Early last year I read a British publication of this book and found it one of the best Inspector Rebus novels yet. Inspector Rebus himself, is such a fascinating charachter that his inner conflicts, history of broken relationships, addiction to good Scottish whiskey and love of his extensive and eclectic music collection make him as much of a mystery as the series of mysterious murders he investigates. Sometimes, as he has done here, Ian Rankin introduces other similarly intriguing by players, some of whom have previous and again mysterious histories with Rebus. The interaction between Rebus, other charachters and the history and surroundings of Edinborough itself paint such a vivid, moody and tense atmosphere that often the obligatory murder or two seem almost superfluos. The murder/s however, are in fact never too much. Each is different, unexpected and initially seemingly unsolveable and, as in this book, the answers and Rebus' manner of finding them lead the reader through an entirely unexpected journey that, as the plot developes, twists like Rebus' mind and Edinborough's ancient streets and alleyways.
To be more specific as to the who's, what's and where's involved in this tales' journey would ruin the prospective delight of any new readers reactions and absorbsion of those details. It's a fine book by an accomplished Master of Mystery and Creator of Charachter. Rankin is so much more than those two phrases infer .... he is a true and fascinating Novelist.