Jack Parlabane is an investigative journalist caught up in a gruesome murder in the apartment below his. Jack Parlabane is what you would call a gritty investigative journalist in Scotland with a tendency to bend the laws and do so without a care in the world. Quite Ugly One Morning follows his investigation into the murder of an Edinburgh family that worked in medicine and lived below his rented flat with him being the person that uncovers their bodies.
He wakes one morning to hear something going on outside and goes to investigate only to then discover that he has managed to lock himself out. In order to get back inside he tries to gain access via a window in the flat downstairs with him then finding the body of Dr. Jeremy Ponsonby. Unfortunately for Parlabane, DC Jenny Dalziel then catches him at the scene leading to her believing that he is the killer.
After convincing her that he is innocent, they agree to work together to solve the case as they both have a similar way of dealing with authority and feel that they can use one another. They then receive some unexpected help from the wife of the deceased who decided to tackle the case from her own unique angle as an anesthetist.
During their investigation they learn more about his background and uncover a number of reasons as to why somebody would perhaps want to kill him in such a brutal way. They learn how he had a gambling problem, so did he owe money to certain people? Did he do something to people in the hospital that could have upset them and made them take their revenge in this way?
Between the three of them they uncover a huge plot that could provide Parlabane with the absolute story of his life as they discover that the murder of Ponsonby is only the beginning and is a smaller part of a much wider, more detailed, problem. Uncovering the murderer and the reasons behind it will be a difficult task and one that could, yet again, put Parlabane in a lot of danger.
Best part of story, including ending:
You cannot help but fall in love with the main character and the way he views the world.
Best scene in story:
When he is discovered in the flat of the murder victim and tries to convince the police that he was sleepwalking. However, after realizing that he is getting nowhere he decides to come clean that he was locked out of his flat and climbed in the window. It is comical and really sets the scene for the relationship between him and Dalziel for the rest of the book.
Opinion about the main character:
Jack Parlabane has no real love for authority and it is fun reading how he does not care for the rules and only uncovering the truth about what has happened.