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The Cutting Edge of Barney Thomson

Douglas Lindsay

Average Review Rating Average Rating 9/10 (3 Reviews)
Book Details

Publisher : Piatkus

Published : 2000

Copyright : Douglas Lindsay 2000

ISBN-10 : PB 0-9541387-2-4
ISBN-13 : PB 978-0-9541387-2-1

Publisher's Write-Up

With the press accusing him of every crime since Jack the Ripper (including Don Masson's missed penalty against Peru in 1978), Scotland's most notorious - and misunderstood - serial killer, Barney Thomson, is on the run.

The Holy Order of the Monks of St John seems the ideal hideout for a sad little Glasgow barber with a fear of small talk. As 'Brother Jacob' he's even managing to keep his hand in with some part-time barbery - even if his legendary creative genius is limited to just three styles (Mike McShane in Robin Hood, Sean Connery in The Name of the Rose and Cadfael.)

Only with the police hot on his trail, Brother Jacob has just discovered that he's chosen the only monastery in Britain that already has its full complement of serial killers!

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Reader Reviews

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Review by Ray (070503) Rating (9/10)
Review by Victim (010902) Rating (9/10)
Review by Nigel (011101) Rating (9/10)

Review by Ray
Rating 9/10
Barney Thomson is an unlucky person... following on from the first book, Barney takes refuge in a monastery in the western isles to hide from the police. Problem is, where do people who don't want to be found go when you live in Scotland? You guessed it. So what seems to be a safe bet turns out to be yet another chapter in Barney's run of bad fortune. Monks are being murdered and can Barney avoid the inevitable blame?

As the second book in the series this one is certainly entertaining and although it took me a while to read (cos I'm lazy) I did enjoy it. I probably re-read the middle of it three times, which to be honest wasn't a bad thing because the laughs were still there even on a third time of reading.

The last Barney book had a running theme and I'm glad to see that Lindsay has done it again with characters quoting classical literature when you least expect it. I have to agree with Nige's review about the last line of Chapter 32, I burst out laughing when I read it.

A recommended read...

P.S. I had a quick look on the net for Barney Thompson (notice the p) and couldn't help but laugh when I found there is a US Senior Golf player called as such, who hails from a town called Barboursville. Coincidence? ;)
Ray (7th May 2003)

Review by Victim
Rating 9/10
The second one that I read of these, immediately following on from The Long Midnight, Barney is on the run, well - I guess it is more of a meander than a run, after the police start to chase him again, Scotland's public enemy #1 hides in a monastery, where no-one will know who he is. The police - always about a week behind, are not sure about the guilt of their prey, but they have a job to do.

Brilliant again, although there is still a phrase that eludes me, part of the entertainment seems to be working these things out...

Anyway, I don't wish to give any more away, just to say READ IT!!!
Victim (1st September 2002)

Review by Nigel
Rating 9/10
Warning - If you haven't read the The Long Midnight of Barney Thomson yet the following will give the plot of the first novel away - so read no further!

The Long Midnight of Barney Thomson ended with the only four policemen who knew the truth about Barney shooting themselves (very Reservoir Dogs) and the discovery of the body of Chris Porter, leaving the door firmly open for a sequel.

Now on the run with all of Scotland believing Barney to be a mass murderer of epic proportions and devious cunning he has taken up residence in the abbey of Holy Order of the Monks of St John. As a monk in the back of beyond Barney assumes no one there will know him and his supposedly nefarious exploits and he can get on with his, if somewhat spartan, life.

Hot on his trail are two police persons from Glasgow and one local copper there to keep an eye on them.

This story is more of a thriller than the first. The abbey where Barney is hiding has its own serial killer problem and you don't know who the culprit is, other than it definitely isn't Barney. The story is also as much about the police officers tracking him down and with the 'Name of the Rose' type library murders you have a wonderful story to keep you entertained… a great read.

I know I'm a pain for pointing out a particular scene but the bit near the end where everyone is sitting around the camp fire is brilliant…the last sentence of Chapter 32, following the build up, had me rolling in the aisles (not that we have any aisles at home, such as it is, to be honest we would actually be lucky to roll on the living room floor any distance :).

Nigel (1st November 2001)

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