Booklist Reviews

*Starred Review* Rebus is back! Well, you didn't really think Rankin's cantankerous Edinburgh copper would stay retired, did you? Rankin has moved on since Rebus' retirement party in Exit Music (2008), beginning a new series starring another Edinburgh cop, Malcolm Fox, but Fox couldn't be more different from Rebus: a reformed drunk rather than a functioning one; a rule follower rather than a habitual rule breaker; and, most important, an internal-affairs officer rather than a detective. Oil and water, right? So who could resist the temptation to put them together in the same novel? It turns out Rebus has been spending his time since retirement as a civilian volunteer in a cold-case unit; one of those cold cases, the 15-year-old disappearance of a young woman, turns very hot when Rebus finds a connection to several more recent disappearances. His bloodhound's scent aroused, the detective is on the trail with a vengeance, crossing lines and bending rules just like in his salad days, which, naturally, brings him afoul of Fox, who abhors Rebus' nonconformity and is convinced the maverick must be dirty. (Or is he just jealous of his worst enemy's prowess as a detective?) Crime-fiction readers are trained to hate internal-affairs cops, but Rankin made us see Fox's humanity in The Complaints (2011) and The Impossible Dead (2011); now he sets the IA guy against our favorite bullheaded maverick. Ambiguity has never tasted so bittersweet. A gutsy experiment on Rankin's part and a completely successful one. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Crime-fiction fans will swarm when the news of Rebus' return spreads, and Rankin won't disappoint them. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

Publishers Weekly Reviews

Rankin's iconic Edinburgh copper, John Rebus, who retired in 2007's Exit Music, is now a civilian reviewing old police files in this satisfying crime thriller, which also includes Rankin's new series lead, Malcolm Fox (The Impossible Dead). Rebus butts heads with Fox, an investigator in Complaints, who loathes "old style" cops like Rebus who may have bent the rules to get results. When Nina Hazlitt shows up at Rebus's office, she tells him about her missing daughter, Sally, who disappeared on the A9 roadway in 1999. Though Rebus is initially skeptical, Hazlitt's persistence slowly pays off. Rebus starts taking seriously her theories that the subsequent disappearances of other young women along the A9 are connected, and a task force is formed, including Det. Insp. Siobhan Clarke, Rebus's protégée. The police comb through old case files, and Rebus logs many a mile in his battered Saab, driving the length of the A9 through Scotland, on the hunt for the killer. Rankin's ear for dialogue and sense of place is as keen as ever, complementing his twisted plot. Rebus fans will be pleased to find him as cantankerous as ever, smoking and drinking as if time in the policing world has stood still. (Jan.)

[Page ]. Copyright 2012 PWxyz LLC

PW Annex Reviews

Rankin's iconic Edinburgh copper, John Rebus, who retired in 2007's Exit Music, is now a civilian reviewing old police files in this satisfying crime thriller, which also includes Rankin's new series lead, Malcolm Fox (The Impossible Dead). Rebus butts heads with Fox, an investigator in Complaints, who loathes "old style" cops like Rebus who may have bent the rules to get results. When Nina Hazlitt shows up at Rebus's office, she tells him about her missing daughter, Sally, who disappeared on the A9 roadway in 1999. Though Rebus is initially skeptical, Hazlitt's persistence slowly pays off. Rebus starts taking seriously her theories that the subsequent disappearances of other young women along the A9 are connected, and a task force is formed, including Det. Insp. Siobhan Clarke, Rebus's protégée. The police comb through old case files, and Rebus logs many a mile in his battered Saab, driving the length of the A9 through Scotland, on the hunt for the killer. Rankin's ear for dialogue and sense of place is as keen as ever, complementing his twisted plot. Rebus fans will be pleased to find him as cantankerous as ever, smoking and drinking as if time in the policing world has stood still. (Jan.)

[Page ]. Copyright 2012 PWxyz LLC