cover image Bred in the Bone

Bred in the Bone

Christopher Brookmyre. Atlantic Monthly, $24 (416p) ISBN 978-0-8021-2247-6

Glasgow gangland violence explodes off the page in Brookmyre’s superb third novel featuring PI Jasmine Sharp and Det. Supt. Catherine McLeod (after 2013’s When the Devil Drives). Stevie Fullerton, gangster extraordinaire, had his hands in myriad criminal pies, yet looked squeaky-clean on paper. When he’s found shot to death at a car wash, Catherine and her team assume it’s an act of retribution by a rival gangster, despite a lack of chatter about the murder beforehand. The case seems to solve itself when Glen Fallan—a thought-to-be-retired gangland enforcer and, coincidentally, the man who killed Jasmine’s father decades earlier—is caught all but red-handed. But nothing is as simple as it seems, as Jasmine is sucked into the investigation of a man and a life that have unnerving ties to her own. Catherine, bent on making this conviction stick, will do anything to solve the case, dredging up a 25-year-old murder in the process. Peppered with choice Glaswegian slang and oozing with just the right combination of black humor and sobering commentary on the city’s dark underbelly, this entry should cement Brookmyre’s reputation as one of today’s top Scottish crime writers. Agent: Caroline Dawnay, United Agents (U.K.). (May)