Rebus is off the case - quite literally. A few days into a murder inquiry following the brutal death of an Edinburgh art dealer, Rebus blows up at his superior, DCS Gill Templer, and is sent into purdah. Which, in his case, means the Scottish Police College, sited on the edge of a village in central Scotland. Rebus has been sent there for ...
Rebus is off the case - quite literally. A few days into a murder inquiry following the brutal death of an Edinburgh art dealer, Rebus blows up at his superior, DCS Gill Templer, and is sent into purdah. Which, in his case, means the Scottish Police College, sited on the edge of a village in central Scotland. Rebus has been sent there for 'retraining'. In other words, it's his Last Chance Saloon. He is not alone. At the college, he is put into a group of similar officers - people who have a problem with the very institution which houses them. They are given an old unsolved case to work on. It will hopefully teach them the merits of teamwork, while allowing professionals the chance to assess this unholy 'wild bunch'. But there are those in the team who have their own secrets - secrets not unconnected to the very case they've been given - and they'll stop at nothing to protect them. As if that wasn't enough, the Scottish Crime Squad have a favour to ask of Rebus. They think they've found someone who can deliver the inside info on the east coast's biggest gangster, 'Big Ger' Cafferty. All they need is a link-man, someone to act as go-between. They've decided on Rebus whether he likes it or not. Meanwhile, back in Edinburgh, newly-promoted Detective Sergeant Siobhan Clarke must work the case of the murdered art dealer, a case which will take her closer to Cafferty and his world than she could ever have anticipated...
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Publishers Weekly, 2002-12-09 Rankin's moody Inspector John Rebus, unorthodox pride of the Edinburgh police, begins this latest installment in hot water. He's been sent back to the police college for "retraining," with a group of other "resurrection men," for throwing a cup of coffee at a superior in a moment of frustration. It soon becomes clear, however, that the police brass have their own agenda for Rebus. Some of his fellow officers are suspected of being on the take, and it's his mission-should he accept it-to try to infiltrate their schemes, perhaps even encourage them. Meanwhile, a murder he and the edgy Det. Sergeant Siobhan Clarke have been investigating has turned up some curious links with an apparently Teflon crime boss Rebus has been after for years. The two cases gradually come together in Rankin's skillfully woven plotting, full of his trademark tough, oblique dialogue and sudden moments of touching warmth. The book's only drawbacks are that it seems a little overextended, and that the final bloody climax lacks something in conviction, if not in tension. This isn't one of Rankin's top efforts, but even coasting, he leaves most police procedurals at the gate. (Feb. 3) Forecast: This is the first book in a new contract with a new publisher, and Little, Brown can be expected to give it an extra push, starting with a six-city author tour. Rankin has never been the top seller here that he is at home (and in Canada), but wider attention should bring sales dividends. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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