This post is overdue, and I can't seem to find time to do it right. So, I won't. Here's a quick and dirty way to get it taken care of. I wish I had it in me to do a better job, but I don't. Here's the blurb taken from Rankin's site:
Retirement doesn’t suit John Rebus. He wasn’t made for hobbies, holidays or home improvements. Being a cop is in his blood.
So when DI Siobhan Clarke asks for his help on a case, Rebus doesn’t need long to consider his options.
Clarke’s been investigating the death of a senior lawyer whose body was found along with a threatening note. On the other side of Edinburgh, Big Ger Cafferty – Rebus’s long-time nemesis – has received an identical note and a bullet through his window.
Now it’s up to Clarke and Rebus to connect the dots and stop a killer.
Meanwhile, DI Malcolm Fox joins forces with a covert team from Glasgow who are tailing a notorious crime family. There’s something they want, and they’ll stop at nothing to get it.
It’s a game of dog eat dog – in the city, as in the wild.
Even Dogs in the Wild brings back Ian Rankin’s greatest characters in a story exploring the darkest corners of our instincts and desires.
If I had the time to do this properly, here are the things I'd be talking about.
- Rebus as consultant/PI -- this is really the perfect role for him, he's not that great at procedure anyway. Calling his own shots, following his instincts, going about things, he's a better fit for this kind of thing than a certain retired LAPD Detective.
- This proves to be the kind of case made for Rebus -- the solution lays in the past, but the ramifications are in the present.
- Cafferty isn't the suspect here (he's not innocent, he never is), but he's the victim -- and maybe a concerned citizen?
- There's little in Crime Fiction better than Rebus and Cafferty on the same page -- that's as true here as ever.
- Clarke's role seemed diminished in favor of Fox and Rebus (particularly the former), but maybe that's just me -- what she does, however, allows Rebus to do what he does best
- The Clarke/Fox friendship is an interesting one -- and different from the Clarke/Rebus friendship. I'll enjoy watching this develop.
- I'm already really enjoying the Fox/Rebus friendship/mentorship. That's not something anyone would've seen coming the first time we met Fox, or the first time we saw the two of them cross paths. The fact that they've got a strange friendship/mentorship going on is just wonderful.
- There's more going on in Fox's personal life than we've really ever seen with Rebus or Clarke on an extended basis.
- Fox's share of the story is really strong and displays the character we've come to know over the past few novels, but evolving to take on some of Rebus' better traits, but none of his . . . well, worse.
- For a period of time, through no fault of his own, Rebus takes guardianship over a small dog. This was just fantastic and one of my favorite things to happen to him in years.
Combine all of the above with Rankin's consummate skill and you've got another winner -- the twentieth Rebus book and the character, the writing, and the perspective is a strong and fresh as it ever was. A sure-fire win for old fans that would probably convert a newbie, too.