Wednesday, November 21, 2007


I asked about crime fiction characters that have become closely intertwined with their cities in the public imagination. Thanks to linkmeister for Matt Scudder and New York, and Maxine of Petrona and the Philly Inq for Morse and Oxford, Charlie Resnick and Nottingham, and Reg Wexford and fictional Kingsmarkham.

I had mentioned John Rebus Ian Rankin's detective and Edinburgh, wondering whether Rankin was overrated. It seemed a cruel thing to do in possibly denigrating an Icon of Scotland after Scotland 1 Italy 2!

But although the three Rebus books I had read previously, Strip Jack, Resurrection Men and Fleshmarket Close had not impressed me that much I have found The Naming of The Dead much more to my liking.

Ian Rankin has of course won an Edgar [2004 Resurrection Men], 2005 Crime Thriller of the Year [Fleshmarket Close], a Diamond Dagger 2005, Deutsche Krimi Prize, Grand Prix de Literature Policiere and an Icons of Scotland award.

He has an OBE for services to literature and four honorary doctorates, therefore one treads with great care in reviewing or commenting on his work.

Is he original? He certainly did not invent the down at heel insubordinate policeman.

Is he fun to read? Well I am 200 pages into The Naming of The Dead and not only do I like the message, but the slight school boyish Rankin humour is hooking me in.

"my own fair hands, so the spelling might not be up to to your own high journalistic standard.".
"What is it?" She was unfolding the single sheet of paper.....................

......"It's all kosher, Marie. If you don't have a use for it....."

He held out his hand to take it back.

"What's a "serial kilter"? Is that someone who can't stop making kilts?"

"Give me it back."

Ian Rankin has been marketed and branded successfully, his fame seemingly increasing as Scotland moves politically further away from England.

Perhaps because of his fame, the prizes and awards I am expecting something more than a good crime fiction book with a political message. Am I expecting The Maltese Falcon written by Sir Walter Scott?

I am looking forward to reading the rest of the book, to see how the plot develops. But now there is a football game to watch..........

Footnote to the day: it seems my son was at school, and in some classes with the "Grim Reaper".


Blogger Maxine Clarke said...

Love that serial kilter!

never mind about Scotland, what about England 2 Croatia 3? It is all a bit gloomy round here still, although I am told (by the main mourner) that the team did not deserve to win and a lot more besides.

10:35 AM  

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