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on 11 March 2017
After taking part in a police raid on a brothel Inspector John Rebus gets mixed up in the private life of local Politician Gregor Jack, his missing wife and their collection of old school friends and acquaintances. Aided by colleague Sergeant Brian Holmes soon it becomes a murder investigation as Rebus enters a murky world of politics, socialising and strained relationships while juggling his own domestic love life. Following on from the fish out of water events in Tooth and Nail Inspector Rebus is comfortably back on his home turf of Edinburgh. By the fourth book in the popular series we see the character growing stronger and richer while Ian Rankin as a writer grows more assured and confident with his narrative, pace and environment. Throughout Strip Jack there’s a steady stream of confessions and revelations that keep the reader hooked. Not in a formulaic way but with professionalism and raw talent Rankin orchestrates a symphony of mystery. Strip Jack sees Rankin really hitting his stride, I was very impressed with the previous novel Tooth and Nail but if you’re going to read more than a couple of the books in the series then I’d advise starting at the very beginning with Knots and Crosses to really appreciate the growth of the character.
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on 11 December 2016
I have read a few Rebus novels and the character interested me enough to begin reading the series from the start. It's true the character is developing from the first novel, and this one returns Rebus to Edinburgh after his jaunt to London in the previous one...(a humorous telephone call links the two briefly). I find it pointless to review the plot as some reviewers do....I would rather say that the writing is visibly improving, Rebus is developing a quirky, yet pleasing personality, and the plot is obviously based on some Agatha Christie "whodunnits" in that there are several characters who could have carried out the dirty deed.
I found this a more enjoyable read than the previous three, especially the prose and the humour which, at times, is bitingly close to the truth. Hence a (rare) five stars from me an I look forward to more in the series.
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on 6 April 2013
Strip Jack is the fourth book in the Inspector Rebus series and begins with Rebus and his colleagues raiding a local brothel. During the course of the raid a local independent MP, Gregor Jack is found alone in a room with a prostitute. Right from the start Rebus is suspicious that something bigger than the raid is going on. Convinced that it is very out of character for Jack to even be there and even more suspicious about the fact that no one seems to know who tipped off the local and national media that an MP would be in the brothel? Rebus in true Rebus fashion refuses to accept any easy fits and begins to look deeper into the life of Gregor Jack and his family and friends.

This was a very enjoyable book and one that had a complex story with many interesting characters. Gregor Jack has a set of old friends call "The Pack" and Rebus has to deal with all of them at different times. From book stores to mental institutes Rebus is lead a merry dance by the pack and is always forced to look through the stories to discover the truth.

The Gregor Jack investigation takes place against the backdrop of great change in Rebus life. He is half living with Patience a doctor, who is growing frustrated with his lack of commitment; The Farmer is involved in a silent power struggle with Police Administrator Frank Lauderdale and Rebus is caught in the middle. Brian Holmes who is a colleague of Rebus has been promoted in-between this and the previous book Tooth and Nail. Holmes like many before and after him struggles with been left out of Rebus inner plotting.

All in all this is a very good book. It is very well written and moves at a very past pace when it gets going. The Rebus in this book has changed a little since Tooth and Nail. And Ian Rankin makes the change from a fictional Edinburgh to a more true to life Edinburgh.

Strip Jack may not be the best book in the series but it is still a very good book. I would recommend it to any fan of the crime genre and I look forward to reading the Black Book.
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on 2 August 2016
Actually a bit boring. No excitement whatsoever. Please give me 500 lines "Could do better". I'll think twice before I read another of Rankin's.
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on 12 June 2017
Re-reading the series. Ian Rankin has a better idea of Rebus's character by this book. It's full of interesting Scottish words which I can look up immediately as I'm reading it on the Kindle.
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on 15 June 2017
Plenty of twists and turns, Storyline great but didn't like the ending although it does then want you to get the next book. Would recommend it to my detective reading friends.
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on 26 October 2013
The book is up to the high standard of the rebus collection of novels. Being originally from Edinburgh and a police mans son I may have a soft spot, but I think it is more a well paced well written novel.

Attached to the main case there is an element of internal politics which reminds me of my own organisation (not the drink but the atmosphere) and the stories I heard from my father. Some things don't change.
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on 30 November 2016
Not as good as the first few books.More about a group of disfuctional friends.Still a good story and well worth a read.We get to see more of the rebus way of thinking in this book which I liked.
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on 30 October 2016
This is brilliant its original it's quirky it's exciting and excellent.
Rebus is back in Scotland and he's life's as complicated as ever.
It's very well written and stylish
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on 4 September 2016
As my heading infers,I have read better Ian Rankin.

This was a little confusing with too many characters which were completely irrelevant to the story. A shame
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