Almost a decade and a half has gone by since the publication of his award-winning novel ‘Quite Ugly One Morning’ and the dimly lit room in Edinburgh’s most atmospheric club was packed out with fans all eager to hear some excerpts from the highly anticipated ‘Where the Bodies are Buried.’
Brookmyre walked on to the stage set with various props from past novels to rapturous applause, then proceeded to say that he’d had his humour removed and was no longer funny. As a matter of fact, he was hilarious.
He read out some excerpts from his book which, as he said beforehand, were not meant to be funny, but his Scottish twang in some parts made it hard for audience members to hold back a snigger.
The new book centres aruound Detective Superintendent Catherine McLeod, who is trying to track down a killer in Glasgow after a drug-dealer’s dead body is found in an ally.
“I thought that after all these years I’d bring in a proper police inspector character,” Brookmyre explained. “Catherine is happily married with a couple kids, and has a weird and fairly robust perspective on the Glaswegian crime scene. I’m hoping that comes out in the book.”
Brookmyre is extremely keen on the Scottish theme throughout this novel, even going to the extent of naming one of his chapters after a song by Selkirk band Frightened Rabbit.
“It’s called ‘The Loneliness and the Scream’ and it’s the first chapter,” he said.
“I was listening to Frightened Rabbit almost, not quite exclusively, but a lot when I was thinking about this book and before I was working on it.
“Every so often you come across a band or a songwriter who is so emotionally honest and it gets inside your head. I hadn’t heard anything like them in years. Their tone is like a constant relentless self-examination playing in my head and this is a book that’s made about self-examination and it’s also a book about difficult emotions so I thought I’d, not only name the opening chapter after ‘The Loneliness and the Scream’, but use it to acknowledge the depth of Frightened Rabbit.”
Frightened Rabbit themselves were extremely pleased about having one of their song titles used in a book by one of Scotland’s best authors: “We were utterly taken aback and flattered,” they said.
“Chris is an established and unique Scottish literary voice, and to play a part, however small, in his work is an absolute honour. We’re chuffed to bits.”
Speaking of Chris’ comment about them “getting inside” his head, the band said: “That’s all we hope to do. I’ve always loved weaving darkly honest and emotionally complex ideas into a fairly basic ‘pop’ structure. I like the idea that it could take a few listens before people even realise they are essentially singing along to a description of my planning a suicide. A jobby wrapped in nice paper, as Chris might put it.”
See our exclusive Twitter interview from Frightened Rabbit below and also take the time to listen to our exclusive sound bite of Chris reading an excerpt from his new book.
‘Where the Bodies are Buried’ is available from all good book stores.