It's late autumn in Edinburgh and late autumn in the career of Detective Inspector John Rebus. As he tries to tie up some loose ends before retirement, a murder case intrudes. A dissident Russian poet has been found dead in what looks like a mugging gone wrong. By apparent coincidence, a high-level delegation of Russian businessmen is in town - and everyone is determined that the case should be closed quickly and clinically.
But the further they dig, the more Rebus and DS Siobhan Clarke become convinced that they are dealing with something more than a random attack - especially after a particularly nasty second killing. Meanwhile, a brutal and premeditated assault on a local gangster sees Rebus in the frame ...Not even half way through the book I just wanted to quit reading it! It was just dreadfully slow and horribly boring.
"Rebus had dropped her home and then driven through the silent pre-dawn streets to Marchmont, an eventual parking space, and his second-floor tenement flat. The living room had a bay window, and that was where his chair was." Page 15I wondered if the story might be more interesting if I had read the other 17 books written about Inspector Rebus but somehow I highly doubt it.
The book spans nine days and an extra day epilogue which can be what makes the story develop so slowly. To be fair, there is almost no movement in this book! It is just a repetition from day to day with just little bit of new information and just page-loads of nothing.
"He turned his attention to the windscreen and the bleak car park beyond. Clarke could see that he wanted to wind down the window so he could smoke. But the smell was out there, lying in wait just above the level of tarmac." Page 64I wonder if Ian Rankin wanted just to stop writing about Inspector Rebus, since he is supposed to retire in this novel, and the publisher made him write another book with this is the result, an awful book! But in reality there is an eighteenth Inspector Rebus novel that came out after this one.
"The moment the flashing blue light was plugged in, it began working. Goodyear reached out of the window and attached it to the roof. The light ahead was still red. Clarke sounded her horn and watched the driver examine her in his rearview mirror." Page 396I think Ian Rankin will go into my "do not read" author list, along with Kathy Reichs (see review here). Life is just too short to keep on reading bad books!
What should I put on my reading list?