Rankin, Ian. Even Dogs in the Wild.

NY: Little, Brown, 2015.

John Rebus, homicide specialist with the Edinburgh police, has retired twice already but he just can’t stop being a cop. This time, he’s called in to act as a consultant by DI Siobhan Clarke, once his protégé, now an accomplished detective in her own right. The thing is, he was for decades the nemesis of Gerald Morris Cafferty, local crime lord, and the two men, while never friends, have reached a sort of rapprochement in retirement.

And Clarke will find that very useful now that someone is taking potshots at Big Ger. Moreover, Cafferty received a note warning “I’m going to kill you for what you did,” and so did a high-ranking prosecutor who recently was stabbed to death in his own home. At the same time, DI Malcolm Fox, once of the Complaints (what Americans would call Internal Affairs, and who has starred in a couple of his own books), has been attached to a task force monitoring the presence in their city of Joe Stark, Cafferty’s generational counterpart from Glasgow, who seems to be attempting to position his son to move in on Edinburgh. The police fear a high-level turf war and Fox would like to prove himself capable of doing more than investigating other cops. And, of course, the three plotlines will gradually converge as Rebus, Clarke, and Fox start comparing notes.

Rankin has gotten very good at “Tartan noir” and this is one of the best books in the long-running series. The pace is perfect, the characters are multi-dimensional, and the story is convincing. To quote Siobhan, “Go get ’em, John.”

Published in: on 30 July 2016 at 3:33 pm  Leave a Comment  
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