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Doors Open Paperback – 6 Aug 2009

3.0 out of 5 stars 130 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Orion (6 Aug. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1409102017
  • ISBN-13: 978-1409102014
  • Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 2.6 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (130 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 106,863 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'Fast, slick and exciting' -- William Leith EVENING STANDARD 'Inspector Rebus is absent from Ian Rankin's latest thriller but Edinburgh is as important a character as ever. Rankin expertly portrays the gang's different personalities as the plot thickens and darkens' SUNDAY TELEGRAPH 'The unravelling of the plan shows the author at his best: while the trio's motives for risking jail sometimes stretch credulity, the inexorable growth of mistrust within the gang is expertly and convincingly traced' -- John Dugdale SUNDAY TIMES 'This is Rankin's first stand-alone thriller for more than a decade. When two friends devise a plan to steal some of the world's most valuable artwork, their only option is to make it look like no crime has been committed' EDINBURGH EVE NEWS 'Fast, slick and exciting' LONDON LITE 'This is not Rebus, but it's fast, slick and exciting' THE SCOTSMAN

Book Description

A fantastic stand-alone thriller from the No.1 bestselling author.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
You're a celebrated crime author and you've just retired your most famous character - DI John Rebus, as if you didn't know - so what do you do next? Answer, you write an old-fashioned heist caper.

You'll have read the plot synopsis so I'll not summarise it again, I'll simply confine myself to making a few general points about the book:

First of all, this originally ran as a serial in the same publication that first printed Michael Connelly's Harry Bosch-lite `The Overlook' before it was published as a novel last year. I don't know if Ian has padded out `Doors Open' prior to publication, but it doesn't read like a novella stretched beyond its natural length.

I found `Doors Open' to be a satisfying read, even if it doesn't come close to approaching the quality of the best of the Rebus novels. For anyone else it would be decent little book, but Rankin has set his own standards so high, that you're perhaps looking for a bit more. I personally suspect that he wrote this as a bit of light relief after creating the increasingly complex plots of the `you know who' series for the past twenty years. That and the large wad of cash he was apparently paid for writing it.

His policeman here, DI Ransome could not be less like John Rebus if he tried. For a start, he doesn't rush bull-headed into things with no care for insulting his betters - or anyone, else for that matter. Ransome has a facility for diplomacy when among his peers (his counterpart from another station is the one officially investigating the art theft) and has subtle plans for his own advancement. He's no less effective than Rebus, but like I say, his methods are totally different.
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Format: Hardcover
I'm a great Ian Rankin fan. At least, I thought I was. I realise now that I'm a great Rebus fan. I came to this book desperately wanting to like it and I couldn't. How can any press reviewer say it shows Rankin's ability to move beyond Rebus? What it shows is the exact opposite. The exposition is overdone, heavy, leaden. The characterisation is hopeless (Big 'Ger Cafferty was always a questionable gangster -- risible, in fact -- but one accepted him because Rankin wrote him. But Chib Calloway -- Chib Calloway is the most unbelievable gangster in the history of crime fiction). This book is terrible. It's awful. Until now, when Rankin published a book I bought it. I may never buy another.
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Format: Hardcover
I found myself wondering whether this was a very early effort that had found it's way from the top of the wardrobe - how else to attribute this poor work to the author of the excellent Rebus novels.

The plot was completely unbelievable - everyone seemed to know everyone else. The heist itself - blink and you'd have missed it... The arch-villain - why didn't he nick all the paintings for himself if he was so unscrupulous...he was supplying the crew with the guns after all?

As well as the telegraphed ending, what really upset me were the glowing recommendations on the back cover. Sunday Telegraph; Mail on Sunday; Scotland on Sunday... until you realise after reading, that THEY'RE TALKING ABOUT OTHER BOOKS!

Come on Ian Rankin - you should be above this malarky! Have a quiet word with the publishers...
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By Matt TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 22 Sept. 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Ian Rankin is at something of a turning point in his writing career. Although he wrote other novels early on, he is mainly known for the Inspector Rebus series which has enjoyed enormous critical and popular success in recent years. Now Rebus is taking a break, at least temporarily, and Rankin has just released his first stand-alone novel since the Inspector retired. After such a popular series has ended, it can be difficult for the author to win over former readers with an entirely new book, but 'Doors Open' suggests that Ian Rankin still has what it takes to entertain us even without his most famous creation.

It seems he has intentionally set out to create something as different as possible from his previous work. 'Doors Open' is, for want of a better word, a 'caper.' The tone is lighter than the Rebus novels (although things take a serious turn towards the end), and the book reminded me of a modern Scottish version of the classic film 'The League Of Gentlemen'. Mike Mackenzie has made a fortune from computer software at an early age; now he's bored and looking for a bit of adventure. When his friend Robert Gissing suggests 'liberating' a series of paintings from the National Gallery storage vaults in Edinburgh, it's just what he's been looking for. With his other pal Allan and a student forger in tow, Mike approaches gangland boss Chib Calloway (who was at school with Mike) to aid them in their plan. Needless to say, some major complications ensue - greedy partners, an obsessed policeman out to nail Calloway and a monstrous Scandinavian debt-collector called Hate are drawn in to the situation and Mike and friends quickly find themselves completely out of their depth and in serious danger from both the police and the criminal underworld.
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