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The Naming of the Dead   by Ian Rankin

Read: 2014-08-08 Reviewed: 2014-08-14
Re-read factor:

Once again revolves around DI Rebus. The G8 summit at Gleneagles is going on, an MP falls to his death over Edinburgh Castle ramparts, his colleague's parents take part in a peace rally and are bludgeoned into hospitalization by a local thug, the parents also harbour a secret agent who happens to be the sister of the dead MP, a local big-wig is having it away with another of his colleagues's sister (who is a natural adversary in the force of the former colleague), and the secret agent muddies the water by killing two other no-gooders to make it look like serial murder rather than revenge. Then there is a difficult hob-nob from London police, an industrialist who uses bodyguards imitating policemen, Rebus' difficult own superior (who suspends Rebus from duty, with absolutely no implication to the story at all), and Big Ger Cafferty (the local criminal, Rebus' long-time adversary) who seems to know everything that is happening.

It is a great melange of people and things happening, and in the end there is not so much connection between everything as might first appear: Rankin's usual dose of reality into everything. As usual with Rankin, the reading pleasure is in the interactions between the numerous characters, and, while the plot lines are solid, they feel definitely subservient to the cause, and the book, for all it is worth, is a day-in-the-life of a Scottish detective (albeit actually an interesting... week).

As ever, Rankin gets a high re-read factor because of the quality of the writing, but this is not top-shelf simply because the plotting is too much of what you already get on telly (to boot, there is a lot of people being in one place at one time, and then somewhere else on the other side of town/country ten minutes later).

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