Christopher Brookmyre is 44 years old and remarkably this is his 17th book. I’ve read them all, some more than once. Of his 17 books only 2 have left me feeling disappointed. Flesh Wounds is definitely not one of the two. This book is the 3rd in his Jasmine Sharp (& Glen Fallan I suppose) series and judging by the ending won’t be the last.
Whereas in When The Devil Drives & Where The Bodies Are Buried Brookmyre hints at Sharp’s back-story and just how her dad had been killed by Fallan, Flesh Wounds strips it all bare, warts and all. Using a series of flashbacks overlaid against an investigation into a seemingly simple yet ultimately complex gangland hit Brookmyre gives us a Glasgow crime novel at its finest.
The characters grow into themselves. Unlike Parlabane, Sharp has been hard to take to. She doesn’t have the same class and wit as Jack (who is Brookmyre’s finest lead character for those who don’t know) but by the end of this book she has a pair of balls bigger then Evil Kenivel’s.
The story begins with one of Glasgow’s biggest gangsters being executed in his own car wash (used for cleaning cars and money). The killer is very quickly identified as Glen Fallan, the man who killed Jasmine Sharp’s dad and ultimately saved her life in the previous books. They have a unique bond.
It’s a fait accompli. Fallan is arrested and accepts the inevitable. Sharp refuses to believe and digs and digs until she finds a can of worms and now can’t be closed. In a story going back over 30 years and with vendettas, revenge and egos abound, Brookmyre treats us to a story which acts as glue to its predecessors and matures the Jasmine Sharp series of novels, and his move into Glasgow crime stories together wonderfully well.
This is by far and away his best work since Attack of the Unsinkable Rubber Ducks but I would heartily recommend you read the first two Sharp books to get the full picture.