I borrowed Standing in Another Man’s Grave from the library and I enjoyed it so much that I was sorry that I didn’t have any unread Rebus books in the house so that I could continue enjoying his company. The book was first published in 2012. Rebus has been forced into retirement but he really doesn’t have any other life outside the police and the pub, particularly Edinburgh’s Oxford Bar.
So he has joined a cold case unit, technically a civilian unit but located within the Edinburgh Police HQ at Fettes Avenue. He would prefer to be doing his old job though and it looks like the cold case unit might even be closed down completely. There are parts of the job which he really enjoys, opening files and sifting through any evidence and old newspapers. Basically they need to solve a high profile case to make the high heidyins think the unit is worthwhile keeping going.
Rebus ends up liasing with the police and working with his old colleague Siobhan Clarke again, a partnership which for me really works. The police might have thought he was past his use by date but he’s a better detective than any of the youngsters involved, they don’t even care about not contaminating murder scenes. I had a good idea of the way this story was going from about half way through but that didn’t spoil my reading experience.
Rebus isn’t everybody’s cup of tea but he’s a favourite with me, I think a lot of the character is bound up with Ian Rankin’s personality too and this book was influenced by the fact that several of Ian Rankin’s friends had died around the time he was writing it. In fact he lost a close friend just 6 months or so ago – the author Iain Banks and this seems to have contributed to his decision to take a year off from writing. In yesterday’s Guardian Rankin wrote about Banks in the My Hero section, you can read it here. So we’ll have to wait longer than usual for his next book. Will Rebus be shelved once and for all or will he find his way back onto the police force? I do hope that we haven’t seen the last of him.
I read this one for the Read Scotland 2014 Challenge, it was my 15th and I’ve already read the 16th, which was a children’s book by Mary Stewart, but more of that later.