Quite Ugly One Morning, by Christopher Brookmyre

Jack Parlabane is living in a flat after returning from the states; locks himself out one night and ventures into one of the apartments downstairs to come across the body of someone who's been rather gruesomely murdered. His reporter's instincts kicking in, he teams up with the ex-wife of the victim, who's come round to fetch some of her personal stuff, to find out what happened.

This I think is the first Parlabane book, although allusions are made to previous adventures, and it's quite a good one. In fact, I think it might be Brookmyre's first book. It is a fairly linear story, and mainly reminded me of What A Carve Up!: the plot focuses on a hospital administrator who's using the Thatcher reforms to make money for himself by closing wards and bumping off patients. As in the Coe book, Brookmyre leaves you in no doubt about where his sympathies lie, and how thoroughly venal and cynical he thinks the whole Tory establishment is.

I enjoyed this one, and it's prompted me to re-read What A Carve Up! again.

Re-read this in 2017. It did make me laugh, e.g. at

Around the room's grotesque star attraction was a supporting cast of debris. Much of the floor was carpeted in scattered clothes, books and copies of the blue-covered British Medical Journal. There were huge, dark stains on the walls and floor around the kitchen door, shards of broken green glass and jagged bottle necks lying amidst the wine-soaked clothes and magazines. And there was a hat-stand sticking out of the television screen, like a moderately impressive 3D effect.
McGregor looked on blankly and shook his head.
"So are we treating the death as suspicious sir?" chimed Skinner cheerily from behind.
There's a preface where he talks about Parlabane etc. (and a peek at the end of the book of Want You Gone which I hadn't read at the time). He mentions in the preface that he really liked Carl Hiaasen - and now he mentions it, the similarity seems obvious.

Completed : 09-Dec-2011 (audiobook)

Completed : 18-Aug-2017

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