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Summary

It was a junket, a freebie. A 'team-building' weekend in the highlands for lawyers, advertising execs, businessmen, even the head of a charity. Oh, and a journalist, specially solicited for his renowned and voluble scepticism - Jack Parlabane.

Amid the flying paintballs and flowing Shiraz even the most cynical admit the organisers have pulled some surprises - stalkers in the forest, power cuts in the night, mass mobile phone thefts, disappearing staff, disappearing guests: there's nothing can bring out people's hidden strengths or break down interpersonal barriers quite like not having a clue what's going on and being scared out of your wits.

However, when the only vehicular access for thirty miles is cut off, it seems that events are being orchestrated not just for pleasure....

And that's before they find the first body. Thereafter, 'finding out who your colleagues really are' is not so much an end product as the key to reaching Monday morning alive.

©2004 Christopher Brookmyre (P)2015 W F Howes Ltd

Critic reviews

"The most mischievous white-knuckle writer." ( Daily Express)
"Shrewd and pitch-black humour." ( Telegraph)

What listeners say about Be My Enemy

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Love this author's work!

This is the third book that I've gone through of this author &and I'm just about to buy another. I love the style of writing, and the humour. Don't get me wrong it's a serious book but written with humour. The main character is hilarious. He's pretty much an anti hero with a dour, dry & sarcastic wit. Simply, brilliant.

6 people found this helpful

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How does he dream them up!

I am a Brookmyre convert and this did not disappoint. A great storyteller, always something that you can't anticipate, and Angus King as narrator does it justice.

4 people found this helpful

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Erm . . . Speechless, in a good way!

Any additional comments?

I have never read or listened to anything like this before. I don't want to include spoilers here, so it's difficult to say too much. The story is very unusual. During the first half, not much happens, yet it remains compelling. During the second half, too much happens, a good deal of which requires a fair degree of suspension of belief, yet it remains compelling! This is my second book by this author, the first being Black Widow which was much more conventional. Brookmyre is clearly an excellent writer. In both books, there is nothing sloppy or cliched. I'm off to read more from him.

4 people found this helpful

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Typical Brookmyre, but just too silly

I have read quite a few Brookmyres, and this has many of his trademark elements: black humour, witty repartee, wry observations on human nature. It started out well, and I liked the 'team bonding weekend' theme, but for me, about two thirds through my suspension of disbelief failed utterly, and I just though 'Aw, come on..!'
The problem of a lot of body horror, including this one, is that the authors just don't know enough anatomy or physiology to convince on the detail. The effect here was to just rob the rest of the plot of all dramatic tension, for me, because I just did not care.
Won't put me off getting his other works, including the Jack Parlabane series, and the narrator does a cracking job, but I am filing this one under 'Naw'.

1 person found this helpful

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Enjoyable

Was it believable? No but it was enjoyable. Like battle royal (film) but funnier. A good mix of characters brought everything together

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Nah....

Implausible plot, thinly drawn characters, unrealistic reactions to horrors previously unknown - not very good at all. Narrator does his best but some strange mangling of sentences and stresses in odd places. Nah....

1 person found this helpful

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Outrageous story, but you loved it all the same

What did you like most about Be My Enemy?

Great characterisations superbly narrated by Angus King. I've never switched my view point on characters so often, from outright hatred to deep felt sympathy

What was one of the most memorable moments of Be My Enemy?

Defending the Hall from the murderous hoards, using ingenuity in doing so. Funny too.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

The 1980's political heated discussion e.g. Jack Parlabane's retort to one remark went

"the world has gone PC mad!!!!..........oh the desperate cry of the thwarted bigot" - priceless.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Nothing in particular, wasn't that type of story.

Any additional comments?

Brookmyre is literary gold. If you like his work, you'll love this.

1 person found this helpful

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Brookmyre up to standard

You know what you're getting you just don't know where it is
Best Brookmyre I've come across for a while

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This combination of author and narrator is just so

A great story, with believable characters, and some excellent set peices, the entrance in the snooker room was hysterical.

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Entertaining as always.

Slow burner but when it got into its comically ridiculous stride it was very entertaining.

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Profile Image for Norma Miles
  • Norma Miles
  • 14-09-21

"Not knowing was the hardest part of fear."

I first encountered Christopher Brookmyre in the form of a paperback with the delicious title of Boiling a Frog, and have been a fan ever since. Be My Enemy is the forth in his series featuring outspoken Scottish reporter, Jack Parlabane and, whilst it is probably advantageous to have read the earlier books, it is certainly not essential.
Starting slowly, building background, the story explodes into life around a third of the way through when Jack and other invitees arrive at an isolated refurbished Scottish house with a past reputation for violence and hauntings. The guests were there for team building exercises after which, the owner hopes, the hotel will gather publicity and paying guests following a very empty season. The results were not quite what he had expected.

Brookmyer's visual writing style and well rounded characters carries the reader along with those in the heart of the action, keeping the mystery of who? and why? as everything deelopes. And narrator Angus King gives a fine performance which further enhances the experience, conjuring up a series of character appropriate accents and voices as well as further developing the tension inherent in the story.

Good book with three dimensional characters and characteristic Brookmyer humour twisting through the developing action. Don't be put off by the slow start. Recommended.