Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Review of Standing in Another Man’s Grave by Ian Rankin (Orion, 2012)
Having retired his famous detective a couple of books ago, Ian Rankin places him front and centre in Standing in Another Man’s Grave. It’s a very welcome return in a thoroughly entertaining story. Rankin always scores well on several fronts - characterisation, sense of place, contextualisation, plotting - and it’s no different with this tale, which is layered and complex. Although the main focus is Rebus and the main case under investigation, Rankin does not neglect the host of secondary characters and their interrelations, and he interlinks several subplots that give the story a rich texture. For the most part the plotting is excellent, though it unravels a little in the final scenes, the resolution somewhat weak and a little unconvincing. Nevertheless, Rankin shows his skills at producing a multi-textual, engaging police procedural that hooks the reader in and tugs them along on a compelling jaunt. Despite eighteen outings, there’s still plenty of life in the old detective and hopefully there’s more to come.