Review Blog

Oct 04 2018

In a house of lies by Ian Rankin

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Inspector Rebus book 22. Orion, 2018. ISBN 9781409176893
(Age: Senior secondary - Adult) Highly recommended. Themes: Mystery. Detectives. Murder, Police corruption. When a missing investigator is found in the boot of a car, years after he went missing, it is in an area that was originally searched by the police. This looks bad for the police and is traumatic for the family. As the investigation unfolds, it turns out that there are mistakes and lies and Detective Inspector Siobhan Clarke turns to Rebus for information about the old case. She needs his help to curb a stalker who didn't believe that his nephew had murdered his girlfriend and wants the truth uncovered. But there are lies and cover-ups everywhere and Rebus could be in a fix.
In a house of lies reads quite well as a stand-alone for those who are not familiar with the Inspector Rebus series. I have missed several of the books but could easily pick up on the main characters who were all well described. Rebus is supposed to be retired and is suffering from emphysema, but cannot manage to stay away from any investigation that is going on. His police skills shine as he uses his in-depth background knowledge of people and places, cutting through red tape and ignoring threats from cops and crooks alike. DI Siobhan Clarke stands out as she chases up clues and withstands intimidation from her colleagues.
Set against the backdrop of an Edinburgh that wouldn't be familiar to the tourist, Rankin has produced another engrossing murder mystery that will keep the reader guessing to the final pages. The restructuring of the modern Police Scotland and the budget cuts facing the organisation provide an interesting background, as does the contrast between modern day policing with CCTV, the Internet and social media and the old policing ways of Rebus.
Everyone is telling lies and everyone has something to hide and the readers has to weave a way through them all.
In a house of lies is a welcome addition to the series which fans will be very happy with, and readers new to the series are in for a treat.
Pat Pledger

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