This week’s Friday read is from editor Ed Wood: ‘For Chris Brookmyre fans, the return of his morally flexible journalist Jack Parlabane – a kind of good-cop bad-cop all rolled into one – will bring jubilation; for new readers, Dead Girl Walking is an ideal place to meet the now washed-up hero, a new starting point from which to grow to love him.
Sidelined from both his career and his marriage thanks to his own illegal actions, Parlabane sees a chance at redemption in investigating the disappearance of singer Heike Gunn as a favour to a childhood friend. In doing so, however, he uncovers dark deeds from Heike’s band’s last tour.
Brookmyre’s genius is the way he then alternates between Parlabane’s story and the viewpoint of the band’s wide-eyed newest recruit Monica Halcrow from before Heike’s disappearance. We quickly know something very bad is going to happen – but readers will be hard pushed to see the twists coming.
Whether ratcheting up the tension or leavening the darkness with Parlabane’s quick wit, Brookmyre is an absolute master of his craft and Dead Girl Walking shows him at the top of his game.’