Friday, March 13, 2009

Attack of the Unsinkable Rubber Ducks by Christopher Brookmyre (33/81)

Category: Themed Titles – Animals

I loved Christopher Brookmyre’s early books and will admit to having a slight crush on his investigative journalist character, Jack Parlabane, but I was under-whelmed by some of his later books and I haven’t bothered with quit e a few of the recent ones. But if “Attack of the Unsinkable Rubber Ducks” is anything to go by, he is back on form. For anyone who isn’t familiar with his books, he has been described as similar to Carl Hiassen, but his stories are set in Scotland.

Once more it features the cynical journalist Parlabane, but this time he is narrating the book from beyond the grave, and the theme of the book is the paranormal and fake psychics. The title refers to some people’s unshakeable beliefs despite huge evidence to contrary. Essentially this is a crime novel, but the trickery of the celebrity mediums and the human psychology behind it makes for an interesting setting.

Yet again, this is a book with a split narrative. Parlabane is the main narrator and his deadpan Scottish humour will be familiar to anyone who has read Brookmyre’s other books, but he shares the narration with a student caught up in the events and a female journalist with opposing views to Parlabane. The parts by the latter are dryer in style than the rest and the opening chapter seemed to drag, but it is worth sticking with as the story soon picks up.

I guessed a couple of the twists before they were revealed but that didn’t spoil my enjoyment of this. A good light read.

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