Brookmyre, Christopher Be My Enemy

ISBN 13: 9780316725224

Be My Enemy

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9780316725224: Be My Enemy
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It was a junket, a freebie. A 'team-building' weekend in the highlands for lawyers, advertising execs, businessmen, even the head of a charity. Oh, and a journalist, specially solicited for his renowned and voluble scepticism - Jack Parlabane. Amid the flying paintballs and flowing Shiraz even the most cynical admit the organisers have pulled some surprises - stalkers in the forest, power cuts in the night, mass mobile phone thefts, disappearing staff, disappearing guests: there's nothing can bring out people's hidden strengths or break down inter-personal barriers quite like not having a clue what's going on and being scared out of your wits. However, when the only vehicular access for thirty miles is cut off it seems that events are being orchestrated not just for pleasure ... And that's before they find the first body. Thereafter, 'finding out who your colleagues really are' is not so much an end product as the key to reaching Monday morning alive.

Visit the author's website at www.brookmyre.co.uk

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Review:

By now, readers know what to expect from the remarkable Mr Brookmyre, and Be My Enemy has all the hallmarks of his caustic wit. The protagonist of his earlier books, the wry Jack Parlabane, makes a welcome reappearance, faced with an intriguing professional problem: he is to take part in a weekend of "corporate teambuilding" in the comfortable surroundings of a secluded estate. But quite what sort of course is this? Jack's instincts as a no-holds-barred hack, skilled at uncovering unpalatable truths, warn him that something unusual is in the offing--but he's not quite prepared for the extremely dangerous sideshow that is to accompany the corporate makeovers.

This is wonderfully abrasive stuff, full of the scabrous insights that we read Brookmyre for, and it's good to see ideas shoehorned into the satirically biting prose; while never neglecting the crucial task of keeping us turning those pages, Brookmyre makes some sharp points here; one of them being that we all harbour certain fascist tendencies, stifling a desire to put paid to those who go against us. The Highland country house in Be My Enemy functions as a hot house in which certain ideas along these lines can be explored--and Brookmyre's conclusions are just as likely to upset politically correct leftwingers as they are to ruffle the feathers of staunch conservatives. But don't get the idea that this is any kind of a tract: Brookmyre is a man who knows that ideas in novels must always be at the service of the narrative and that's very much the case here. Jack Parlabane's one-liners are as spot-on as ever, and the juggling of violence and black humour is as precisely judged as we expect from this writer. --Barry Forshaw

Review:

Ingenious satire. (HEAT)

This is a wickedly funny crime novel. (SUNDAY TIMES)

Satisyingly develops the rare combination of jokes and jolts of which Brookmyre is the finest exponent apart from the American writer Carl Hiaasen. (GUARDIAN)

His dialogue fizzes with energy and wit, and the often gruesome, black humour is unparalleled. (VENUE)

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