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Witch Hunt   by Ian Rankin, Jack Harvey

Read: 2013-10-01 Reviewed: 2013-12-10
Re-read factor:

A book without much mystery as all the characters, including a local police team, a national one, an institutional researcher, and the sole assassin, are introduced at the beginning and all of their actions are followed throughout. This works in the book's favour as it allows Ian Rankin to really develop the characters and create genuine tension as the reader sees the universe unfolding: will the retired detective manage to track down his long-term tormentor before she assassinates a posse of world-leaders meeting in busy London?

The assassin announces her prescence in the country by arriving on a small boat which, along with her unsuspecting crew, is obliterated as soon as she is ashore. She then moves around the country with a travelling fair, annoying the detectives who know her by carrying out small contract killings. But they know she must have much bigger intentions, and are aware of a summit meeting of international leaders imminent in London.

It turns out that the detective who had been most active in the pursuit of this assassin has now retired, after having risen through the ranks to become head of the national crime agency. This gives a natural counter-point to the current head of the agency, and Rankin is then able to play his characters off against one another at all levels of social and professional ladders.

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