“Not Rebus but pretty good”see full review » see other reviews »
Didn’t Like It1 of 1 members found this review helpful
“I do seem to struggle with Ian Rankin and I have no idea why. He should tick all the boxes for me, Crime Fiction, well written, Edinburgh setting, certain degree of humour, but time and time again I find myself struggling to retain interest & to finish the book. I recently (well a couple of...”see full review » see other reviews »
“a great summer read....I have to admit I was rooting for the bad guys.....didn't spoil the fun of the chase, however......”Patricia C wrote this review Sunday, July 21, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I really struggled with the first part of this book, which was a great disappointment, but things improved a bit as the book continued. I ended up decidedly uncertain about Rankin's ability as a writer, and am not sure how much to be dissuaded from trying a Rebus novel at some point by this 'non-Rebus' Edinburgh crime novel.
Initially my reservations were about the writing style - the opening chapters did seem to have too much description in them (not so much long wordy descriptions about a small number of things, more the fact that seemingly every single little thing was described in a bit of detail, when there was no need) and frequently there would be pages of characters thinking about things which had happened, which seemed a bit of a weak device to me.
The impact of these little irritations lessened as the book developed, however, but then some reservations about the storyline started to take root in my mind. There seemed too much ineptitude in the main characters - conversations about crimes in public, too many people being involved, a lack of awareness of pretty easy faults - and the idea of a Detective Inspector having the time and freedom to spend so much time observing the perpetrators of a crime which was nothing to do with him (himself acknowledging his caseload was mounting, but seemingly nothing happening about that) did seem odd.
Though in the end it improved into a complex little crime thriller, these reservations - and the fact that I wasn't able to sympathise with any of the feckless central characters or care much about 'art theft' as a crime - meant I was left underwhelmed by the book. I may try a Rebus, but I won't rush to do so.”
“For me, one of his best novels. Just read it whilst on holiday in Bude, Cornwall. ”Alan Lewis wrote this review Saturday, March 30, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Skillful, if unremarkable, art-heist yarn set in Edinburgh, by the Scottish novelist and creator of the Rebus mysteries.”Mitchell Shannon wrote this review Monday, January 21, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Not Rebus but pretty good”Peter H wrote this review Saturday, September 8, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I do seem to struggle with Ian Rankin and I have no idea why. He should tick all the boxes for me, Crime Fiction, well written, Edinburgh setting, certain degree of humour, but time and time again I find myself struggling to retain interest & to finish the book. I recently (well a couple of months ago now) read a book of his short stories and really enjoyed them, hence having another go at one of his full length novels, but....
So this isn't a Rebus novel, but still Edinburgh based. It centres around Doors Open Day (do they have that in England?) when various institutions open their doors to the public to let them see places they don't normally have access to. In particular, the storage facility for the National Galleries of Scotland are included in this extravaganza and so the crime is inspired: why not fake some pictures and replace the originals during a tour? What could possibly go wrong?
The characters were well drawn and the places all recognisable to a resident, even the plot worked ok, but somehow it dragged and I suspect was a couple of chapters too long. I usually give a book 50 pages to capture my interest, it did that easily - it was around the mid section that it began to drag & I had to force myself to keep going. Once the heist took place, then it picked up. Even so,
I didn't really care what happened: they could succeed or fail I didn't care enough about the 'crooks' or the 'cops' to be bothered about the outcome.
Not sure whether Ian Rankin usually uses humour in his writing, but a far better exponent of comedy in Scottish Crime is Christopher Brookmyre and I love his books, so maybe I'd be better sticking to his work. My only dilema now is the Rebus books I have on Mount TBR: do I keep them and have another go, or release them for someone else, who might enjoy them, to read?
One last thought: I'd intended to read this quickly so that I could release it on Doors Open Day at one of the venues. I failed miserably - this took me a week longer than I expected to read it. Think that probably says everything!”
“Very different from the Rebus books but intricately plotted and worth reading.”Laverne G wrote this review Saturday, July 30, 2011. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I honestly don't know whether I liked it or not. It was definitely not one of his better books. ”Linda S wrote this review Sunday, July 17, 2011. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No