Book review by Anthony Campbell. The review is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
Ian Rankin is best known for his crime novels centred on Detective Inspector John Rebus, but Rebus has now retired so he doesn't figure here (though he is alluded to once). In fact, the story is mainly seen through the eyes of the criminals, especially Mike Mackenzie, who has made his fortune with a software company which he sold. Now in his late thirties he collects art but is finding life a little dull. Then an academic in the art world who is about to retire proposes that Mike and another friend collaborate with him to steal some paintings from a warehouse. This will not, the professor says, be for profit; it will be justified because no one can see the paintings where they are and that is in itself a crime.
Mike and his friend go along with the plan, but matters are made more complicated when they decide to enlist the help of a criminal who, it turns out, is being threatened by a huge and terrifying Scandinavian debt collector called Hate. The heist seems to go off according to plan but matters take an ugly turn when Hate arrives to make off with the proceeds.
I found the book a little slow to get going in the early pages but once the plans for the robbery are in place the pace heats up. And everyone gets their just desserts at the end, mostly at Hate's hands. The story is entertaining but the characterisation is less complex than in the Rebus novels.
31 August 2009
%T Doors Open
%A Ian Rankin
%G ISBN 978-0-7528-3
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