Two masked men abduct women on their way home from singles bars; a mummified corpse turns up bricked into a fireplace in one of devolved Scotland's new government buildings; a prospective New Labour candidate is battered to death; and Inspector Rebus's old antagonist Ger Cafferty is allowed home from prison to die of cancer...Ian Rankin's gloomy new crime novel has all the usual ingredients of his Rebus series--Rebus's drinking, his messy relationships with women and his inability to get on with his superiors and more ambitious equals are traits more usually associated with private eye novels than with police procedurals, but they help explain why a cop with Rebus's high clear-up rate has avoided promotion to a desk.
Everyone told him that this was a sign, that he was here because the chiefs at the Big House had plans for him. But Rebus knew better. He knew that his boss had put his name forward because he was hoping to keep Rebus out of trouble and out of his hair...And if--if--Rebus accepted without complaining and saw the assignment through, then maybe the Farmer would receive a chastened Rebus back into the fold.The Edinburgh atmosphere--from the forced politeness of smart dinner parties to the hair-trigger violence of slum pubs--is as admirable as ever, and Rebus's capacity for working things out slowly in his own head remains as plausible as ever as a description of a particular kind of dogged intelligence. Like several books in this series, this is also an intelligent novel of the New Scots Politics--part of what makes Rebus both a successful investigator and doomed to offend the powerful is his unerring instinct for the scandalous and the corrupt. --Roz Kaveney
2 stars. Good. (FAST FORWARD)
2 stars. Good. (FAST FORWARD )
The eleventh DI Rebus mystery from the top ten best-selling author of DEAD SOULS and THE HANGING GARDEN.
About the Author
Ian Rankin lives with his wife and two sons in Edinburgh having returned from a six-year sojourn in France.