One Fine Day In The Middle Of The Night by Christopher Brookmyre

Abacus, 2007, 373p.

I’ve not read them in order of publication but it’s possible to discern a recurring pattern in Brookmyre’s novels, apart from the obvious humour and violence. A bunch of bad guys (mercenaries/terrorists here) interrupts the daily business of some ordinary punters (in this one it’s a school reunion.) Add in too a denouement in an isolated setting (a converted oil rig.) There may also be passing reference to someone living in, or a citizen of, the US.

The more interesting parts of One Fine Day In The Middle Of The Night are based on the interactions of the former schoolmates. Brookmyre manages to convey the excruciating nature such reunions surely entail. That scenario might have been enough to carry a novel on its own without the intrusion of the thriller elements (which admittedly would have been a different kind of book.) Here, while the comedy terrorists are necessary for the book’s plot, they are too unconvincing to suspend disbelief.

I note that schooldays have also figured strongly in the pasts of other Brookmyre protagonists, particularly Angelique Di Xavia.

One Fine Day In The Middle Of The Night might be a good enough introduction to Brookmyre’s oeuvre but I didn’t find it as satisfying a read as A Big Boy Did It And Ran Away nor The Sacred Art Of Stealing.

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