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Blue Genes (Kate Brannigan #5)

3.53  ·  Rating details ·  831 Ratings  ·  43 Reviews
Kate Brannigan, Manchester's tough-talking crime-stalking PI, isn't just having a bad day. She's having a bad week. The worst week of her life, in fact. Her boyfriend's obituary is in the newspaper, her plans to capture a team of heartless crooks are in disarray, and a Celtic neo-punk band under siege wants her to rescue them from the saboteurs who are trashing their poste ...more
Hardcover, Large Print, 297 pages
Published February 1st 1997 by Scribner Book Company (first published 1996)
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Feb 14, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I really like Val McDermid in general but this one is the only Kate Brannigan's book I've read so far, and I wasn't too impressed. I really prefer the Tony Hill series or the books outside any series.
Maybe because I haven't started with the first book in the Brannigan series, and it left me with the feeling of missing some inside jokes/references.
Jun 22, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Amoralists
Read this while travelling, and it was marginally more diverting than staring out the window at clouds. In future I would rather poke out my eyes than read another Val McDermid. I have tried to remove the one star from this review, as it's overly generous.
Diana Febry
I normally love McDermid's books but this one isn't her best. The subject of fertility treatment for lesbian couples that the main plot revolved around was interesting as were the two minor investigations. But the characters and writing, especially the humour fell flat for me.
Jun 28, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Predictable and cheesy, but very well written. McDermid's skill is to keep you engaged despite the blatantly obvious plot twists and (in fairness, often acknowledged) bad jokes. Plus, Kate Brannigan, her boyfriend Richard, and her motley crew of friends are such a likeable bunch of characters that you're willing to forgive a lot.

However, there was one bit of the story that was so implausible that I genuinely thought it would turn out to be revealed to the bunkum that it was (it wasn't). I won't
Deyth Banger
The whole thing is just don't think... that's all... DON"T GIVE A SHIT!
Nov 06, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Not one of Val McDermid’s best offerings. I struggled through to the end of this but found it totally unbelievable.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: regal
Privatdetektivin Kate Brannigan hat gleich mehrere Fälle zu lösen. Zunächst einmal erleichtern zwei Trickbetrüger trauernde Familienangehörige, indem sie ihnen einen (nicht existenten) Grabstein verkaufen. Dann taucht ihr Lebensgefährte, Musikjournalist Richard, mit zwei Mitgliedern einer Band auf, deren musikalisches Leben zur Hölle gemacht wird: Tourplakate werden abgerissen, Ticketverkäufe sabotiert, Neonazis auf ihre Gigs geschickt und zuletzt wurde sogar der Tourbus abgefackelt. Zu guter Le ...more
Ian Brydon
Apr 27, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the fifth novel featuring Kate Branigan, the Manchester based private investigator, and probably the best one so far (which is saying something as the previous books had all been very strong). As usual, Kate finds herself investigating several cases simultaneously, carefully balancing her time and skills, and somehow managing to keep a grasp on all of them.

The principal storyline, however, which gives the book its name, revolves around the apparently mindless murder of a doctor engaged i
Mary Vermillion
Nov 10, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While trying to find a new business partner, Kate tackles three cases: a fly-posting scam, a burial scam, and a murder case involving a murdered fertility specialist. This last was particularly interesting to me since my own Seminal Murder also features such a scientist. McDermid's scientist, however, is more ambitious than my fictional one, creating female babies with the X chromosomes of two women!

In the acknowledgments to this 1996 novel, McDermid writes, "What is outlined in this novel is mo
The Cats Mother
I took a break from this series, but do want to finish it, and enjoyed this one more than the last couple. As before, Kate investigates a few unrelated cases and solves a personal dilemma at the same time, solving the murder of a fertility specialist who has been treating her best friend Alexis, helping out a punk band whose gigs are being sabotaged by Mancunian organised crime elements, and finding a new partner when Bill falls in love with an Australian and decides to emigrate. The book came o ...more
I picked this up because we were fans of the TV series Wire in the Blood and I was mildly concerned the murder might be a little gory and dark.

Imagine my surprise when I found myself laughing out loud. Ms McDermid has a very English, more-than-slighty-snarky turn of phrase which I found most amusing and was the main reason I liked this book so much and would be happy to read more.
The story was a science-based mystery but she didn't drag us into too much excruciating detail. There were some good
Jul 28, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
This is the first Val McDermid I've read, and I am willing to try her again (particularly because I gather her fans don't think this her strongest book). The running of three mysteries in one was at first a positive for me, but towards the end...well, it gave a scattered, breathless sort of approach to it all. Can't fault her for being superficial when dealing with grave matter, because most of the mysteries I read are (I mean, they start with someone dead, and what could be more grave than that ...more
Mar 31, 2016 rated it really liked it
Val McDermid has all the trains on track with this fifth Kate Brannigan outing. She makes good use of Brannigan's friends, keeps us moving through 3 or 4 stories, and just has everything spot on.

Apparently, this book followed her planned one-off story with Carol Jordan (and that guy who helps Carol Jordan). When that turned into a series, it must have quickly been clear that no matter how tuned in McDermid could be with Brannigan, there was a much more complex set of stories to tell with Carol
Lillian E.
Aug 30, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book left me seriously curious about in vitro fertilization and the possibilities thereof. As McDermid says in her forward, the subject of the mystery is something that science could probably do and just hasn't yet. It's funny because this book is well over ten years old, so you'd think the science would sound like even more of a reality today...but I think we're still hamstrung by those same ethical issues that the mystery in this book surrounds.

In any case, this was another great entry in
Apr 01, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-books-read
This was another good book in the series. I'm coming towards the end of the series and will miss it. I think the next book is the last in the series, so far. I do hope that the author continues to add new books to the series.

I love the development of the characters from book to book and this didn't disappoint. As usual, the main character was investigating several cases in her role as a Private Investigator.
Aug 19, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Second book this month I've wanted to give a 3.5 - it's better than my light summer reads, but not up to Val's usual standard. Kate Brannigan's investigation was a bit all over the place and the pieces shouldn't have fit quite as easily as they did. A few nice twists, and again well written but just not my favourite. (Most of her Tony Hill series would get a 5* from me. And usually Kate would get a clear 4*).
Richard Thompson
Oct 28, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
A Kate Brannigan mystery.

Kate has a lot on her plate in this one: her business partner is selling his share of the agency and moving to Australia, her lesbian friends are expecting a baby, a sleazy couple are running a scam selling non-existent headstones, and someone is sabotaging Dan Druff and the Scabby Heided Bairns.

I am really enjoying this series. Unfortunately, this the last one of the series in the local library so I will have to resort to inter-library loans for the other three.
Jasmiina F
Mar 21, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
Blue Genes is a crime novel about Kate Brannigan who is a private investigator. I think this is the fifth book about Kate. It bothered me a bit that I hadn’t read the previous parts, but I think this can be read seperately too. I liked the themes in Blue Genes, even though some topics made me a bit uneasy... The life of Kate seemed nicely real in a way and I enjoyed the different characters. But now I miss Manchester again!
This was a quick, fun read, centering around the theme of In Vitro Fertilization, with a subplot involving music/band promoters. This is the first Val McDermid book I've read, and I will probably read more. The detective, Kate Brannigan, is another one of those "tough-talking female private eye" stereotypes (yawn), but McDermid writes with a great, snarky sense of humor.
May 01, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like the author and Kate but this time the plot is a bit "extreme" ,so if the theme of infertility is serius , that envisaged in the book is pure sci-fi, in contrast the other two misteries that are simple. Must also admit, that first few pages have upset me,
this I must give credit to the skill of the writer for how knows "mislead" the reader.
Feb 11, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Better than average private eye book. The plot is creative and moves along well. I have now added a new author to my favourite mystery writers.this is McDermid,s first novel starring pi Kate brannigan. Now she has written several about this pi, some of which have been filmed for television. I love mysteries set in London/ England.
Not as compelling as the other Brannigan novels. The plotlines felt a bit unbalanced, with none of the investigations feeling like it was the main focus. Plot developments came out of nowhere, and the resolutions felt a bit truncated. However, Val McDermid's wry style makes any Brannigan novel a pleasure to read. Blue Genes just isn't her best.
Jun 18, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The only McDermid I've read so far is this series and I'm just starting the last one. I'm not crazy about them but they pass the time. Too dated now, for one thing, plus so much slang/jargon that is local and not easily "gotten" by someone from California. I look forward to reading her other works.
Claire Chat de bibliothèques
J'ai beaucoup aimé cette histoire de détective privée qui part dans tous les sens, avec un bon rythme et beaucoup d'humour!

Feb 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
excellent read
This was not my favourite book by Val McDermid but she writes well and her ideas are always fresh.
Shehab El-Hariry
Not my cup of tea
the book is divided into 3 cases that happen at the same time without any connections between them
I was not very entertained by the style of writting or the subject discussed
Jan 04, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not her strongest but still a good one. Felt like it was a bit slow on the beginning..but the plot gets better as the book winds down.
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Val McDermid is a No. 1 bestseller whose novels have been translated into more than thirty languages, and have sold over eleven million copies.

She has won many awards internationally, including the CWA Gold Dagger for best crime novel of the year and the LA Times Book of the Year Award. She was inducted into the ITV3 Crime Thriller Awards Hall of Fame in 2009 and was the recipient of the CWA Cart
More about Val McDermid...

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Kate Brannigan (6 books)
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“Sometimes, the only things that make you feel good are the same ones that worked when you were five. Yes, I slammed the door” 6 likes
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