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A Snowball in Hell | [Christopher Brookmyre]

A Snowball in Hell

Simon Darcourt, an inventive killer with a sense of humour, is creating his own celebrity talent show, one that is generating more publicity than its contestants have ever had in their lives. The catch is that those lives won't be very long. The police turn to Angelique de Xavia, a cop who has crossed his path before. However, the police are not the only people who want Darcourt. Now she's faced not only with tracking him down, but also with the task of ensuring she doesn't end up dead once she's served her purpose.
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Publisher's Summary

Simon Darcourt, an inventive killer with a sense of humour, is creating his own celebrity talent show, one that is generating more publicity than its contestants have ever had in their lives. The catch is that those lives won't be very long.

The police turn to Angelique de Xavia, a cop who has crossed his path before. However, the police are not the only people who want Darcourt. Now she's faced not only with tracking him down, but also with the task of ensuring she doesn't end up dead once she's served her purpose.

Scared and alone, Angelique knows she's got a snowball's chance of pulling this off, which is why she's going to need a little magic...

©2008 Christopher Brookmyre; (P)2009 Isis Publishing Ltd

What the Critics Say

"Brilliant and hilarious." (Guardian)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (144 )
5 star
 (79)
4 star
 (36)
3 star
 (20)
2 star
 (5)
1 star
 (4)
Overall
4.3 (35 )
5 star
 (20)
4 star
 (6)
3 star
 (8)
2 star
 (1)
1 star
 (0)
Story
4.5 (35 )
5 star
 (22)
4 star
 (9)
3 star
 (4)
2 star
 (0)
1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Rogayah Reading, United Kingdom 03/09/2009
    Rogayah Reading, United Kingdom 03/09/2009 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    217
    ratings
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    243
    90
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    Overall
    "Brilliant!"

    This is Brookmyer at his iconoclastic best. An impossible plot is laid down and with the many twist and turns eventually comes to a satisfactory outcome, not without a few laughs, feeling of revulsion and nail-biting tension and a few sacred cows exploded on the way.

    Well told and worth the sometimes excessive blood, gore and bad language - part and parcel of Brookmyer's well-crafted stories.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JonR Kettering, UK 26/03/2010
    JonR Kettering, UK 26/03/2010 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    100
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    218
    50
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    FOLLOWING
    20
    0
    Overall
    "Good but too long"

    I like unabridged books, but as commented by another reviewer an abridged version of this novel would have probably been better, as so many of the themes concerning celebrity culture were repeated time and again. But on a more positive note an execellent story with numerous twists and turns, very well read with good characterisation. On my download there appeared to be two minor faults, what seemed a very out of place chapter early in the book, and later on a chapter that stops mid sentance, but neither really detract from what was on the whole an enjoyable listen.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    P. J. Williams UK 31/03/2010
    P. J. Williams UK 31/03/2010 Member Since 2010

    Willxx

    HELPFUL VOTES
    52
    ratings
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    62
    16
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    Overall
    "Better than the printed version..."

    I had bought this when it was first published and enjoyed it at the time so I did wonder if i was just wasting my money getting the audio as I knew the plot but the narrator in this reading is excellent and gave life to the characters in a much better way than I did in my head when first reading.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Suzanne 22/10/2009
    Suzanne 22/10/2009 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    30
    3
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    Overall
    "Disappointing."

    My expectations were high for this book, as I have long been a fan of Christopher Brookmyer, but it was a huge disappointment. The plot is extremely clever, and the story contains surprising twists, hence the two stars, but I actually found myself wishing I had bought an abridged version of the book. I felt that Brookmyer was so keen to let the reader know his views on the shallow nature of today's Celebrity culture which, I totally agree, blights our society, that he kept thumping the reader over the head with them. The smug 'yes, isn't everybody stupid?' prose eventually began to grate to such an extent that I wanted to reach for the TV remote and switch on 'X Factor'.
    The excessive padding to the story line detracted from, what should have, been an entertaining read.
    Perhaps Brookmyer was being paid by the word for this one?

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark BANCHORY, United Kingdom 30/04/2009
    Mark BANCHORY, United Kingdom 30/04/2009 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    49
    ratings
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    62
    18
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    0
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    Overall
    "Classic Brookmyre and more!!"

    What can I say - he gets even better. Black humour and satire, at its best. Thank you Mr Brookmyre ? once again. More please!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ms 24/08/2014
    Ms 24/08/2014 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    74
    2
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    Story
    "You gotta laugh!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Christopher Brookmyre is one of my top 10 writers, there is always a good laugh in there, twists, turns, crime, suspense, and some alternative ways of looking at today's society. .I really enjoyed this one.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wicked England 04/12/2013
    Wicked England 04/12/2013 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    18
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    51
    24
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    Story
    "Ingenious and Exciting."
    Would you listen to A Snowball in Hell again? Why?

    I don't tend to listen to books more than once so it isn't likely, but it would be enjoyable to listen to it again. I would definitely recommend it to other people.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I loved the fact that although the killer was thoroughly unlikeable, I found myself admiring his thinking. It left me thinking 'oh no' and 'oh yes' all at the same time. A part of me wanted this to be a true story, but another part was horrified at the thought.


    What does Kenny Blyth bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    Having previously listened to Quite Ugly One Morning, narrated by the wonderful voice of David Tennant, I was slightly wary of how a different narrator would read this. He did an excellent job. It wasn't quite David, but he brought the book to life and made me want to keep listening.


    Any additional comments?

    This is such a clever idea for a book. It is well written, with great characters. Lots of twists and turns kept my interest going all the way through. Loved it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sharon Stalybridge, United Kingdom 28/07/2013
    Sharon Stalybridge, United Kingdom 28/07/2013 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    50
    ratings
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    92
    52
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    11
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    Performance
    Story
    "Silly"
    What did you like best about A Snowball in Hell? What did you like least?

    I thought this had some really good bits but overall it wasn't for me. It was a silly,daft,complicated,convoluted plot that was hard to follow and although I am not a prude by any means, I didn't much like the language but maybe it was because I just thought the baddie was just so unbelievable it was unnecessary. Won't be listening to another by this author. Just not quite right somehow and I could wait to get it finished and not because I was gripped by it, I just wanted it to end.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Christopher Brookmyre again?

    Not unless someone really recommended it


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    Nothing particular. I don't particularly like the scottish accent so I would probably avoid him in future


    Did A Snowball in Hell inspire you to do anything?

    No..I just wanted to rush on and get it finished


    Any additional comments?

    No

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mick Blackburn, United Kingdom 15/07/2013
    Mick Blackburn, United Kingdom 15/07/2013 Member Since 2008

    Long journeys need good books!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    12
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    "Another Brilliant Brookmyre Book"

    Religion, bank robbery & Magic, a weird mixture that makes a brilliant story. Another great Brookmyre yarn.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Grant Hirakata, Japan 29/06/2012
    Grant Hirakata, Japan 29/06/2012 Member Since 2011
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    141
    1
    Overall
    "Read Brookmyre's other novels first."

    To fully appreciate this you need to have already read/listened to, the previous novels featuring Simon Darcourt.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 13 results PREVIOUS12NEXT
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  • John
    Cornish, NH, United States
    23/07/10
    Overall
    "More Brookmyre, Please"

    I have been a fan of Mr. Brookmyre since first hearing "A Tale Etched In Blood and Hard Black Pencil." I was enchanted by the dark humor, the clever phrasings, the twists, and the juxtaposed sentimentality. I have since listened to all his audio books I could lay my ears on.

    Most have been narrated by Kenny Blyth, who does a spot-on job; providing a suitable range of voices (many in winsome Scot brogues), and an impeccable delivery of Christopher Brookmyre's wonderful ironies. Here again the narrator does not disappoint.

    The book itself is is excellent. While I was able to suss many of the twists, that did not dim them; and there were plenty that escaped my anticipation. The characters are all engaging, and even the villain is intriguing and entertaining without becoming a sympathetic anti-hero in the end. Kudos.

    I have rated this book at five within the genre, rounding it up. Audible could do worse than to add more of his books to their digital shelves.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Heather
    CHARLESTON, SC, United States
    02/07/11
    Overall
    "Typical Brookmyre with a great villain"

    Simon is one of the most entertaining villains I've had the privilege to encounter. The "good guys" pale in comparison. I came into this without having read the earlier books, but I don't think I missed much there. Fun read, and I do enjoy a book where you're rooting for the villain, even if he is a bad, bad man.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Chris
    Athens, OH, United States
    10/01/12
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Gory and fun, with a heart, too."
    Would you listen to A Snowball in Hell again? Why?

    Yes, the narrator was very good. The story compelling and if you're a music lover you will enjoy the scathing assessment of the music industry.


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    Yes, there were many twists and turns and several compelling story lines to follow.


    What about Kenny Blyth’s performance did you like?

    Kenny Blyth's true Scottish accent helped bring the book to life. He was easy for this Yank to understand even while listening in the car.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I laughed a lot! I also gasped and winced at some parts. Some parts are not for the faint of heart, but the story is great wicked fun.


    Any additional comments?

    I visited Scotland last summer and picked up a Christopher Brookmyre book at the recommendation of a book shop owner in Elgin, where my father's family came from. I asked for some crime fiction by an author an American might not be familiar with. From our conversation she deduced I would enjoy something with black humor and she was right. If you like Carl Hiaasen or Christopher Moore this will be a fun listen for you.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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