After so many years it is still great to read about that wonderful creation from Ian Rankin, that wily old fox who even in retirement can never let go; John Rebus. "Even Dogs in the Wild" is once again written to a very high standard and inevitably sees Rebus not so much confronting but consulting with his great adversary Big Ger Cafferty. As the years have passed they have developed perhaps not a fondness but a grudging respect for each other. The plot revolves around the murder of a well known MP and his association with "Acorn House" a care home for children. Given the amount of news coverage attributed to sexual abuse and in particular sexual abuse of minors it comes as no surprise the direction and shape this story takes. To me the bolder than life characters are more important than the theme and in this Rankin excels with shady underworld connections in the guise of Darryl Christie and Morris Cafferty and the robust old fashioned policing, nor forgetting the deadpan humour, of Detective Inspector John Rebus (retired) Rebus is everything you would expect a detective, whose routes lie in the past, to be. His methods are more suited to dogged hands on police work rather than as I am sure he would describe...fancy computers. He has no interest in the comforts of this world preferring to drive an old Saab, listen to bygone bands on his record player (The Steve Miller band and the amazing Rory Gallagher) and relaxing at the end of the day in his favourite watering hole The Oxford Bar with a pint of IPA close by.
Those readers acquainted with the style and wit of Ian Rankin will devour this story, just like stepping into a comfy pair of slippers. The only sadness is knowing that in the not too distant future John Rebus must surely finish leaving the reader to ponder if he will finally be stopped... his own decision? ill health? or perhaps have his life ended suddenly by an old acquaintance or underworld operator!