In the original dustsheet. Black cloth binding with gilt title on the spine.
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The sixteenth Inspector Rebus novel from ‘Britain’s best crime novelist’ DAILY EXPRESS and No.1 bestselling author of A SONG FOR THE DARK TIMES
‘Rankin just gets better. The topicality and eye for detail are awesome’ Jilly Cooper
‘This is possibly the best novel you will read in your life full stop. Yes, it is that good’ NEWS OF THE WORLD
A murder has been committed – but as the victim was a rapist, recently released from prison, no one is too concerned about the crime. That is, until Detective Inspector John Rebus and DS Siobhan Clarke uncover evidence that a serial killer is on the loose… When Rebus also starts looking into the apparent suicide of an MP, he is abruptly warned off the case, not least because the G8 leaders have gathered in Scotland, and Rebus’s bosses want him well out of the way. But Rebus has never been one to stick to the rules, and when Siobhan has a very personal reason for hunting down a riot cop, it looks as though both Rebus and Clarke may be up against their own side…
Review: Like most fans of Ian Rankin, I’ve enjoyed all the Rebus books. Even so, I prefer them in small doses and wouldn’t want to read another one too soon after finishing the last. I like Rankin’s style though (except in ‘The Falls’, which I thought needed tightening up to remove unnecessary words – as if the author didn’t have time to edit it work properly before publication). While I’d rate ‘The Naming of the Dead’, I wouldn’t rank it as Rankin’s best (‘Fleshmarket Close’ probably fills that spot, although it’s difficult to choose). With ‘The Naming of the Dead’, I found the middle chapters began to drag – unusual, as Rankin’s writing is normally fast-paced and to the point. After a few books you become strangely attached to DI Rebus. He feels more like an old acquaintance than a fictional character. And, despite his obvious flaws, he occasionally reveals a softer, more generous nature beneath the hard-nosed detective. One reviewer complains that Rebus has never developed as a character – he’s the same now as he was in the first book. But he’s the sort of cop who lives his job to the obliteration of home life and family. Any more subordinate and he’d be out of the force for good, but if he suddenly started playing by the rules and climbing the promotion ladder it somehow wouldn’t ring true, nor would he solve crimes in the way that he does. He’s just not that sort of person,
The story is cleverly plotted so that I had not guessed the outcome, as is so often the case with lesser writers. If you’re already a fan you’ll enjoy this one, but if you’re new to Rankin, I’d start with one of the earlier books. Preferably, read them in the order in which they were published to familiarise yourself with the characters – although each book is a self-contained entity the stories are easier to follow and mean more if you know who’s who and where they fit in the general scheme.
Sir Ian James Rankin OBE DL FRSE FRSL FRIAS (born 28 April 1960) is a Scottish crime writer and philanthropist, best known for his Inspector Rebus novels. Rankin was born in Cardenden, Fife. His father, James, owned a grocery shop, and his mother, Isobel, worked in a school canteen. He was educated at Beath High School, Cowdenbeath. His parents were horrified when he then chose to study literature at university, as they had expected him to study for a trade. Encouraged by his English teacher, he persisted and graduated in 1982 from the University of Edinburgh, where he also worked on a doctorate on Muriel Spark but did not complete it. He has taught at the university and retains an involvement with the James Tait Black Memorial Prize. He lived in Tottenham, London, for four years and then rural France for six while he developed his career as a novelist. Before becoming a full-time novelist, he worked as a grape picker, swineherd, taxman, alcohol researcher, hi-fi journalist, college secretary and punk musician in a band called the Dancing Pigs.
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