In A House of Lies

In A House of Lies

Ian Rankin
ARRSE Rating
4.5 Mushroom Heads
The Rebus series of stories have been a huge success and this book is a worthy addition to that list. Rankin has stated that he has always kept Rebus in real time so this sees the story not so much about him, but about a murder case he worked on 12 years previously while Rebus himself is a retired officer with COPD, and looking it. The case was not solved and in fact was so badly handled that complaints were raised by the victim’s family about the incompetence of the police.

Then one day, 12 years after disappearing, the body turns up on a piece of land previously well searched at the time. The case is reopened with a new team, but one including Rebus’s mentee DI Siobhan Clarke who was not on the original case but, is very close to Rebus. Also re-opened is the complaint against the police.

This makes Rebus not only a witness in the complaints procedures but also a very interested person in the investigation, which he can’t help but tag on to the team, very unofficially.

The story follows Rankin’s usual formula, why change a winning way, and while the official investigation is ongoing Rebus is squirrelling away with his old contacts. As ever there are side plots and the main one for this book is two policemen from the Internal Complaints who are determined to ‘get’ both Rebus and Siobhan; it just so happens that these two policemen were on the original case, albeit as junior uniformed officers but very involved nonetheless.

The investigations have Rebus butting up against his old adversary Ger Cafferty, the local boss of all organised crime in Edinburgh and are; drugs, prostitution, protection – all controlled by fear and pain.

So there we have it: a murder investigation re-opened, a complaint against the police re-opened, two Complaints cops trying to get Rebus, Rebus trying to solve the case and get his own back on the Complaints cops, all done in the full gaze of the media.

The tension lifts off nearly every page and the denouement is well up to Rankin’s normal standards.

It would be wrong of me to go any further into the plot as that could spoil the book for you, and I do suggest you get it if you are a fan of crime novels. What I will say is this is a well written, easy to read and for once is well named as a crime thriller. I did enjoy how Rankin ended the story!

I said at the start that the author keeps Rebus in real time so he is becoming an old man; Rankin has said that he is thinking how to kill Rebus off, well I hope he takes his time and gets a few more Rebus books in beforehand!

Highly recommended for all crime novel enthusiasts.

4.5 Mr MRHs

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