Strip Jack (John Rebus #4)
By: Ian Rankin
Format/Source: eBook; my purchase
MP Gregor Jack is caught in an Edinburgh brothel with a prostitute only too keen to show off her considerable assets. When the media horde begins baying for political blood Jack’s friends rally round to protect him. But some of those friends – particularly his wife’s associates – are not so squeaky clean themselves.
Initially Detective Inspector Rebus is sympathetic to the MP’s dilemma – who hasn’t occasionally succumbed to temptation? – but with the disappearance of Jack’s wife the glamour surrounding the popular young man begins to tarnish. Someone wants to strip Jack naked and Rebus wants to know why …
Okay, I’m guessing the John Rebus novels are just slowly going on sale on Kobo or something because I saw this was on for a low price and picked it up almost immediately: the premise sounded really interesting as the case involves a prominent politician. I thought it would be interesting to see how Rebus would fare investigating such a case.
Well, the story started off intriguingly: a prominent MP found in the middle of a brothel raid, the media circus in the aftermath, his missing wife, a curious circle of friends spanning years and continents. The reader follows Rebus’ train of thought, trying to figure out who amongst his circle would have motive to frame an MP in such a manner–and why him, for that matter. I’m not sure if it was the story or if it was my mood at the time that I got to the latter half of the novel (and the things happening offline for me then) but I thought the case started to drag considerably with the red herrings, dead ends with their theories, and just overall the length of the case.
John Rebus continues to intrigue as a character. His personal life continues to be something of a mess–he’s now with a therapist named Patience and they’re on the cusp of either moving forward in their relationship and moving in together or just go their separate ways. He seems to move from relationship to relationship–granted, his last one sort of crashed and burned in a way because of how she managed to get herself involved in his investigation, but I’m not quite sure he knows what he wants in his relationships, and neither does he. He does continue to amuse me with his reading ways; he’s one of us, fellow bookworms 😉
Overall Strip Jack was an o-kay read. It lost my attention in the latter half of the novel with the one development too far sort of pacing but it was nice to revisit John Rebus and his colleagues again, tackling another case of a different nature.