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One of the best Rebus books so far, three intertwined mysteries taking our hero and his protégée to the murky underworld of asylum centres, strip clubs, and illegal immigration; I felt that Ian Rankin was trying unusually hard to include social commentary on all these issues into the story, and even more unusually I thought he succeeded. Perhaps the most unrealistic aspect is that we discover Rebus to be a staunch anti-racist, which seems a little (though not hugely) out of character from previous books. Very strongly recommended.

And that concludes my book-blogging from my recent travels. Relatively normal service to be resumed soon.

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Mark Devlin
Jul. 7th, 2011 01:08 pm (UTC)
I like Rankin -- very high-quality airport. (As I spend a great deal of time in airports, that is by no means condescending praise.) IIRC, we learn in this instalment that our hero's ould gaffer was a displaced person, originally from Poland, who found his way to Scotland after WWII. That would plausibly explain Rebus's aversion to xenophobia. Perhaps it also explains Rebus's not-too-Scots-sounding surname. "Rebus" might not sound very Polish either, but I believe they are an old Masurian szlachta family, herbu Łamigłówka.
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