07 March 2015

Long time coming

It's not just that it took me months to get around to writing about this. The first recommendation I had about this was a decade ago.

Ten years ago, Bird Loomis wrote about enjoying Ian Rankin's mysteries featuring John Rebus. Last summer I finally read an Ian Rankin book, but John Rebus was nowhere to be found in it. It seems the old guy had retired and a new main character, Malcolm Fox appeared.

Well, we can't have that. Conan Doyle had to bring Holmes back from the dead. Like Harry Bosch and Carl Morck, Rebus returns as a civilian to a cold case group (in Edinburgh it's called "Serious Crime Review"). The book is called, Standing in Another Man's Grave.

Rankin and his book

Rebus retired, but he has no life outside of detection or drinking or smoking. His chance to keep investigating is the only real possibility for him.

He gets a call from a woman whose daughter disappeared back in 1999. The woman says her daughter's disappearance must be related to the disappearance of several young women in the same vicinity in recent years. It's just the kind of case Rebus can't stay away from. Even though it brings him to the edge of a grave.

It also gets him in touch with Rankin's new character Malcolm Fox. Fox runs the complaints department and knows Rebus' reputation and hates it. Can he get rid of Rebus? Can Rebus drive around Scotland enough to wear out his vintage Saab? Will a gangster, on whose toes Rebus stepped, push Rebus into another man's grave? After the retirement age is raised, can Rebus get back on the force? Does it matter that the title is a mis-hearing of a song title, "Standing in Another Man's Rain"?

The story is well told. I enjoyed reading it. I think it's time for me to haunt Half Priced Books and look for some of Rankin's older books. What a fine prospect.

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