Want You Gone by Chris Brookmyre reviewed

Want You Gone Book Cover Want You Gone
Jack Parlabane
Christopher Brookmyre #8
Little Brown Book UK
April 20, 2017

What if all your secrets were put online? Sam Morpeth is growing up way too fast, left to fend for a younger sister with learning difficulties when their mother goes to prison and watching her dreams of university evaporate. But Sam learns what it is to be truly powerless when a stranger begins to blackmail her online, drawing her into a trap she may not escape alive. Who would you turn to? Meanwhile, reporter Jack Parlabane has finally got his career back on track, but his success has left him indebted to a volatile source on the wrong side of the law. Now that debt is being called in, and it could cost him everything. What would you be capable of? Thrown together by a common enemy, Sam and Jack are about to discover they have more in common than they realise - and might be each other's only hope.

I found the opening of Want You Gone by Chris Brookmyre intriguing. We quickly have three apparently disparate threads. A teenage carer appears to be having problems with social services. Jack Parlabane is looking for work as a journalist in London. A hacker group is attempting to hack into a bank website. The writing is crisp and easy to read and I’m happy reading it.

As always with Chris Brookmyre things are not always as they seem and I was increasingly drawn into some shady dealing. The question is just who are the goodies and who are the baddies. In fairness Jack has always had a law breaking side to his character but generally makes it to the last page with some degree of glory ot at least alive! As to the other characters – in the main Buzzkill, a hacker and Sam, a carer – things are less clear. Buzzkill did appear in a previous story as a hacker who effectively exploited Jack.

I’ve always liked Jack as a character and he is very well written. Sam rapidly became another female character written well and, for me, convincingly by this author. Their paths and fates become increasingly interwoven in this tale. There is hacking, corporate misdoings and crime. The story is twisty and tense and makes for a satisfying read.

While this is a tense thriller at times the narrative about some of the personal interactions goes to a deeper and more thoughtful level. For me this is a well written book and stands comparison with many of the thriller genre around today. The first half is good, the second half is very hard to put down. I think I preferred the previous book – “Black Widow”. However this is an enjoyable and essential read for fans of Chris Brookmyre. I’d say 4.5/5 but happily rounded up to 5.

Note – I received an advance digital copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair review