Ian Rankin

Even Dogs in the Wild

""...an unbeatable read.""


Rebus has retired and he is not finding life as a civilian easy. So when Detective Inspector Siobhan Clarke asks him to assist in the investigation of the murder of a prominent retired judge; he is only too ready to help. When his old enemy Big Ger Cafferty also receives similar death threats, Rebus' relationship with the gangster and other of Edinburgh's finest in crime become even more important.

Malcolm Fox has come in from the cold in Complaints and is working with a team investigating the activities of notorious Glasgow criminals who appear to have an unhealthy interest in affairs in Edinburgh. He and Siobhan are close friends and compare notes. As the investigations proceed there seems to be more than a little crossover between them. Slowly a pattern emerges and some unpleasant truths emerge that affect the workings of Police Scotland overall. Rebus proves his worth in a consultative capacity, but as always with little respect for the powers that be, although he does appear to be trying to improve his life style… if only slightly.

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Many people wondered how Rankin would deal with Rebus in retirement. This is the answer. Siobhan Clarke is in charge but Rebus is semi-detached and gets involved wherever he can and with his customary disregard for rules. He is paying a little attention to improving his lifestyle but is easily diverted. This investigation causes him to reflect on relationships and family and there are signs of a little softening. He may even have acquired a canine companion, but don't hold your breath, Rebus is still a hard man. I liked the way Rankin approaches the problem of retirement for a workaholic like Rebus. I think it is very convincing and true to life. I also like the development of Malcolm Fox as he tries to fit back into ordinary policing whilst dealing with a dying father and a needy sister. For me, the joy of reading Rankin's books that they are so true to life and the people in them so recognisable, warts and all. Add in the background of the great city of Edinburgh, superficially so proper, but underneath seething with trouble and crime, and you have an unbeatable read.

Reviewed By:

Chris Simmons