39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
on 4 January 2002
Wow - what a start to the New Year! Rebus is my hero, and here he is, as crabbit and wasted as ever. Like many others, I stayed up late on Hogmanay, and into the wee small hours of the New Year, but this year I wasn't partying. Instead I absent-mindedly kissed my husband at midnight, and went straight back to my book.
I have devoured all of the Rebus books so far, and "Resurrection Men" must be one of the best crime novels ever written. A twisting, paranoid tale (as Rebus himself quotes, "Just because you're paranoid, doesn't mean they're not out to get you...") A story of bent cops, an old case dredged out of Rebus's past, and DS Clarke becoming more and more like her mentor. I couldn't put it down.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 3 March 2008
A mug full of tea flies through the air just missing the head of the Detective in charge. This time grumpy loner Rebus has gone too far and rather than being given early retirement he is sent on a refresher course to retrain alongside several other fallen coppers. When he arrives they are given a cold case to try and solve that Rebus remembers all too well. Is there more to his retraining than first meets the eye? Meanwhile Siobhan, Rebus' police partner, has been left on a case investigating the death of an art dealer. Does the cold case and this new case have any reflection on one another and why does Rebus' nemesis' name keep popping up?
`Resurrection Men' is the first Ian Rankin novel that I have read and perhaps reading them out of sequence is a mistake. The story is a slow burn and is reliant more on the characters and their motives that an actual story. The relations ship between Rebus and Cafferty keeps reoccurring and as someone who has no prior knowledge of their interaction it left me cold. However, I can imagine that fans will enjoy their to and fro. The mystery itself is reasonable, but a little slow for my liking, a lot of the book follows British police procedure to the letter and that can be a little dull. I will aim to read the rest of the books in order so that I can develop a closer link with the characters. However, for new readers I do not think this is a good introduction to the Rebus books.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
"Resurrection Men [Abridged] Audio CD" is read by its Scots author, Ian Rankin, and James Macpherson, of Glasgow, and heaven knows, they've got that authentic Scottish burr. (Americans, beware!!) "Resurrection Men" is the fifteenth in the Detective Inspector John Rebus police procedural series by the outstanding, increasingly appreciated Scots author Ian Rankin. In contrast to most Scots mystery writers at work now, Rankin sets his best-of-tartan-noir universe in the east coast Edinburgh, rather than the west coast Glasgow; it's a more beautiful, smaller city, the capital of the country, where you might expect the crime to be white collar, rather than blue. But Rebus always seems to find enough to keep busy. And what's tartan noir when it's at home, you ask? A bloodthirsty, bloody-minded business, to be sure, more violent than the average British mystery, but, thankfully, leavened a bit with that dark Scots humor. Written (duh!) by Scots.
As the book opens, Rebus has been sent undercover to Tulliallan Police College, where recruits are trained, and troublesome older officers sent to resurrect their careers. Sir David Strathern, chief constable of Lothian and Borders Police, Rebus's permanent posting, suspects several of the officers currently at the college are dirty, and he wants Rebus to find the proof. To Rebus, of course, this is a difficult assignment. Aside from the obvious, St. Leonard's, his station house, is in the midst of an engrossing enquiry: Edward Marber, local art dealer, has been done in, and many of the usual suspects are known to Rebus. The policeman finds the college assignment doubly difficult because, for the unsolved case the officers there are always given to work, they're given a case they've never been given before. It's the Rico Lomax case, it was Rebus's, and he knows much too much about it. He can't help wondering...
Rankin is a highly talented writer with a great grip of the English language, Scottish subdivision; a grasp of police work, the ability to keep these three strong subplots going at one time, that sharp Scots humor, and the toughest tartan noir outlook around. Unfortunately, "Resurrection Men" has a few too many characters, and cites unfamiliar-to-Americans police nomenclature a little too often. It took me two readings to get it, and that's with helpful tables upfront.
The writer is also a sharp observer of his city's weather, ambiance, and social systems. He writes that Edinburgh cops call their morgue the "dead center," and are proud to say they work at the dead center of Edinburgh. "The building," he writes, "is tucked away on the Cowgate, one of the city's more secretive streets. Few pedestrians ever found themselves there, and the traffic was intent on being elsewhere."
The author writes further on pedestrians and traffic: a "pavement drunk" causes them to step out onto the road. "The drunk was making for the opposite pavement, stumbling blindly across the road. They both knew he'd make it. He was carrying a bottle: no way a motorist would want that flying through his windshield."
"You worked hard all week, then prayed for oblivion at the weekend," Rebus muses of his city's inhabitants. But you'd better have your wits fully about you when you tackle this rewarding, but difficult book.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 8 September 2014
Resurrection Men is the thirteenth in the Rebus series written by Ian Rankin and in my opinion it is one of the best.
Right from the start Rankin establishes that this book is very much a fifty-fifty split between our hero and his understudy Siobhan Clark. No longer working on the same cases but from different angles like in previous books, the two are now not even in the same police station for the majority of this book.
Rebus is back in training as his temper has finally got the better of him. Whilst looking into the murder of a local art dealer, Rebus’s frustration reaches boiling point and he throws a cup of tea at his commanding officer. Finally having gone too far he is banished to the Scottish Police College for retraining leaving Siobhan and the team to attempt to solve the murder without him.
I found this book to be a very, very good read. All the usual elements of an Ian Rankin book are present. The story as usual is intricate and moved along at a very fast pace and at times I found myself just as confused as Rebus as to who the good guys and who the bad guys were.
All in all I found this to be a very satisfying read and very enjoyable. I would highly recommend this to any fan of the crime genre and to Rebus fans in particular.
20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on 10 January 2002
This is very possibly the best Rebus novel yet. I sped through this book in a quick three days (well, it SEEMED quick!) This is, in my opinion, the best Rebus novel Ian Rankin has yet written.
The writing is first class yet again. The plot is possibly the best i have come across in a Rebus novel. It's all very intriguing and puzzling, and very original. Rankin adds in a few great twists along the way, at one stage completely pulling the rug out from beneath the reader.
His characters are great, as always. the "Wild bunch" are a wonderfully drawn bunch of officers, each with a very different but nonetheless interesting personality.
DS Clarke is back again, taking an even more central role than she did previously in the Falls. It is truly intriguing to watch her become more and more like Rebus every book. And Rankin writes it so well...it has been a gradual change, rather like a gigantic and sudden one, like some lesser writers might portray. Rankin has said that he plans to retire rebus in a couple of books, possibly with Clarke as his sucessor, although still maybe retaining Rebus in the background. I hope he does carry out this oft staten intention. It would be great to see how clarke is as the lead, and it would also be an experience to see a Rebus who is no longer bound by the rules of the police force, and is now free to do whatever he likes...
Rankin is a master of British (Scottish, if you wnat to be that pedantic) fiction. He is right up there with Ruth Rendell, Minette Walters, reginald Hill and Val McDermid. And he clealr yplans to stay there. That is certainly not something i shall ever come to lament.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 21 March 2003
If starting out with Rankin, then don't start with 'Resurrection Men'.
This books delves deeper into what makes the detective, Rebus, tick and why he continues to punish and torment himself. It enters the realms of good cop, bad cop and good cop gone bad, etc, etc. You are in no doubt that Rebus is walking a tightrope between the two and fighting his demons at the same time, quite a challenge even for John Rebus.
With two cases running simultaneously, this book is less about the cases and the methods of solving the crime, suspects, motives or victims, it centres on the goings on within the force and some of it's dubious employees. With whistlestop tours of Edinburgh, Glasgow and Dundee, this certainly provides a 'Rough' Guide to Scotland, but you are left feeling that everyone got off the bus a stop early and you are wondering what you missed.
While Rebus' protegee, newly promoted DS Clarke, develops into an independent law enforcer, she is closely mirroring Rebus, but without the whisky. Meanwhile Rebus' relationship hasn't moved on, he is still analysing himself through the bottom of a drained tumbler.
As a fan of Rankin, I will always read and recommend his work, however this is not one of his greatest page turners.
31 of 36 people found the following review helpful
on 21 January 2002
After reading "The Falls", I almost felt that Rankin had written a lazy book. The Falls didn't havethe normal 2/3 stories running at once, not much of the supporting cast (Ormi, Linford, Big Ger) etc. Now, I realise that Rankin was in fact not being lazy, he was just penning his masterpeice, RESSURECTION MEN. I, unlike other readers, wasn't entirely sure of the outcome, until the very end. I was enthralled by the twists, by the wide range of charactures, esp. the new DC Davie. Siobahn gets a much greater billing (including the concluding chapter, a sign of things to come?) and you really feel what Rebus would be feeling, at each twist and turn. I loved it. It was easily his best novel, and much better than The Falls. Weak parts? None really..
Well done Ian Rankin. I for one, dont want the series to end.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 8 January 2002
Just another chapter then I really must get to sleep. That was what I told myself all evening until finally, at around, 3am, I closed this now finished masterpiece and floated off to sleep confident that all was the well in the world of Rebus.
If the definition of great writing is that you cannot put the book down, then surely this is great writing. Having caught up with Rebus on book nine, I went back and read all the earlier stories. The character is getting stronger and stronger and Ian Rankin's writing better with each book. Don't watch the TV films - the readers' Rebus is a million miles from John Hannah.
Our hero is first encountered in bad cop school, his punishment for lopping a cup of tea at his superior during briefing on the puzzling murder case of an Edinburgh art dealer. Among the characters trying to resurrect their police careers are three particularly interesting specimens. The mystery deepens when they are asked to show team work by working on a unsolved murder - a crime that Rebus knows more about than he cares to admit.
Can the various strands of the story be drawn together before the course finishes? Can Rebus, and the increasingly important DS Clarke, ever find happiness in their social lives? It is giving nothing away to say that Rebus finishes bruised, battered and belittled - but victorious.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 4 January 2002
Having read the other 12 Rebus novels in the last 10 months, "Resurrection Men" was eagerly awaited - and did not disappoint. Not at all!!!
Two great plots running side by side - one for Rebus and one for DS Clarke who now seems to have completely emerged from the shadow of her mentor (a process which began in "The Falls").
Both plots move along with some speed and make it difficult to actually find a convenient place to put the book down. Rebus is as good (and bad) as ever - particularly in a room of "bad boys" exiled to the police college for retraining in, inter alia, the art of team-work! Clarke becomes more like him with every chapter as she tries to solve the case from which Rebus has been ejected. At the same time, each has their nemisis to deal with - MGC and Linford 'helping' out along the way. But as good as the plots were (and they were good) it was the Rebus-Clarke relationship and the (sometimes comic) dialogue between them which made me want to keep on reading.
Here's hoping the DI's retirement is not planned for the near future!
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
"Resurrection Men" is highly rated by many reviewers but I thought that it was one of the less memorable of the Rebus books, with recent novels like "Fleshmarket Close" and "The Falls" surpassing it in my opinion. In "Resurrection Men" Rebus is sent for retraining at a Scottish police academy following an incident in which he threw a cup of tea at his boss. There he teams up with fellow officers who are also deemed to be disruptive and insufficently submissive to their superiors.Together they investigate an old murder case during the course of which many old skeletons from the past are unearthed. As Rebus gets to know his colleagues better ,he finds that they may be linked in some way with a case he was investigating prior to his retraining which concerned the murder of an Edinburgh art dealer. The plotting in this book is typically labyrinthine but the pace of the narrative is often slow .The novel is overlong and the story lacks genuine excitement until the final few chapters .