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STRIP JACK
by Ian Rankin
St. Martin's Press, May 1998
269 pages
$6.50
ISBN: 0312965141


Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

Ian Rankin writes an intense, carefully constructed police procedural. Set in Edinburg, Scotland, this is the fourth in the detective John Rebus series. Rankin presents Rebus as a fully-found person, with an ex-wife, a lover with whom he has disagreements and both superiors and inferiors in the police department with whom he sometimes fights.

Rebus is a driven, honest cop who doggedly sets out to figure out why a local member of Parliament named Gregor Jack should have been discovered on the premises during a raid on a local brothel. Complicating Rebus' life is another case in which Rebus fields pressure from his superiors to accept a homeless derelict as the killer of a woman found in the river. There are too many unanswered questions for Rebus.

MP Jack seemed to have it all, except perhaps for his glamorous wife, Elizabeth who might be a bit more than he can handle. But that seems small business for a popular Scot with rising governmental prospects. But why was he at that particular brothel at that particular time? And why was the press on the scene practically at the same time as the police? Rebus is an experienced cop, schooled in the ways of the politician and the criminal. For him, there are too many questions and too few answers. When he does finally unravel the main plot, and several sub-plots as well, readers will be surprised and satisfied. One is not required to make startling leaps of faith and although some suspension of disbelief is always required, this noir novel is an excellent effort. Moreover, Rankin doesn't slack off when he takes his detective through elements of his non-law enforcement life. There are several excellent interior monologues and scenes with his current lover, Patience. Overall a most commendable effort.

The reviewer is the author of:

INNER PASSAGES

A SUPERIOR MYSTERY

http://www.Minnesotacrimewave.org

Reviewed by Carl Brookins, December 2002

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)


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