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When the Devil Drives [Kindle Edition]

Christopher Brookmyre
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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Book Description

The second installment in Christopher Brookmyre’s new crime series, When the Devil Drives is an intensely gripping literary thriller that delves into the darkest reaches of the human psyche.

Actress turned private investigator Jasmine Sharp has become accustomed to clients looking for long-lost relatives, so when a woman hires her to find her younger sister Tessa Garrion, Jasmine presumes the case will be relatively straightforward. The assignment takes her back into the world of professional theater, where she is warned off more than once for probing too deeply into the past.

Meanwhile, Detective Superintendent and mother-of-two Catherine McLeod is called to the scene of a murder in the Highlands. Following a theatrical outdoor performance of A Midsummer Night's Dream at Cragruthes Castle, a prominent figure in the Scottish arts community is shot dead during a post-performance photo call. With her initial leads turning out to be red herrings, McLeod struggles to determine the killer’s motive.

Jasmine soon uncovers Tessa’s involvement in a drug-riddled Highlands estate retreat replete with occult rituals, which implicates more than a few people in the upper echelons of Scotland’s arts scene. Tessa’s disappearance in the summer of 1981 begins to look increasingly like murder, but the guilty will stop at nothing to keep the truth hidden. As Jasmine’s and McLeod’s investigations intertwine, it becomes evident that both cases are far more convoluted and dangerous than anticipated.

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Two female crime fighters muster all their moxie and mental acumen in international best-seller Brookmyre’s second in a stellar series set in Scotland. Aspiring actress turned private investigator Jasmine Sharp’s search for a woman’s long-lost sister brings her back into the world of professional theater. (It is a bittersweet reunion; Jasmine always wondered what her life would have been like had she continued to tread the boards.) This time, however, the drama is very real: a 30-year-old unsolved mystery that could shatter the reputations of a few much-touted theater icons. Meanwhile, Detective Superintendent Catherine McLeod contemplates clues in the murder of a theatergoer who stepped onstage for a photo shoot following a performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. (Talk about your reverie turned nightmare.) The lives of the two sleuths seemed destined to intersect, and consummate crime-fiction writer Brookmyre (Where the Bodies Are Buried, 2012) is a master at rendering ingenious, intertwining plots. Sharply drawn characters and an idyllic Scottish setting add further appeal to this engaging entry in which foul play’s the thing. --Allison Block


“The elements that have attracted readers to Brookmyre since his early efforts are abundantly present in his latest work: complex plots, deep examinations into those dark aspects of the human personality and psyche that are simultaneously fascinating and repellent, and, at the core, a puzzling and intelligent mystery or two. It is difficult to imagine what more one could ask for.”—BookReporter

“Brookmyre is a master at rendering ingenious, intertwining plots. Sharply drawn characters and an idyllic Scottish setting add further appeal to this engaging entry in which foul play’s the thing.”—Booklist (starred review)

When the Devil Drives is a true pleasure for all detective fiction fans—think Ian Rankin by way of Agatha Christie, by turns dark and delightful and always intriguing. Christopher Brookmyre’s strong prose and clever dialogue deliver on every page of this intricately plotted thriller, and I look forward to seeing what he does next.”—Michael Koryta, winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and New York Times bestselling author of The Prophet

When the Devil Drives is an engaging, well-written, Scottish-based crime thriller. . . . there is no disguising Brookmyre’s prose.”—The Herald (Glasgow)

“Brookmyre paints the workmanlike nature of private investigating with veracity and insight. . . . yet another accomplished, engaging, smart, and funny piece of crime writing, plotted and executed with no small amount of skill, style, and craft.”—The Scotsman

“Invigoratingly complex . . . cripplingly infectious.”—Daily Mirror

“Brookmyre at his chaotic, brilliant best.”—Daily Record

“Deftly plotted and believably characterized as ever, with a pleasing anti-establishment edge.”—Marylebone Journal

Product Details

  • File Size: 584 KB
  • Print Length: 370 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 080212089X
  • Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press (May 7, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #149,506 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Oops! January 27, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A whodunnit by Brookmyre with little gore and a short, sentimental ending. I enjoyed the many twists and accept the ending because that's the way it is.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
When the Devil Drives opens up with a thoughtful meditation on death, on the taking of a life and of the consequences of living with that action. Yeah, I know - it's the last thing you would have expected from a Christopher Brookmyre novel in the past. Death, yes - but usually from the perspective of someone considering what a messy business it is, how on earth they're going to get those stains off the ceiling and how to dispose of the inconvenient dead body that's been left lying around. But then, as we've seen from Where the Bodies Are Buried, this is the new reformed, reinvented, reconstituted Chris Brookmyre, and now everything is a bit more sedate, respectable, conventional and, sadly, starting to get more than a little dull.

Admittedly, not everyone liked the first Jasmine Sharp outing, but I thought it held out some promise and was a welcome change of pace for a writer who needed to expand and develop his range. This is not in any way expanding your range. For whatever reason, Brookmyre seems to have shied away from the obvious teaser at the end of the last book, sidelining Glenn Fallon and even leaving Detective Superintendent Catherine McLeod to plod away to little effect on the procedural subplot. That means, for a long while at least, that we're left with actress-turned-private-investigator Jasmine Sharp for the bulk of the case, and the book is consequently very slow to get off the ground.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Tartan noir" at its very best July 1, 2013
Christopher Brookmyre has written a great number of books, not always to a wide audience but to a very loyal one. He is probably best known as working in what is called the "Tartan noir" genre. Arguably, his recently introduced Jasmine Sharp series set in his native Scotland --- consisting of WHERE THE BODIES ARE BURIED from 2012 and the newly published (in the United States) WHEN THE DEVIL DRIVES --- does not fit neatly into that classification. Still, that is no reason for Brookmyre's fanbase to turn away from him.

The elements that have attracted readers to Brookmyre since his early efforts are abundantly present in his latest work: complex plots, deep examinations into those dark aspects of the human personality and psyche that are simultaneously fascinating and repellent, and, at the core, a puzzling and intelligent mystery or two. It is difficult to imagine what more one could ask for.

WHEN THE DEVIL DRIVES opens with Sharp having inherited her uncle's private investigation agency, where she had been employed on a part-time basis while attempting to pursue an acting career. Having demonstrated a skill at locating missing persons, Sharp is retained by a new client to find her younger sister, Tessa Garrion. The case is colder than cold --- Garrion disappeared some three decades before --- but Sharp, as one might expect from her previous outing, is undaunted. Interestingly enough, the investigation takes her back to the world of the arts, specifically the theater.

It turns out that the missing woman was not living the life of a nun when she disappeared. Rather, she was a somewhat frequent visitor to an estate retreat where the occult in its more extreme forms was practiced, and drug use and abuse were the norm.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The second Jasmine Sharp novel May 1, 2013
Where the Bodies Are Buried introduced readers to actress-turned-detective Jasmine Sharp. In When the Devil Drives, Jasmine has inherited her uncle's detective agency. Alice Petrie hires Jasmine to find Alice's sister, Tessa Garrion, from whom Alice has long been estranged. Tessa was last known to be working as an actress before she dropped out of sight. As Jasmine tries to track down Tessa's past, it becomes clear that some or all members of a short-lived production company, now thirty years defunct, are concealing a dark secret about their past. A second storyline follows DS Catherine McLeod as she investigates the shooting of an arts patron that occurred during a production of Shakespeare at a castle in the Highlands.

When the Devil Drives has an interesting structure. The novel opens with a confession of murder, but we don't know the identities of either the confessor or the victim. The story eventually journeys back in time before, returning to the present, the two storylines converge. Toward the end, Christopher Brookmyre ratchets up the tension, adding the elements of a thriller to a murder mystery.

The plot is a multiple whodunit. In the tradition of mystery writers, Brookmyre sets up several suspects who may have committed murder. When one of those suspects is killed, the reader wonders whether that suspect murdered Tessa and was killed by someone else, or whether a different suspect murdered them both. The story is realistic, avoiding the over-the-top motivations that mar so many murder mysteries, while at the same time employing the sort of misdirection that has the reader wondering just how over-the-top the intricate plot might turn out to be.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Devilishly Goog!
Well written, fun to read. I recommend everything bt Christopher Brookmyre, first-class writer. Read entire novel in less than two hours; couldn't put it down.
Published 1 month ago by Tom J. Collins
5.0 out of 5 stars Another good read
I will get straight to the point I'm from Scotland and I like to read. I have always enjoyed the authors books as there are subtle and sometimes not so subtle references to our... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Nathan A. Milne
3.0 out of 5 stars Fast paced Scottish murder mystery
As per usual, no lack of twists, turns, suspects, red-herrings etc. in this Brookmyre tale. At times the Scottish slang and in this book the in-depth explanations of... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Warren Olson
5.0 out of 5 stars 2nd book in a series to watch out for
Christopher Brookmyre is appointment purchasing in these parts, but even allowing for that obsession, I do really like the way this Jasmine Sharp series is shaping up. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
1.0 out of 5 stars Utter drivel
What has happened to Chris Brookmyre? Why do we need all the back story on theatre production and funding problems? Read more
Published 8 months ago by Steve
5.0 out of 5 stars If you fail to read Brookmyre before you die, you haven't lived.
Once upon a time, I was having a pint of IPA with a professor of law, who also happened to have served as a QC and a judge before he retired. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Robert Forrester
5.0 out of 5 stars When the Devil Drives
This novel is the second featuring PI Jasmine Sharp and Detective Superintendent Catherine McLeod, the first being "Where the Bodies are Buried". Read more
Published 12 months ago by S Riaz
5.0 out of 5 stars Really good
Been reading Brookmyre for many years and really like his work. If you're a fan, this will not dissapoint you... Great twists and turns... Down to the final sentence... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Jan E
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