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Dead Girl Walking by Christopher Brookmyre

Dead Girl Walking

by Christopher Brookmyre

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Having recently read and enjoyed Want you Gone and Black Widow by Chris Brookmyre I was hoping for more of the same fast prose, good characters and enticing story line in Dead Girl Walking. Jack Parlabane, ace investigative reporter, is asked to help find the beautiful and talented Heike Gunn the mesmerizing band leader of the rock band Savage Earth Heart. What I did enjoy about this story was learning a little about Savage Earth Heart and travelling with them as they performed all over Europe in anticipation of the big American Tour. The author shows, in a colourful way, how the band lived and worked with each other on a day to day basis and the petty arguments and jealousies that frequently occurred as band members fought for self recognition. Monica Halcrow, classically trained violinist and the latest recruit, becomes besotted with Gunn at the expense of the relationship with her boyfriend Keith. This however could not sustain a story that was rather devoid of ideas as we waited to see if the charismatic Gunn could be found safe and well by our hero Parlabane. ( )
  runner56 | Jan 31, 2017 |
I wanted to read Brookmyre's "Black Widow" (BW) but thought the price was too high, ie more than $14 for an e-book from a guy I never heard of before. I checked his other stuff and decided to read an earlier book in the Jack Parlabane series, "Dead Girl Walking" (DGW).

What a good move that turned out to be! DGW is an excellent book. I was really blown away by one particular scene, but I'm getting ahead of myself. Jack is a free lance journalist of sorts, a guy who is not above bending, OK breaking, a few laws to get supporting evidence for his stories. He also is prepared to protect his sources' identities to the death, or at least despite short term jail sentences. And so he is frequently hassled by the local police, and unemployed.

He is contacted by the sister of an old friend and hired to find a missing person under the condition that he does not write about anything dealing the investigation. A key member of an up and coming rock band is missing, and Jack begins his investigation by talking to other members of the band, current and former, as well as roadies, support personnel, etc. At this point in the story, we get the perspective of a newer member of the band, a young woman trained in classic violin, new to rock bands, new to performing every night and new to the road. Jack chapters and Monica chapters alternate, with a fair amount of back story meshed with Monica's reactions to the rapid evolution of dealing with a new life and new "friends".

And then there's the scene where Monica and lead singer Heike meld on stage, right in the middle of one of the band's signature songs. And I got instant insight into what it's like to be up there in front of a roaring crowd, with the heat, with the lights, with the sound, the emotion, the high. I have rarely read a prolonged description of a moment coming away with a feeling of having been in it...as I did after those pages. I wanted more. I was so sure that Brookmyre had to be a former rocker to be able to write those perfect pages that I searched the web looking for his pre-novelist life as a musician....

Very good plot, good dialog, nice little twists here and there. I want more. I'll read more Brookmyre, even BW at its inflated price. The only criticism I have is I'm not real crazy about his hero, Jack. Kinda bland in my book (he still yearns for his former love). C'mon Jack, get it together, man. And why is he always jumping all over the place - literally jumping. What's that about? ( )
  maneekuhi | Jan 24, 2017 |
A pacey read, mixing music and murder, Scotland and Germany, sinister roadies and a missing rock star icon. Plenty of fun and nice scene setting. ( )
  jkdavies | Jun 14, 2016 |
Dead Girl Walking by Chris Brookmyre - Very Good, one of his best

Jack Parlabane is back! Following on from the short story released around Christmas (The Last Day of Christmas: The Fall of Jack Parlabane), Jack is in trouble. His adventures in said short story have left him under investigation and pretty much unemployable. Then the sister of an old friend calls up - she manages a rock group (Savage Earth Heart) and it's lead, Heike Gunn, has gone missing. So far, she's managed to keep this under wraps but she needs someone to try and find the girl. Jack's unorthodox methods are just what she needs.

So Jack sets off on the trail. From the wilds of Scotland across to Berlin and back, Jack is on the track of Heike. The chapters alternate between Jack's adventures and the diary cum blog of Monica, the new violinist who has recently joined the band. So while Jack is trying to find Heike, we are getting the background of what happened when the band went on tour.

When I picked up the book, one thing puzzled me: it is written as Chris rather than Christopher (the distinction for less geeky readers is that Christopher is the name he uses for his 'comically inept criminals' books as opposed to the newer more serious crime novels he's started writing as Chris). Previously, all Parlabane books were 'Christopher' style. It soon became apparent that this book is in the new style, whilst not without it's elements of humour - the baddies are definitely bad.

Oh, this was a great book, a return to form - not that his other books have been bad, they haven't, but this is one of his best.

Oh and nice to see that he has retained the habit of re-introducing the odd old character: four popped up to my reckoning. ( )
  Cassandra2020 | Jan 24, 2016 |
A Scottish thriller about an discredited investigative reporter who is hired by an old friend to find out what happened to the lead singer of an up-and-coming Scottish rock band. Starts a little slowly, but delves deeply into the mysteries of the case... one involving concerts and roadies, drugs, prostitution, and murder. First time reading Christopher Brookmyre, but will read more of his work. ( )
  Randall.Hansen | Nov 2, 2015 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0802123643, Hardcover)

Dead Girl Walking is the latest thrilling novel from one of Scotland’s most treasured crime writers, as well known in his native country as Val McDermid, Ian Rankin, and Denise Mina. In Dead Girl Walking, Brookmyre has written his most accessible book yet—a thrilling story of sex, drugs, rock ‘n’ roll, and murder.

Life is dangerous when you have everything to lose. Famous, beautiful and talented, Heike Gunn has the world at her feet. Then, one day, she simply vanishes. Meanwhile, journalist Jack Parlabane has lost everything: his career, his marriage, his self-respect. A call for help from an old friend offers a chance for redemption—but only if he can find out what happened to Heike. Pursued by those who would punish him for past crimes, Parlabane enters the secret-filled world of Heike’s band, Savage Earth Heart, a group at breaking point. Each of its members seems to be hiding something, not least its newest recruit Monica Halcrow, whose alleged relationship with Heike has become a public obsession. Monica’s own story, however, reveals a far darker truth. Fixated on Heike from day one, she has been engulfed by paranoia, jealousy and fear, as she discovers the hidden price of fame. From Berlin to Barcelona, from the streets of Milan to remote Scottish islands, Parlabane must dredge up old secrets to find Heike before it’s too late.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:25:08 -0400)

Famous, beautiful and talented, Heike Gunn has the world at her feet. Then, one day, she simply vanishes. Jack Parlabane has lost everything: his journalism career, his marriage, his self-respect. A call for help from an old friend offers a chance for redemption - but only if he can find out what happened to Heike before it's too late.… (more)

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