Nicholas (nwhyte) wrote,
Nicholas
nwhyte

October Books 6) Exit Music, by Ian Rankin

So I reach the last of the Rebus novels, which starts a few days before our hero is due to retire, with a dissident Russian poet found battered to death late one Edinburgh night in November 2006, followed soon after by the murder of his sound engineer friend. Rebus's impending retirement echoes the impending end to the hegemony of the Scottish Labour Party, with the SNP and possible independence looming in the wings, and the investigation takes him to investigate the intimate relations between government, opposition, bankers and Scottish oligarchs, before twisting into an unexpected but entirely satisfactory resolution.

I still have two books of Rebus short stories on the shelves, so will save a general assessment until I have read them both. But just here I want to note that Rankin's treatment of Scottish politics became much more sophisticate and convincing after 1999. The early books feature an improbable independent MP, and a fumbling exploration of the mechanisms of Scottish Office government. But with the coming of devolution, we have the first election campaign, the G8 summit and now this exploration of how government and opposition can be equally compromised. It's an interesting example of how a series of detective novels demonstrates the effect of a major constitutional reform.
Tags: bookblog 2011, writer: ian rankin
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