The Guardian (London) has called comic-thriller writer Christopher Brookmyre "the next star of the genre . . . [who writes in] the sassy, nasty, fast style of the Americans Elmore Leonard and Carl Hiaasen." His American debut, Not the End of the World, is a fast and furious novel set in Los Angeles at the near side of the millennium, at a point when the world is about to spin out of control -- and maybe out of existence. When an oceanic research vessel is discovered with all of its crew vanished, it sets off a chain of events that pulls Lt. Larry Freeman of the LAPD out of the ho-hum assignment of overseeing the security for a B-movie film festival and headlong into a frenzied race to stop a terrorist plot. Along the way he must contend with aging porn stars, rabid evangelical Christians, a mysterious Glaswegian photographer, and an unknown agenda, all in a frenzied -- and ultimately hysterical -- race against time.