The ninth Inspector Rebus novel from the No.1 bestselling author of A SONG FOR THE DARK TIMES.
'Masterly' SUNDAY TIMES
'Ian Rankin is a genius' Lee Child
DI Rebus is buried under a pile of paperwork but an escalating dispute between the upstart Tommy Telford and Big Ger Cafferty's gang gives Rebus an escape clause.
Telford is known to have close links with a Chechen gangster bringing refugees into Britain as prostitutes. When Rebus takes under his wing a distraught Bosnian call girl, it gives him a personal reason to make sure Telford goes back to Paisley and pronto.
Then Rebus's daughter is the victim of an all too professional hit-and-run and Rebus knows that there is now nothing he won't do to bring down prime suspect Tommy Telford - even if it means cutting a deal with the devil.
This sprawling, overloaded mystery from a justly acclaimed and usually very reliable crime author is a disappointment. Through nine previous novels (Black and Blue, 1997, etc.), dogged Edinburgh copper John Rebus has been captivating company--a man willing to place career before family and known to find solace in the bottle as his personal life takes an inevitable pounding. In this latest, Rebus's woes are strictly secondary (even as his daughter Samantha lies in a coma after a hit and run) as unsuspecting Edinburgh is rapidly transformed into the crime capital of the Western world. New hoodlum Tommy Telford is taking over, running whores imported from Eastern Europe, conspiring with Japanese businessmen to buy golf courses and selling drugs from the back of an ice cream van. All this upsets Ger Rafferty, the reigning hoodlum, who's stuck in prison and friendly with Rebus. Rebus makes a deal with Ger to take Telford down. Rebus also gives shelter to a suicidal prostitute and investigates the life and times of Joseph Lintz, a retired academic and alleged Nazi war criminal. A supremely implausible piece of plotting links Lintz to Telford's crowd. The evolution of Scotland's capital city into a gangster-riddled Babylon is bold, but all the canny procedural detail that Rankin is known for is lamentably jettisoned for a train wreck of a novel that aims for cinematic epic mayhem but achieves only narrative chaos instead. Author tour.