Millie Spark can kill anyone. A special effects make-up artist, her talent is to create realistic scenes of bloody violence. Then, one day, she wakes to find her lover dead in her bed. Twenty-five years later, her sentence for murder served, Millicent is ready to give up on her broken life - until she meets troubled film student and reluctant petty thief Jerry. Together, they begin to discover that all was not what it seemed on that fateful night . . . and someone doesn't want them to find out why.
Reviewed on 2nd May 2021
The latest Chris Brookmyre crime novel is another genius blend of cultural references, commentary on society, mystery, history, and comedy.
The plot considers the life of a former horror-movie make-up artist, released after a 25-year prison sentence for a crime she denies committing, and that of an 18-year-old film student. Both make for intriguing reading, and help explore both our world and the fiction that Brookmyre weaves on top of it.
The classic Brookmyre style is there, with a mix of storytelling in the present day and in flashback, which combine to reveal information at exactly the right pace. This gives quite a few of the classic gasp out loud moments as the plot meanders, though not quite to the throw down the book in delighted surprise level of one of his previous works.
I was particularly pleased when I identified an early and obscure reference, as my exposure to the horror film genre is limited just to the most mainstream - so there is something for everyone regardless of your own viewing habits.
A really good, enjoyable and engrossing novel.