Hide and Seek (John Rebus #2)
By: Ian Rankin
Format/Source: eBook; my purchase
A junkie lies dead in an Edinburgh squat, spreadeagled, cross-like on the floor, between two burned-down candles, a five-pointed star daubed on the wall above. indifference, treachery, deceit and sleaze that lurks behind the facade of the Edinburgh familiar to tourists. day, about a seductive danger he can almost taste, appealing to the darkest corners of his mind…
I immediately started reading this book after finishing Knots and Crosses (review); I wanted to read more of John Rebus’ cases, and it’s always nice to have a number of books in the same series reading and waiting to be read in your TBR pile 🙂
Well, this was a different case from the first John Rebus novel, this time delving into the world of drugs, rent boys, and illegal activities of all sorts (trying to keep this a bit vague as there’s more than one activity working underground in this case). Unlike the first novel, it struck me in this novel the time and place in which these early mysteries are set: the late 1980s/early 1990s. AIDS was the main medical issue of the day, and little things like communication and attitudes towards homosexuality gave me a sense of place in this novel. It also made me wonder just how old Rebus is in the latest novels that were released a while ago, but anyway… 😛
As mentioned in the new introduction, there are some marked changes in this book compared to the first one. Firstly, and most obviously, John Rebus is now a DI, he’s got a bit of authority but he’s still one of many in the force. There’s a new group of colleagues around him, and even his relationship with Gill Templer had fizzled since the first volume. It took a bit of getting used to, especially as I was quite fond of Watson in the first novel. Brian Holmes however should prove an interesting partner-slash-foil to Rebus as the man couldn’t be any more different from our lead character.
The case itself though was all right, I wasn’t as intriguing as the first book. It does reveal more of the sinister happenings behind the historic city, not to mention some topical issues. Overall it’s another interesting John Rebus outing, especially now that I have a sense of what the character is all about. On to the next book in the series, Tooth and Nail!