Saturday, November 12, 2005

Mystery Book Review: Strip Jack

Strip Jack
Murder most foul!

Not this time from Ian Rankin. Well not right away anyhow.

This time it’s a cock-up in a brothel. And the bloke caught with his trousers down is none other than a local MP. We see through Rebus’s eyes a group of friends who have grown up more or less together and what they have become. Some good, some bad and a few pretty ugly. Great stuff that just keeps getting better.

Another absolute delight of a Rebus mystery and true to form the complexity of the story twists and turns like a mountain road all the way to the precipitous ending. I was faked out a few times and even once ten pages before the end of the book. I love it.

And I found myself many times just as interested in Rebus’s latest "girlfriend" and whether he should move in with her or not or get back together with Gill, than the investigation going on. Fascinating. And as usual, Rebus has a sharp tongue, a discerning eye and quite a few shots of whiskey as well - adulterated to boot.

Ian Rankin manages to weave a murder mystery around Rebus and his personal life so well it is hard to tell where one begins and the other leaves off. A very well crafted, and far less grotesque (if that is what you like - I prefer the more grotesque myself) novel than the previous 3 in the Rebus series. But a winner all the way.

Yes, I am going back again to this series, to book five, because I’ve got to know -

- SPOILERS -

How Rebus’s hair will grow back?

How will his moving in with Patience pan out.

And will he ever get rid of that piece of shit of a car he owns?

- END SPOILERS -

But of course if it all works out for Rebus, we the readers, will surely be pissed. Part of the great fun is taking the ride with Rebus and seeing just where he will end up.

What a wonderful series and a great Inspector.

I can’t wait too long to read the next one. Well maybe two or three other books in-between.

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