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Summary

Most people travel to Corfu to escape the real world for a couple of weeks and embrace the fantasy of olive trees, sandy beaches and little fishing boats bobbing on sparkling blue water under a warm sun.

But not McIntyre. McIntyre's a fixer, specialising in getting people out of places they don't want to be with the minimum of fuss, publicity and violence. The job in Corfu should be easy - spring Lauren, a 15-year-old schoolgirl, from the luxury compound of the tech billionaire, Julian Hepworth. Hepworth's young, handsome and charismatic - he's also a suspected paedophile, who, under the guise of training a girls' tennis team, has set up an abusive cult.

But as McIntyre sets up his operation in the exclusive northeastern corner of the island, things quickly start to slip out of his control. First, Lauren's father turns up, threatening to give the game away, and soon, McIntyre's having to contend with Albanian gangsters, Greek drug dealers, psychotic bodyguards, flat earthers and spoilt, wealthy teenagers looking for dangerous kicks. To further complicate things, Lauren's planning her own 'jailbreak'. It looks like things are going to be a lot harder than McIntyre's used to. Luckily, he has his team around him, a motley and colourful bunch, each with their own speciality.

The intertwined stories come together as the various characters all converge on a glamorous summer party at Hepworth's spectacular villa. Can McIntyre play the different factions off against each other and get Lauren to safety without things going horribly wrong?

Whatever Gets You Through the Night is a crime novel with a thrillingly dark heart about the truths that lurk beneath the picture post card surface of a sunny Mediterranean idyll.

©2022 Charlie Higson (P)2022 Hachette Audio UK

Critic reviews

"Hugely entertaining." (Sunday Times)

"A perfect read." (Guardian)

"Terrific." (i)

What listeners say about Whatever Gets You Through the Night

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Quite Joyless

The lead character was the bad guy as far as I can tell and I really struggled to track the protagonists journey, I must have missed something. Often diverts into thinly veiled essays and debunking internet movements, which I agree with entirely but was a distraction. I really like the Author but probably for thier comedy work and I doubt that much conciliation here but I found it to be quite without humour.

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Funny, outrageous and heartfelt

Hilarious, exhilarating story. Satirical and yet so close to reality and modern life. Every character has a dark side, but also a human side. Just people trying to get by in a messed-up world. Truth stranger than fiction, hard to know when to laugh or cry.

Higson tackles everything from flat-earthers to island drug culture, Greece’s financial crisis to sexism, religious fanaticism to sexual abuse. They are all here, cleverly wrapped up in a darkly humorous and hilarious satire with no holds barred.

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Cliches followed by stereotypes

I had hoped for so much from this title; I love Higson's Young Bond books, which are fast-paced page-turners with well-developed characters and plots.

Sadly Whatever Gets You Through The Night is far from that; the characters are a sequence of stereotypes - the powerful man with a penchant for young girls, the Eastern European thugs, the token 'black' girl angry at being judged by her skin colour, the desperate alcoholic father trying to make things better too late. Nothing novel or exciting.

The story is a mess - too many people, too little happening - and I'm sorry to say, but the author's limited voices don't help. By the end of chapter 5 I'd had enough. I couldn't follow who was doing what, where loyalties lay or even the basic premise of the story. A rare return to Audible I'm afraid.