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Despite being in my 20's I'm a great fan of the Alex Rider series written by Anthony Horowitz, so when I spotted this book in the library I was keen to give it a go. The Killing Joke is the first book for adults written by the author and I loved it.
The main character in the book is Guy Henderson, who is a struggling actor, living in North London. He has recently been dumped by his girlfriend and goes to a pub that he doesn't normally visit to drown his sorrows. Whist he is there he overhears a joke about and actress called Selina Moore, who has just died. This actress as Guy has recently discovered was his birth mother and he thinks the joke is in bad taste. He confronts the person who made the joke but this doesn't go down well and finds himself being head-butted. Rather than seek revenge Guy ponders where the joke originates.
Guy as we learn is quite an obsessive character and when he gets an idea in his head he will not let it go. On his quest he meets some strange characters and encounters some strange situations, many of which seem to have stepped right out of some jokes themselves! There's the Englishman, Irishman and Scotsman who seem to turn up wherever Guy goes, finds a fly in his soup, he has an unfortunate accident with a banana skin and finds an army of nuns on his train! His search takes him around England, but soon strange things start to happen and someone seems intent on stopping him. I'll let you read the book to find out why!
I really enjoyed the book, which surprised me somewhat, as this is not normally the kind of story I'd go for. I chose this book purely on enjoying the authors previous work. I thought the story was fast-paced and extremely witty. The style was very readable. There were a lot of clichés in there but this in my opinion just made me laugh out louder! I think the author must have had great fun in writing this, as a lot of it was tongue in cheek.
Despite all the strange happenings the plot seemed strangely believable! I was gripped from the start and there were quite a lot of clever twists in the story to keep me guessing. I thought that towards the end the story was a bit rushed and I did find the ending a bit disappointing, but nevertheless still enjoyed the book. With mystery, love and comedy this book will have something for everyone. Thumbs up!