Each day for seven days I'll be looking back at one of the Blasted Heath books I've read and reviewed. The fifth in this series of blog posts is 'The Long Midnight of Barney Thomson' by Douglas Lindsay.
The pitch black humour of Douglas Linsday and accidental murderer in protagonist Barney Thomson is a combination not to be missed. As my first introduction to the Glasgow barber I wasn't sure what to expect - I certainly wasn't thinking 5 star book. Oh how soon that all changed. Within a few pages I was hooked. Barney Thomson kills yet the reader can't help but feel for him. Sure his methods are rather indirect and he can't actually be held fully accountable for the loss of life yet is tagged as a serial killer. Douglas Lindsay is lone hell of a writer. Let it be said, Barney Thomson is the funniest piece of fiction I've ever read while still catering to my darker fiction tastes. My review originally posted in November 2011 on Goodreads and Amazon is below:
The Long Midnight of Barney Thomson' oozes black humour just as much as it does sticky red blood. By day Barney Thomson is a slave to his trade as a Glasgow barber, an accidental serial killer in the evenings, and one hell of a laugh 24/7. Making light of his dark intentions, Lindsay crafts a protagonist more suited to sitcom than death row. From subtle taunts and a general lack of recognition of his skill in the workplace spawns murderous thoughts, acted upon in a dream state, then played out in reality through acts of fate.
Interestingly enough, for a serial killer, Barney doesn't actually kill anyone - intentionally. He's just an average Joe trying to have a go and make the best of his meagre life. Unfortunately for Wullie and Chris (co-workers), the tools of their trade are a tad too conveniently located when the accidental assassin strikes, the result - pure genius and laugh out loud hilarity.
Douglas Lindsay manages to do it all - create suspense as the long, rather disenfranchised arm of the law reaches out for a killer, blacker than black humour, captivating characters (Cemolina - Barney's mother is a hard one to forget), and punchy dialogue in delivering a light hearted look at a man destined for a cult following. Enjoyable from start to finish.
Read more on the Blasted Heath website: http://blastedheath.com/?p=1416