Thursday, February 16, 2017

Book Review: HIDE & SEEK, by Ian Rankin

Ian Rankin
HIDE & SEEK (John Rebus #2)
Otto Penzler Books, 1994
210 pages
Crime / Police / Detective

I feel guilty it has taken me over two decades to discover the talented Ian Rankin. Guilty. The second book in the legendary John Rebus series, HIDE & SEEK, is a fast, thrilling read. Rebus, recently promoted to Inspector Detective (or DI) is back!

In HIDE & SEEK, DI Rebus catches a call accidentally. A junkie's body has been discovered in an expired residential area now filled with squatters. The body is positioned on the floor Crucifix-style, minus the spikes through hands and feet. By each hand is a candle that has burned down to nothing, and painted on the wall an encircled, inverted star.

Thinking the boy, Ronnie McGrath, may have been some kind of sacrifice, Rebus begins the investigation. The questions asked turn up a flurry of seemingly useless leads, information Rebus has little idea what to do with. The deceased was a struggling artist, a photographer. His girlfriend, another vagrant, Tracy, thinks someone was after Ronnie. Ronnie's last words to her were to hide, they're after him!

Quite possibly there is more than meets the eye in this mystery. Could the photographs lead to identity of the killer, or those involved with the boy's murder?

Big time politics, lost loves, and karma come full circle in Rankin's thriller, HIDE & SEEK. We get more into the mind, and the character of Rebus. In a way he reminds me of Idris Elba in Luther. I guess the good thing about taking twenty years to discover Ian Rankin, as that he has written plenty of books to keep me busy for, well, a few months. Two thumbs up on the John Rebus series!

Phillip Tomasso
Author of the Severed Empire Series,
and The Vaccination Trilogy

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