Grove Press
Atlantic Monthly Press
Atlantic Monthly Press

When the Devil Drives

by Christopher Brookmyre

From Christopher Brookmyre, author of the international best seller Where the Bodies Are Buried, comes the second novel in the series, a dark thriller that haunts the imagination.

  • Imprint Grove Paperback
  • Page Count 384
  • Publication Date May 13, 2014
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-2115-8
  • Dimensions 5.5" x 8.25"
  • US List Price $15.00
  • Imprint Atlantic Monthly Press
  • Page Count 368
  • Publication Date May 07, 2013
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-2089-2
  • Dimensions 6" x 9"
  • US List Price $24.00

About The Book

Actress-turned-private investigator Jasmine Sharp has become accustomed to clients looking for long-lost relatives, so when a woman hires her to find her younger sister, Tessa Garrion, she presumes the case will be relatively straightforward. The assignment takes her back into the world of professional theater, where she is warned off more than once for probing too deeply into the past.

Meanwhile, Detective Superintendent and mother-of-two Catherine McLeod is called to the scene of a murder in the Highlands. Following a theatrical outdoor performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Cragruthes Castle, a prominent figure in the Scottish arts community is shot dead during a post-performance photo call. With her initial leads turning out to be red herrings, McLeod struggles to determine the killer’s motive. And Jasmine’s investigations take a dangerous turn when she finds out that Tessa Garrion was involved in a drug-riddled Highlands estate and engaged in occult rituals– and her disappearance begins to look increasingly like murder. As Jasmine’s and McLeod’s investigations intertwine, it becomes evident that both cases are far more convoluted and dangerous than anticipated.


When the Devil Drives is a true pleasure for all detective fiction fans—think Ian Rankin by way of Agatha Christie, by turns dark and delightful and always intriguing. Christopher Brookmyre’s strong prose and clever dialogue deliver on every page of this intricately plotted thriller, and I look forward to seeing what he does next.” —Michael Koryta, winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and New York Times bestselling author of The Prophet

“Christopher Brookmyre is, hands down, one of the funniest, savviest crime writers around. . . . Without shying away from the darker elements of crime thrillers—evil, violence, and plenty of gore—Brookmyre’s work shimmers with a sense of unfettered fun. . . . I’m already looking forward to the next Sharp-McLeod outing.” —Independent on Sunday

“Brookmyre is a master at rendering ingenious, intertwining plots. Sharply drawn characters and an idyllic Scottish setting add further appeal to this engaging entry in which foul play’s the thing.” —Allison Block, Booklist

“The elements that have attracted readers to Brookmyre since his early efforts are abundantly present in his latest work: complex plots, deep examinations into those dark aspects of the human personality and psyche that are simultaneously fascinating and repellent, and, at the core, a puzzling and intelligent mystery or two. It is difficult to imagine what more one could ask for.” —BookReporter

When the Devil Drives is an engaging, well-written, Scottish-based crime thriller. . . . there is no disguising Brookmyre’s prose.” —The Herald (Glasgow)

“An outstanding literary thriller . . . Brookmyre delivers in Scotland at least as well as Larsson did in Sweden.” —David M. Kinchen, Huntington News

“Brookmyre paints the workmanlike nature of private investigating with veracity and insight. . . . yet another accomplished, engaging, smart, and funny piece of crime writing, plotted and executed with no small amount of skill, style, and craft.” —The Scotsman

“Invigoratingly complex . . . cripplingly infectious.” —Daily Mirror

“Brookmyre at his chaotic, brilliant best.” —Daily Record

“Deftly plotted and believably characterized as ever, with a pleasing anti-establishment edge.” —Marylebone Journal

“[A] smartly written mainstream detective story . . . Brookmyre deftly twists one case around the other.” —Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review


A man with a camera moves to the center in front of the trailer and a picture is called for. The man in the kilt makes to step clear, but both the laird and the actress playing Titania insist he remain. He and the laird stand where they are while the cast assemble themselves into a practised tableau: Titania and Theseus pose on one knee, hands outstretched to touch each other’s shoulders, like they are about to embrace. They are flanked by Puck and Bottom, the four lovers lying at their feet, heads resting on palms above pivoted elbows.

The photographer asks them all to smile.

The man in the kilt has been photographed many times, though he has always been the man behind the scenes, the facilitator for more talented others. He knows to suck in his cheeks and close his eyes for a moment, which will help him hold his expression. He raises his champagne flute in a gesture of salute. The camera flickers, the red-eye-reducing pre-flash.

The man with the kilt blinks in reflexive response, then his head bursts open and he jolts sharply backwards, as though reeling from a slap.

He slumps down, the power gone from his legs, half his face torn away, liquid and matter spread around him on the grass.

As the screams ring out, the demon of the woods spirits himself deeper into the darkness from whence he was summoned thirty years before.