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Library Journal Review
Rebus's 20th outing begins with the murder of a senior legal advocate, after which a note is found in the victim's wallet: "I'm going to kill you for what you did." Detective Inspector Siobhan Clarke, longtime mentee of Rankin's now-retired policeman John Rebus, takes the lead on the case. Rebus himself joins the investigation as a "consultant" when Rebus's nemesis "Big Ger" Cafferty is thought to be under threat by the same killer. As has been the case throughout the series, memorable characters, flawless dialog, and precise pacing provide a satisfying listening experience. The skillful narration by James Macpherson, who will be familiar to listeners of Rankin's previous audiobooks, conjures up the back streets of Edinburgh to perfection. VERDICT Recommended for all crime and mystery collections.-Kristen L. Smith, Loras Coll. Lib., Dubuque, IA © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Publishers Weekly Review
In Rankin's new novel, Detective Siobhan Clarke seeks the assistance of her former partner, retired copper John Rebus, in investigating the murder of a senior government prosecutor found beaten to death. The codgers form an uneasy alliance and eventually confront a father and son gangster duo from Glasgow who are the likely suspects. Meanwhile, Detective Malcolm Fox has left the soul-wrenching job of investigating other cops for a new assignment, surveying the Glasgow gang. It's a tangled, gritty tale, and reader MacPherson adds much to the Edinburgh atmosphere with a Scottish burr that's thicker than haggis. A Little, Brown hardcover. (Jan.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
*Starred Review* Like Michael Connelly's Harry Bosch, John Rebus is having trouble with retirement. With no murders to investigate, he's left with only two interests: smoking and drinking. Fortunately, his former colleagues have a way of asking for his help, as they do here when it appears that a murderer has targeted Big Ger Cafferty, the quasi-retired gangland leader who has been Rebus' nemesis (or perhaps frenemy) for decades. As Siobhan Clark, Rebus' former partner, investigates the murder of a highly placed lawyer, and Malcolm Fox is seconded to an undercover team from Glasgow tracking a notorious crime family, Rebus attempts to get a handle on the seeming attempt on Cafferty's life. Naturally, the three cases are interconnected, and Clark, Fox, and Rebus wind up working together. As always, Rankin delivers some fascinating procedural details, but the heart of the book and its main appeal to crime-fiction readers lies in the evolving personal relationships between the three cops and one bad guy. The switching of roles between Rebus and Clark continues to intrigue, but even better is the transformation of Fox from a behind-the-scenes guy (once described as looking like a soulless, spunkless middle manager from the most boring company on the planet) into a real cop working the mean streets. And the deepening of Cafferty's character into a bad guy with an inner life augurs well for future episodes. Rebus' retirement may be tough for the character, but so far it's been fine for the reader.--Ott, Bill Copyright 2015 Booklist
Kirkus Book Review
Veteran cop John Rebus emerges from retirement to look into a pair of parallel cases of revenge. When David Menzies Minton, former Lord Advocate of Scotland, is bludgeoned to death in his Edinburgh home, DI Siobhan Clarke shares one crime-scene detail she shouldn't with her friend DI Malcolm Fox: a note saying, "I'M GOING TO KILL YOU FOR WHAT YOU DID." After someone shoots at crime lord Big Ger Cafferty, she also rousts John Rebus, a month into his retirement, from his usual station at the Oxford Bar. As a detective, Rebus had developed an odd working relationship with Cafferty. So now he agrees to be a consultant, especially after Cafferty gets the same death-threat note as Minton. There's no obvious link between Minton's murder and the attempted hit on Cafferty, however, and even less connection with a past break-in and the murder of a lottery winner. Meanwhile, Fox reluctantly becomes his boss' spy for a surveillance team that hopes to take down a Glaswegian gangster and his heir apparent, who've come to Edinburgh on the trail of a man who betrayed them. It's not easy for a man widely regarded as an internal snitch to win the team's confidence. Fox even has to take a beating from the man he suspects is the team's undercover member. But he takes a cue from Rebus, who was notorious for going his own way when he was a cop and is even more inclined to do so as a civilian. It pays off when Rebus uses his connections and know-how to help Clarke and Fox find the key they've been looking for, a terrible secret that spills into the turf war among criminal factions and exposes the past lives of those supposedly on the right side of the law. Rankin (The Beat Goes On, 2015, etc.) takes his time setting up all these plots. But it's well worth the wait to see how the latest entry in this celebrated series fits all the pieces together. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.