cover image Dead Girl Walking

Dead Girl Walking

Christopher Brookmyre. Atlantic Monthly, $25 (384p) ISBN 978-0-8021-2364-0

In Brookmyre's entertaining though at times implausible sixth crime novel featuring wily Edinburgh newshound Jack Parlabane (after 2007's Attack of the Unsinkable Rubber Ducks), Jack agrees to do a favor for an old friend, Mairi Lafferty, the manager of one of the hottest music acts in Scotland, Savage Earth Heart. Mairi asks Jack to track down the group's lead singer, Heike Gunn, who disappeared after the band's eventful European tour. Chapters alternate between Jack's hunt for Heike and the private blog of Savage Earth Heart's new member, shy violinist Monica Halcrow, who falls under Heike's charismatic spell. Monica's predictable evolution from buttoned-up Shetland girl to wild rock star is less interesting than Jack's descent into the rabbit hole of secrets related to the music world and later to a vast European criminal network. A few connections in this web of deceit are a bit too convenient, but Brookmyre creates fascinating characters and expertly places them in darkly humorous yet disturbing situations. Agent: Caroline Dawnay, United Agents (U.K.). (May)