diana enjoys "the best days of my life," she is soon bothered by his aloof presence and secrecy. She learns he is the estranged son of Sir Hamish Elphinstone, a creepy landowner of great wealth. Without the old man's help, Peter is in over his head with investors in his development of a groundbreaking Pay Pal–type software. Was he in an angry state when his car flew off a dangerous bend and plunged into a river—leaving the wreck behind but no dead body? Or did Diana plan the accident? Peter's sister, Lucy, with whom the recently divorced Parlabane develops a mutual attraction, claims the latter. The plot doesn't merely thicken, it turns around and around on itself, leading to a dilly of a climax. It takes forever for Peter's cheating and duplicity to turn Diana on to him. And some of the plotting has a certain connect-the-dots quality—rarely has a protagonist been drugged and abducted to less consequence than Parlabane is here. But the seventh entry in Scottish writer Brookmyre's Parlabane series (Dead Girl Walking, 2015, etc.) is still a consistently gripping read, boasting as much insight into domestic lives as criminal ones.
Full of engaging twists, Brookmyre's latest thriller featuring unconventional journalist Jack Parlabane is as compelling as it is clever.