A Boston Globe Best Mystery of the Year
Rebus comes out of retirement...to save his nemesis.
Detective Inspector Siobhan Clarke is feeling the heat. She's investigating the death of a senior government prosecutor, David Minton, who has friends in high places. When one of their own is killed, the powers that be want answers fast. But Clarke is puzzled: if Minton died in a robbery as everyone thinks, why is nothing missing from his home? The answer may lie not in what was taken, but in what was left behind at the scene--an ominous note.
Malcolm Fox is feeling useless. Shunned by his colleagues because of his past in the Complaints bureau, he's been reassigned to a grunt detail, helping a surveillance team--one that trusts him even less than his own boss does--track a notorious Glasgow crime family. Helping Clarke with the Minton case is the only thing that makes Fox feel like a real cop.
Newly minted civilian John Rebus is feeling restless. Being a cop is in his blood and he's failing miserably at retirement. So when Clarke and Fox ask for his help, Rebus doesn't need long to consider his options. But before he can get his bearings, a call comes from Rebus's old nemesis--"Big Ger" Cafferty. Someone just fired a bullet through his front window--and sent him a note identical to Minton's. The normally unflappable old gangster is on edge, but for the life of him Cafferty can't figure out who he's wronged. And the only man he trusts with his life is Rebus.
As the cases collide, it's up to Clarke, Fox, and Rebus to connect the dots and save their unlikely ally Cafferty, whose past harbors a shocking secret that implicates Minton's friends in an unspeakable crime. Even Dogs in the Wild reunites crime fiction legend Ian Rankin's greatest characters in an explosive story exploring the darkest corners of our desires.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
It’s double the fun when crime writer Ian Rankin brings together John Rebus and Malcolm Fox. The retired police inspector and his former rival—who’s now languishing behind a DCI desk—join forces to investigate the murder of a lord and lawyer and its connection to a threatening note received by gangster Big Ger Cafferty. Rankin brings together a particularly strong cast of characters for Rebus’ encore—Even Dogs in the Wild is suspenseful, surprising, and witty.
In Rankin's uneven 21st John Rebus novel (after 2013's Saints of the Shadow Bible), the Edinburgh police hire the retired cop in a "consultative capacity" to work with former partner Siobhan Clarke on the murder of Lord Minton, a lawyer found beaten to death. It looks like a home invasion until the police find a note: "I'm going to kill you for what you did." A similar note is received by Edinburgh crime boss "Big Ger" Cafferty, shortly before someone takes a shot at Cafferty. Some Glaswegian gangsters moving into Edinburgh at the start causes some confusion, and Malcolm Fox, the lead of another Rankin series, appears on the scene. Fox, who's now a detective and no longer with Complaints (Scotland's Internal Affairs), may be meant as a kind of Rebus alter ego, but he's just too milquetoast to hold any interest. When Rankin finally gets to his real narrative, involving a former home for juvenile delinquents, the pace picks up considerably. Fans will hope for a return to form next time.