Sunday, December 31, 2017

Heard: "Standing in Another Man's Grave" by Ian Rankin

Heard: Standing in Another Man's Grave by Ian Rankin, 2012, download.

Rebus is retired from police work but has no life. What's a retired copper to do besides drink too much and wait for a heart attack? Well, for Rebus it means going to work as a civilian with the cold case squad. Rebus gets a call from a insistent woman who says her missing daughter's case follows the same general facts as several other woman who went missing in Northern Scotland. All the young women went missing along a remote stretch of the A9 highway which runs across northern Scotland to Inverness and up to the North Sea.

Rebus may be a civilian but he is the same old person as usual. He ends up helping with the latest missing person's case and finding commonalities among the missing women. At one point he and his former partner, Siobhan, interview several member of a road construction crew. Rebus recognizes one of the men as someone Rebus sent up once before. Rebus puts the screws to him and the guy says, "You were a bastard back then, too. Just not so fat and old."

That is Rebus all right, a real bastard. At least he is a equal opportunity bastard: crooks, politicians, business people, mobsters, co-workers, shop keepers, partners, commanding officers. I seem to recall he is almost always pleasant to barkeeps. At least until he gets served. Heck, Rebus is barely in touch with his grown daughter. She lives in the north and he drops by her house when he is in the area for work. He doesn't call ahead to make sure his daughter will be there though - something that is pointed out by himself and Siobhan.

Anyhoo. The police procedural parts are fun like usual. Rebus talks to possible witnesses. Rebus talks to friends and family of the missing women. Rebus has reapplied to join the police force and the Complaints are digging into his background and his regular coffee meetings with a mob boss. Rebus antagonizes the smaller time crime boss who is connected to the latest disappearance. Rebus drinks too much. Way too much. Rebus loves his old Saab. Rebus breaks plenty of rules and acts like a cop, even though he is not a cop.

Rebus is the hero of course. Even though he is an A-grade jerk he also figures out their is a serial killer and forces the police to follow the case and he presses to find the killer and get a confession.

1. Yes. You will try to follow along on a map as Rankin drives around Northern Scotland.
2. The Scottish narration had me thinking, and almost, speaking with a bad Scottish accent.

Backdating this post since I finished the book in 2017.

No comments: