Hide & Seek Book Review

Hide & Seek Book Review

Title: Hide & Seek
Author: Ian Rankin
Published: 2008, Minotaur
No. of Pages: 288
Cover Price: $15.99 US

The second John Rebus novel, Hide & Seek, opens with a photographer/drug addict, Ronnie, pleading with his girlfriend, Tracy, to “Hide,” because someone is planning to kill him. Shortly thereafter, he is found dead of an apparent overdose and John Rebus is called to the scene. Although Rebus could just write the death off as an accidental overdose, some of the facts just don’t add up, and he begins a thorough investigation into the death. Rebus learns from the autopsy that Ronnie overdosed on rat poison, and also believes that the body was moved downstairs and was posed under a sign of the occult which was painted on a wall; a bag of pure heroin was left nearby. There is a clip from a tie found at the scene, and Rebus is fairly sure that it came from a Policeman’s tie, so he suspects that there is a policeman involved.

In the meantime, Inspector Rebus has been assigned to be a part of an anti-drugs campaign, and is expected to rub shoulders with some of the rich politicians and business owners in the city. He resents the assignment, but has no choice in the matter, and works on solving what he now knows is a murder rather than an overdose, by assigning other officers to help. Rebus is not a particularly likeable character, and offends most of the policemen that he is in charge of by treating them in a condescending manner, arguing with them, and criticizing and yelling at them. He is absolutely rude, and takes pride in being so.

This novel, as well as the other Rebus novels, takes place in Edinburgh, and is interesting in that the practices of the police are so different than what is acceptable behavior in the US. For instance, policemen are allowed to drink on the job, and Rebus is actually drunk most of the time. His chain smoking seems to also contribute to him being less likeable than many other thriller heroes – a reader gets the idea that he is unclean somehow and a generally undesirable person. Nevertheless, the Rebus novels are addicting, and even though most readers wouldn’t want to have him over for dinner, they will want to read about him and his unique style of solving cases. Rankin captures the charm of Edinburgh in his novels; they are well-written and have plenty of suspense throughout them. There is, of course a surprise ending in Hide & Seek, and several additional murders. The book is clean, has no overt profanity or sex, and is difficult to put down. John Rebus fans will enjoy this book, especially the fact that it is a fast read and can be finished quickly, leaving more time to read the additional books in the series.

This book was purchased with personal funds and no promotion of the book was solicited by the author or publisher.

This book may be purchased at Amazon: Hide and Seek (Inspector Rebus Novels)

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