For anyone that’s read my blog before you’ll likely be aware that Chris Brookmyre is one of my favourite authors. His books were a suggestion by a friend, and I started with Quite Ugly One Morning, then binged my way through his books Where the Devil Drives which is about 15 books. ( luckily I had plenty of amazon vouchers to ease the financial pain!!!)
I have yet to read his last two books, Places in Darkness ( which sounds amazing btw) and The way of all flesh but when the opportunity for an early copy of Fallen Angel popped up for review I couldnt resist requesting a copy. ( Thank you Little, Brown Book Group UK for obliging me) As its not part of the ‘Parlabane’ series I was excited to see where these new characters would lead us, whilst keeping an eye out for any crossovers, that are often so subtle you can miss with a Brookmyre book. I am going to try and keep this review spoiler free because the books not due out until April 25th, so I dont want to be that person but I cant make any promises, so read on at your own risk!
This is the story of families who visit their villas in Portugal and share a pool. The main family has a faded actress as the matriach, who just cant let go of her glory days, or admit her family might be less than perfect, her husband is now a famous author and conspiracy theorist debunker. They have a handful of kids, who now grown up have their own lives, and have their own secrets. There is the student who has lent her summer vacay to a Lawyer and his trophy wife, as a baby sitter in return for bed and board, and there is the history from 2002.
Whilst Amanda is the main character that we follow, the story is also largely about Ivy. She has left behind who she was as a child, reinvented herself and is happy to be known as someone to be feared. She self sabotages and feels comfortable doing that. When I suddenly realised who her lover was I really did have an OMG moment. I felt like I should have known, whilst at the same time I dont think I could have worked it out. Ivy doesnt want to spend time with her family, but she turns ups to appease her mother, and get some closure from the events that took place last time they were all together.
Amanda is left holding the baby, rather than concentrating on exploring and her Vlog as she had hoped she would. finding herself as the primary carer for baby Arron and slightly unwelcome by Celia, because her upbringing doesnt fit into the perfect family image, she also runs foul of Ivy and really feels like this isnt the summer she expected.
As always with Brookmyres books, there are twists and turns, breadcrumbs are left to lead you right to the answers, and Amanda as an aspiring journalist wants the answers too, this could be her big break. But will the crumbs lead to answers or danger?
I had several moments in this book where I suddenly clicked what was going on. Who was who, and who had done what, looking back its so so obvious, but when in the story I think I was too consumed with trying to work it out I couldnt see the woods for the tress.
I think there is something clever about Brookmyres writing, the references he makes to potential political conspiracies, that might go over your head – depending on the readers location and age – but then several chapters later he’ll re reference it in a different way to make sure the point is made. ( Im not spoiling the story here by telling you the references were JFK and Princess Diana related)
This book was amazing, but I’d expect no less from Chris Brookmyre. it’d be 5 stars, if I did ratings. Click here to preorder now!