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by Ian Rankin
Orion, October 2018
384 pages
$34.99 CAD
ISBN: 1409176886

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

The twenty-third tale in Ian Rankin's immensely successful John Rebus series, this outing finds the semi-retired Edinburgh detective informally working (or more accurately, sticking his nose into) the discovery of a body discovered by school kids on wooded farmland outside Edinburgh.

Rebus had been involved in the original missing-persons inquiry in 2006, which had come up empty. Now, more than a decade later they are faced with tangible evidence: a body in the boot of a car, killed by repeated blows to the head, and bound at the ankles by what seem to be police-issue handcuffs. The victim is one Stuart Bloom, a gay private investigator who had been hired by a local sleazy film producer named Jackie Ness. Both the car and the body are on Ness's land.

The victim's family had made plenty of noise during the original investigation, and there were suspicions at the time that the inquiry had been compromised, but nothing had come of them. DI Siobhan Clarke is part of a major incident team taking a fresh look into the case, trying to discover what went wrong and whether anyone inside the force had been responsible for a cover-up. Having been involved in the original case John Rebus is not above suspicion, nor are two other officers who were close to one of the suspects in the inquiry, and who are now part of the Anti-Corruption Unit looking into the way it was handled. And for good measure, Rebus's old adversary DI Malcolm Fox is also part of the team looking into the case. All in all, it seems as though far too many people involved in the original inquiry may have something to hide.

A uniquely talented writer, Ian Rankin has been setting the bar in contemporary crime writing for more than thirty years. His latest work, IN A HOUSE OFF LIES, is vintage Rankin: every line is fresh, the characters finely-etched, their relationships nuanced; the dialogue bristles and the plot is intricately layered. Impeccably crafted and darkly ironic, IN A HOUSE OF LIES is crime writing at its very best.

Since 2005 Jim Napier's reviews and interviews have appeared in several Canadian newspapers and on various crime fiction and literary websites, including his own award-winning review site, Deadly Diversions. His debut crime novel LEGACY was published in the Spring of 2017, and the second in the series, RIDLEY'S WAR, is scheduled for release in 2019.

Reviewed by Jim Napier, October 2018

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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