Gregor Jack has it all: young, wealthy, and charming, he's a highly respected member of Parliament, with a beautiful wife--and a closet bursting with skeletons. When he's caught in a police raid on an Edinburgh brothel, his house of cards begins to topple. Enter Detective John Rebus: he smells a set-up. When Jack's flamboyant wife Elizabeth disappears, Rebus uncovers a full-house of orgies, drunken parties, an incestuous "Pack" of deceitful chums...and ultimately Elizabeth's badly beaten body. Now Rebus is on a new quest--to find a killer who holds all the cards.
Strip Jack is a stellar entry in Ian Rankin's Inspector Rebus series, which The New York Times calls "A superior series."
For all the right reasons, Edinburgh Detective Inspector John Rebus calls for comparison with Colin Dexter's Oxford copper Inspector Morse. Both spend a lot of time in pubs and bemoan the onset of middle age; each is a shrewd detective with a literary bent who operates in an academic town where clashes of culture beget victims. When much-loved politician Gregor Jack is discovered in a midnight raid on a discreet brothel, a surprising number of journalists are on hand--a situation that endangers Jack's political future. Jack's wealthy wife Elizabeth, a noted partygoer whose friends are equally well-heeled and hedonistic, can't be found. Her body is soon pulled from a nearby river, a fatality mirroring the recent murder of another, unidentified, woman. A drunk who brags of the first killing gives a false address and vanishes north of the city. Meanwhile Rebus, trying to trace a cache of valuable stolen books, finds himself talking again to the late Elizabeth's coterie of party friends. Rankin creates a living, breathing world in which his weary protagonist tackles his cases while involved in the intricacies of the day-to-day: pints and hangovers, stumbling romance, wet weather, damp clothes, tricky superiors and wide-eyed subordinates. All are brought to bear, yet all are ultimately jettisoned as Rebus closes in on the satisfying solution.