A Snowball in Hell by Christopher Brookmyre

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13-10-2008 23:24:05


Book review of A Snowball in Hell by Christopher Brookmyre, published by Little, Brown


A Snowball in Hell both reunites and bring together characters from two of Christopher Brookmyer's previous books, The Sacred Art of Stealing and A Big Boy Did It and Ran Away, namly Simon Darcout, Zal Innez and Angelique De Zavier. While not it's not essential to have read the previous titles it would probably make the opening chapters of the book easier to get into as numerous back references are made which could leave you thinking you have missed something.
This is a book very much influenced by the current world, something that becomes clear as it takes in religious terrorism, reality TV, the shallow world of celebrity and the popularity of the instant voyeurism available on the internet 24/7.
As you would expect from a plot that involves the terrorist without a moral cause, Simon Darcourt, the body count increases as the story unfolds but it's often hard to decide it you feel sorry for the victims or are secretly quite glad they got what was coming.
As the tension mounts the story moves back and forth between Simon and Zal until the two characters are brought together by Angelique and numerous twists and turns that help to keep you guessing what happens next.
The first two thirds of the book can seem a bit slow at times a suffer from slightly long winded rants against a whole bus full of protagonists. The final third though flies by in a storm of ups, downs and mis-direction to build to a thrilling conclusion which keeps surprising to the end.
The two previous books featuring these characters both had moments that made me laugh out loud, something that was missing from A Snowball In Hell but it was still an enjoyable read. If you are new to Brookmyer it might be worth reading the other titles first so you are more familiar with the characters but whether you do or not this is well worth sticking with, particularly for anybody with a dislike of I'm a Celebrity Big Brother Idol culture.


A  Snowball  in  Hell  Christopher  Brookmyre  book  review    Brookmyer 

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