Jamie Collins's Reviews > Quite Ugly One Morning

Quite Ugly One Morning by Christopher Brookmyre
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's review
Jun 14, 2010

liked it
bookshelves: noir-crime, humor, contemporary-fiction
Read from June 14 to 16, 2010

I like the genre name "Tartan Noir", to which this book belongs. It's a mystery/crime novel set in Edinburgh in the 90's. The book is funny and I liked the writing, but the plot is nothing special: I'm bored with evil, moneygrubbing corporate executives. This is actually a rather odd mystery in that the villain's identity is revealed quite early on. It reminded me of a Coen brothers movie: the bad guys are horrific and yet hilariously incompetent, and you watch while the good guys track them down.

The first few chapters are gross (vivid descriptions of gore and bodily waste) but thankfully the book doesn't continue long in that vein. I liked the protagonist and while the characterizations were all a bit shallow, I enjoyed the supporting cast. I've already ordered the next couple of books featuring these characters.

I enjoyed the fact that Parlabane, who is inured to bloody crime scenes and fearless about breaking and entering, completely freaks out when he discovers that someone is trying to kill him. He doesn't go into tough-guy mode, he up and flees to another continent. It was a refreshingly normal reaction for a crime novel hero.
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Reading Progress

06/14/2010 page 40
18.0% ""For Gow it was just one human waste product too many." For me too. This is kind of funny, but perhaps not the best book to read on my lunch hour."
06/15/2010 page 126
56.0% "We've eased away from the bodily fluids and I'm enjoying the book now, although it's terribly cynical. Reminds me a little of a Coen brothers movie."

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