It’s my turn on the BlogTour Bad Day in Minsk by Jonathan Pinnock.
About the Author
Jonathan Pinnock is the author of Mrs Darcy versus the Aliens, the Scott Prize-winning short story collection Dot Dash, the memoir Take it Cool and the poetry collection Love and Loss and Other Important Stuff.
About the book
Tom Winscombe is having a bad day. Trapped at the top of the tallest building in Minsk while a lethal battle between several mafia factions plays out beneath him, he contemplates the sequence of events that brought him here, starting with the botched raid on a secretive think tank and ending up in the middle of the Chernobyl exclusion zone.
More importantly, he wonders how he’s going to get out of this alive when the one person who can help is currently not speaking to him. Join Tom and a cast of disreputable and downright dangerous characters in this witty thriller set in a murky world of murder, mystery and complex equations.
This is the fourth book in the Mathematical Mystery series. It can be read as a standalone novel, although I can imagine readers wanting to read the other books in the series after reading this one.
The Vavasor papers are at the heart of this mystery, their journey and the mystery of their alleged existence and whereabouts also features previously in the series. The papers are also an object of contention when it comes to Tom and Dorothy. He doesn’t understand her professional obsession with them and she is annoyed by his irreverent attitude towards the Vavasor papers.
The unskilled asset is once again thrown into the deep end of undercover work as he stumbles through one awkward situation after the other to find the papers. If Tom were an on-screen character he would probably be described as slapstick and this is very much a comedy of errors. Where something can go wrong – it does.
Despite it being a mathematical mystery the read isn’t bogged down by anything complex, luckily for me, and is more of a cosy mystery full of humour. I do think that’s important to note, although the author mentions it himself, that it’s supposed to fun escapism, which it absolutely is. The mathematical element is like the snarky intellectual cherry on top of the sundae.