Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Book Number 44

set in darkness

Set In Darkness (2000) by Ian Rankin

This was the 11th novel featuring Rankin's Inspector Rebus. I think I have read 9 or 10 of them and as you might expect the series had, in my opinion, stagnated somewhat. DI Rebus is a hardbitten cop working the streets of Edinburgh; drinking and smoking too much. He is a bit of a relic on the force and often buts heads with people he works with.

The book has multiple plotlines which involve the murder of a newly elected Scottish paliamentarian, an old body found bricked up on the site of the new Parliament and a suicide of a homeless man with a fortune in the bank. Rakin does a solid job of mixing up the narrative and not always having the focus of the story be on Rebus. At times his ancillary characters appear to be underdrawn, however, many of them have reappeared in the previous books and have become familiar. My only other complaint would be that the final story tie-up comes too quickly and neatly. Some of the sub-plots and characters are shoved aside in service of the larger mystery.

All in all, this novel is a return to form for Rankin and, while not at the claibre of his early books, still a quality read.

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