Grove Press
Grove Press
Grove Press

Where the Bodies Are Buried

by Christopher Brookmyre

Scottish crime novelist Christopher Brookmyre writes perhaps his grittiest and most accessible crime novel yet—a Glasgow thriller with a cast of characters reminiscent of great British films like Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels.

  • Imprint Grove Paperback
  • Page Count 320
  • Publication Date April 09, 2013
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-2124-0
  • Dimensions 5.5" x 8.25"
  • US List Price $17.00

About The Book

When small-time heroin dealer Jai McDiarmid turns up dead one fine Glasgow morning, no one is that surprised. A heroin dealer openly sleeping with a big-time drug trafficker’s girlfriend, Jai had made a lot of enemies in a city with little patience for those stirring up trouble. As a result, Detective Superintendent Catherine McLeod has no shortage of early leads on the case when she is assigned to investigate it.

Meanwhile, out-of-work actress Jasmine Sharp is facing more pressing problems. She’s agreed to help out her “Uncle” Jim with his private investigation work, but is having trouble learning the ropes. As a former actress, lying to people comes naturally to Jasmine, but she’s less adept at tailing her targets and remaining undercover. She’s facing a steep learning curve—and is thrown in at the deep end when Uncle Jim goes missing and she realizes that it’s going to be up to her to find him.

Jasmine begins looking into the cases that Jim was investigating just before he disappeared and goes to meet a man called Tron Ingrams, whose name and address she finds in one of Jim’s case files. Having tracked him down successfully, she is feeling rather pleased with herself—that is, until the car in which they’re traveling comes under gunfire. Who are the assailants—and are they after Tron or Jasmine? Detective Superintendent McLeod’s investigation is also getting complicated: a tip-off that there are explosives in Glasgow’s train station proves to be fake, and a clutch of further murders of some of Glasgow’s drug dealers ramp up the pressure on her to solve the case. Her investigation and Jasmine’s become intertwined, and it becomes increasingly clear that neither is as simple as it seems.

Where the Bodies Are Buried is a gritty, fast-paced thriller that will appeal to Brookmyre’s fans as well as being the ideal book to introduce readers to his work.


“Premier-league crime writing.” —Mark Billingham

Where the Bodies Are Buried is mainstream Glasgow noir, and it proves [Brookmyre] to be just as excellent at the gritty, serious end of the genre as he was dispensing manic humor.” —The Times (London)

“Glasgow’s mean streets come alive, and author Brookmyre puts his readers in the shoes of the people who walk them. Surely Where the Bodies are Buried is one of the best novels of the year.” —John Lutz, New York Times bestselling and Edgar award-winning author

“A grand effort and a bit of a changeup from one of Scotland’s more prolific and reliable voices.” —Joe Hartlaub, Bookreporter

“A strident blast of the trumpet to wake up crime fiction readers everywhere.” —Val McDermid

“[Brookmyre’s] writing is as sharply observed and mordantly funny as ever. . . . There are plenty of back-doubles and plot twists in this fast-paced read.” —The Guardian

“Brookmre is off in a new direction in this straight-ahead crime thriller . . . [For] fans of Lynda La Plante’s Prime Suspect series and HBO’s The Wire.” —Library Journal

“Tough Scottish humor . . . leavened with Elmore Leonard-like flourishes.. . . finely controlled yet exuberant mayhem.” —Anna Mundow, The Christian Science Monitor

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

“[Brookmyre] is a Scottish writer popular in the United Kingdom but not so much in the United States—an unfortunate reality that this funny, tragic and satisfying novel should help to alter. . . . Brookmyre’s style is slangy and assured but never aloof.” —Julia Keller, Chicago Tribune

“Brookmyre introduces Det. Insp. Catherine McLeod and PI Jasmine Sharp in her solid first entry in a new Glasgow crime series. . . . Corruption, betrayal, and gallows humor fuel the noir plot, while family problems lend emotional depth.” —Publishers Weekly

“[An] offbeat tale of ruthless mobsters in Glasgow. . . . A brainy, barbed noir, this book takes its time setting the scene and establishing its characters. Most of its violence occurs off the page. But with its contrasting characters (it’s easy to envision a series built around the endearing Jasmine), local color and language and skillfully orchestrated sense of bad things to come, the novel maintains a solid grip on the reader. Brookmyre isn’t as well-known in the States as fellow Scottish mystery writers Ian Rankin, Val McDermid and Denise Mina, but this first-rate effort may change that.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Brookmyre, well known in Great Britain for mixing black comedy into his thrillers, has veered toward a semiconventional procedural here, but he spikes his tale with internal police intrigues, bent coppers, and assorted ne’er-do-wells. . . . Well sketched, and almost every character is supplied some cynical, funny dialogue. . . . It’s Brookmyre’s sense of the city and its no-nuance criminals that makes this one a winner.” —Thomas Gaughan, Booklist

“Brookmyre is one of those fascinating individuals who sees and knows exactly what nicely toned written text looks like, jovially chooses to ignore it, and lowers the bar to a level of utterly brutal and fantastic indecency that is an absolute pleasure to read.” —Edinburgh STV

“A pacy, witty thriller that marks a new chapter for [Brookmyre].” —The Scotsman

Praise for Christopher Brookmyre:

“[Brookmyre’s] characters tend to talk like they’ve read a lot of Elmore Leonard and seen a lot of Quentin Tarantino. . . . [His] books are all about broad humor, splatters of dialogue, gross-out violence . . . and breakneck plotting.” —The New York Times Book Review


Longlisted for Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year (2012)
A Kirkus Reviews New Release Recommendation


It didn’t seem like Glasgow.

There was a mugginess in the air despite its being a clear night, not a wisp to obscure the moon and stars. Not like last night, when the clouds had rolled in on top of a sunny day like a lid on a pan, holding in the warmth, keeping hot blood on a simmer. It was warm on the street at nine o’clock that morning, and now, past eleven, it felt as though every molecule of air was drunk and tired. If a clear night wasn’t cooling it down, then the next clouds were going to bring thunderstorms.

The inside of the van had been stifling, smells of sweat and aftershave battling it out with piss and blood. When Wullie stepped out on to the gravel and weeds, the horseshoe of the quarry walls like an amphitheatre around him, he had expected to feel the welcome relief of a freshening breeze, but the temperature drop was negligible. Only the smells changed.

There was a sweetness in the air, scents from the trees you never smelled in the cold and rain, mixed with the charcoal and cooked meat of a thousand barbecues wafting from the city below, warm smoke, warm smells borne on warm air.

No, it really didn’t seem like Glasgow at all. Apart from the guy lying on the deck in the advanced stages of a severe kicking. That was as authentically local as haggis suppers and lung cancer