Top critical review
Probably a 3.5
on 8 January 2017
I was a little disappointed with this (although I only paid 99p for it and so can't really complain) and I'm not sure whether some of it isn't that I've come in on book 10. However - book 10 was written in 1999 and perhaps if I'd started at 1, when Rankin was a less experienced author, I possibly wouldn't have carried on anyway.
I don't mind that the book had lots of characters - but I wasn't convinced that all the relationships were realistic. Rebus and Patience for example were a couple who barely acknowledged each other's presence and their relationship felt like an afterthought.
I also struggled with the book feeling (to me) like it didn't have a consistent sense of the time it was set in. Mentioning a Walkman, for example, dated it quite specifically to the 90s and yet some of the descriptions of people's living rooms (sitting "by the fire") sometimes made it sound like it was set in the 1950s.
I'm also never keen on reading books where the main character drinks heavily and drives. Something Rebus must've been doing as it seems some days that he was having Whiskey for breakfast, dinner and tea.
I had struggled about the 30% mark and had visited here to read some reviews to see if it was worth carrying on. I think it's because Mr Rankin has quite an intense way of writing and it means you feel like you're pushing on with the book. Struggling to explain myself here but when I read a Jack Reacher, for example, the prose is so slick and light that it feels like the pages are turning themselves as you are swept along with the story. This book felt like more of a slog at times.
I won't spoil the ending for anyone - but that left me a little disappointed too (having invested so much time in what is a fairly long book it felt like thre were loose ends left dangling). Overall it's not a bad book and it explores some difficult topics - but I don't think it's set me up to read any more Rebus stories.