Attack of the Unsinkable Rubber Ducks, by Christopher Brookmyre

This one concerns Gabriel Lafayette, who appears to have paranormal powers and is interested in establishing a university department to put spiritual claims under the scientific microscope. Lafayette has powerful friends who are convinced he's the real deal. Several people are pretty sceptical, but it's not easy to explain away all the things that Lafayette appears to be able to do. Especially when he can do them under strict laboratory conditions.

Another Jack Parlabane book - a twist being here that he dies in this one so his portions of narration come from beyond the grave, presumably. He refers in this to some of his previous adventures, including the story in Be My Enemy.

I think this is the most enjoyable of Brookmyre's books that I've read - it didn't suffer from the problems of the others (too much swearing, rambling philosophising, "elegant variation", and irrelevant side plots) and if this had been the first of his I'd read, I'd have read more straight away.

Partly this was because of the subject matter I suppose - the book is largely the story of how to debunk a trickster (or at least, that's what you have to assume) and so there's a fair number of inexplicable feats which subsequently turn out to have very mundane explanations. It's always nice to see one's own prejudices confirmed and so I enjoyed the way that charlatans were exposed. A bit like the satisfying feeling you have when watching Derren Brown investigate mediums (media?).

But the structure of the book and the twists of narrative made it interesting too, without feeling laboured. And the characters were a lot more likeable in this book (well, the good guys were) than the other Parlabane book I read. In fact I will definitely look out some more by Brookmyre now.

Re-read in 2014, having a memory of this being a really satisfying read. This time it didn't feel quite so satisfying... I did like it, but second time round was a bit of a disappointment.

Completed : 12-Jul-2010

Completed : 17-Aug-2014

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