Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Review: The Impossible Dead

Review for British author challenge:

The Impossible Dead by Ian Rankin: I read this novel not so much for the mystery as for the Edinburgh color -- and I wasn't disappointed on that score. Rankin's serviceable prose augments sharp dialog that seems to capture the always slightly negative speaking habits of the Scottish. Malcolm Fox is a detective for the Complaints, a kind of Internal Affairs bureau for the Scottish police. He and his colleagues head off to Fife to investigate officers who apparently covered for a now-convicted colleague; the investigation leads them into the history of Scottish nationalism in the 1980s, terrorism and murder in high places. The mystery rolls out fairly slowly, but Rankin's main strength lies in the characters and the local color -- not Local Hero color, but the grittier side of life in an improving but still troubled Scotland, now led in devolution by the SNP. Fox is a conflicted central character, caught among strong personal doubts, an ailing father and the scorn of his fellow officers. I'd like to lead the next, if Rankin continues the series.

1 comment:

Rose City Reader said...

I have read several of his John Rebus series and like them a lot. Your description of his writing style is spot on.

Thanks for including your review in the European Reading Challenge!

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