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A Prayer for Barney Thomson

Douglas Lindsay

Average Review Rating Average Rating 8/10 (2 Reviews)
Book Details

Publisher : Piatkus

Published : 2001

Copyright : Douglas Lindsay 2001

ISBN-10 : PB 0-95413-873-2
ISBN-13 : PB 978-0-95413-873-8

Publisher's Write-Up

'My name's Barney Thomson ...and I'm a killer'

Wanted in connection with the murder of two former colleagues and thirty-two assorted monks, Barney Thomson has achieved a notoriety most serial killers can only dream of. But a year on the run has caused him to have something of an epiphany. Determined to hand himself in to the authorities, Barney encounters a problem - no one seems to believe that he is the Barney Thomson. When the police send him packing, he decides to try and resume his old life in Glasgow - cutting hair, talking bollocks, and going to the pub. But Barney finds it a struggle coming to terms with the nightmare of his past - and joining Murderers Anonymous (Bearsden Chapter) doesn't seem to be helping...

'Lindsay has succeeded magnificently in putting the lowly barber centre-stage.'

Time Out

'Highly entertaining.'

The Scotsman

'Comedy so dark it needs a candle to find its navel... a little masterpiece.'

What's On

'Pitch-black comedy spun from the finest writing. Fantastic plot, unforgettable scenes and plenty of twisted belly laughs.'

New Woman
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Reader Reviews

Why not Submit a Review your own Review for this book?

Review by Victim (010902) Rating (8/10)
Review by Nigel (011201) Rating (7/10)

Review by Victim
Rating 8/10
Once again I am not going too give to much of the plot away. In the continuing saga of our eponymous hero, he has returned to Glasgow, and tried to hand himself over to the Police, who have sent him on his way as an impostor. He gets a job as a barber, and settles down - making no secret of who he is.

I don't know if it is common in Glasgow to have Murderers Anonymous meetings, but I don't think I would bother to attend. Especially since I haven't murdered anyone (Yet! No plans either btw).

Once again Death seems to stalk our man, or at least anyone close by him. Always fuelling the reputation of Barney as a psycho.

Again this was brilliant, I have really enjoyed all three of these, the writing style is fast and fluid, once you speak Rab-ish, the characters are well defined and I just enjoyed them.

Not quite as believable as the second, takes it down very slightly.

PS Ray - Too slow...
Victim (1st September 2002)

Review by Nigel
Rating 7/10
This is the third in the Barney Thomson series. This time we see Barney a year after the monastery murders, which he has been blamed for, living a meaningless existence as a fugitive. All Barney wants is his old life back and with this in mind he tries to give himself up and face the consequences, however unjust.

His problems start when no one believes who he is and even the dream of spending time in prison is taken from him. He decides to 'sod them all' and so starts working as a barber again, openly telling anyone who will listen his real identity. Settled back into his old routine he still has problems coming to terms with his past and is being plague by vivid nightmares. He seeks help from the local branch of MA (Murderers Anonymous), where his usual skill at attracting the wrong kind of attention kicks in.

This instalment in the series seems a little gloomier than the previous two with all the characters having problems of one sort or another. The plot circulates around the identity of the latest serial killer and the police chasing Barney for the murders. The ending has a few twists that you won't expect and the story as a whole is, as usual, dark and funny.

I would recommend this novel, along with the previous two, without hesitation to anyone - as long as they have a slightly warped sense of humour and can see the funny side of things. I'm looking forward to reading about Barney again as he is a character you can't help liking… although in what form following the ending of this book I'm not entirely sure.
Nigel (1st December 2001)

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