RogerBW's Blog

Jaggy Splinters, Chris Brookmyre 07 September 2015

2012 collection of six short stories.

A very short collection at that, only around 27,000 words in total; as far as I'm aware there's no hardcopy edition, only etext and audio, because printing it on paper would make it apparent just what a thin book this is.

place b° is nominally a Parlabane story but mostly a rant against homoeopathy, where the plot relies on the villain being more gullible than his victims. Out of the Flesh is a monologue to a captured burglar, apparently along the lines of "scared straight". The Resurrection is a very short piece dealing with the theft of bodies. Bampot Central is rather stronger, seeing Parlabane get involved with the world's least competent post-office robbery. Mellow Doubt has a forcibly-retired terrorist (Simon Darcourt) contemplating his failures and considering his new life; it's decent, but the Brookmyre fan has already read it in its original form as most of a chapter in A Snowball in Hell. Finally, Playground Football is a description of football as played by children, which is probably more interesting if you have fond memories of that sort of thing.

With four of the pieces now freely available on Brookmyre's web site, one of the missing ones basically a polemic wrapped round a wire skeleton of plot and the other very slight indeed, I'd recommend against buying this collection.

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