Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Standing in Another Man's Grave by Ian Rankin

Reviewer : Gillian Hamer, author of The Charter

What we thought : Rebus is back! Retirement doesn’t suit him despite his best attempts. Here we see him in his new position in SRCU (Edinburgh’s version of a cold case team) – and as usual his mixture of curmudgeonly stubbornness and genuine insightfulness work both for and against his career.
There’s something about Ian Rankin’s writing that always consumes me from the opening page. There’s a saying about the real art in anything is being to make something incredibly hard seem incredible easy - and that’s certainly true here. I have always loved Rebus’s wit and there are even more funny moments in this novel to enjoy. The dialogue is effortless and there’s never a second that something feels unreal or out of context. For me, that’s the sign of a truly gifted writer.
And as an added bonus, in this novel, the author brings alive some wonderful settings – whether it’s the traffic-jammed streets of Edinburgh or the backdrop of the Black Isle, it’s impossible not to have a running mental image in your head. Rankin’s pride of his own country is obvious.
I’ve always been a huge fan of Rankin’s writing, and even after twenty-five years of John Rebus, I never tire of his character. And Rankin never fails to keep the storylines fresh and engaging. There are twists and turns, dead ends and brick walls a-plenty here, but you’re never left in a shadow of doubt that it will all come good for Rebus in the end.

You’ll enjoy this if you like : PD James, Agatha Christie, Peter May & Val McDermid.
Avoid if you don’t like : Scottish folk, Scottish weather, Scottish accent, Scottish cities, Scottish traditions or anything generally north of the border. (I am sensing a running theme in my reviews.)

Ideal accompaniments : A shot of 12 year old malt, fried Mars Bar and The Proclaimers.
Genre : Crime

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