attackoftheunsinkablerubbe47510_f.jpgMy brother, The Stanley Scot, introduced me to the novels of Christopher Brookmyre while standing in the Piccadilly Waterstones on one of his infrequent visits to London. He thought I would enjoy the very Scottish sense of humour, the occasional gruesomeness and the regular St Mirren jokes, and was of course right in the way that only brothers who pay attention to what their sisters tell them can be. Since then I’ve read all of his back catalogue and he is one of the authors I have to buy in hardback as I can’t bear to wait.

The Attack of the Unsinkable Rubber Ducks features Jack Parlabane who has been the lead character in a number of Brookmyre’s tales. Jack is a journalist with a tendency to get into trouble, and this is no different; having relocated to Glasgow and become Rector of Kelvin University, he finds himself mixed up in events surrounding the attempt of a psychic/spiritualist, Gabriel Lafayette, and his cronies to get the University to set up a Chair which would allow the investigation of the paranormal. Oh, and Jack himself is deceased and telling us the story from beyond the grave.

I really enjoyed this; I’ve always been fascinated by the things which people will believe and how others seem to take advantage of those beliefs, and in several places Brookmyre gives us details of the techniques that are used, which of course are really obvious once you have them explained. I must admit to having worked out one of the plot points about half way though (only in an “I wonder if” kind of way) but it didn’t spoil things for me and I found it a particularly enjoyable holiday read. And I bought it as a birthday present for The Stanley Scot.