Thursday, July 06, 2017

The Naming of the Dead

The Naming of the Dead by Ian Rankin is 16th in the Inspector Rebus book series. I'm reading these as I come across them, not making any effort to read them in order. I enjoy the characters and the writing. This book takes place over the course of a week's time in early July. Basque Separatists get a mention early on, and I've always had a soft spot in my heart for the Basque Separatists.

from the back of the book:
When an international conference delegate falls to his death during a dinner at Edinburgh Castle, Inspector John Rebus is given what looks like a simple suicide to write up. But even as he keeps it out of the headlines, Rebus probes where no probing is wanted -and doesn't appreciate the side steps and power plays his questions engender. Edinburgh is a dangerous place to be this week. Rebus is also investigating the death of a recently paroled rapist, murdered in a particularly grisly fashion.

A state-of-the-world novel peopled by real characters, The Naming of the Dead is Rebus' most challenging case yet and Edgar Award winner Ian Rankin at his very best.
The New York Times opens by saying,
Anyone who turns to genre fiction for escapist reading is well advised to stay clear of Ian Rankin’s hard-boiled procedurals featuring Inspector John Rebus of the Edinburgh police force. Like George Pelecanos, the American crime novelist he most resembles, Rankin is a flinty realist with little use for the romantic heroics that allow series detectives to operate above the fray of real life lived in real time.
The Guardian opens a positive review with this:
Ian Rankin's 16th Inspector Rebus novel is a big, sometimes elegiac, read set against the backdrop of one of the most tumultuous weeks in recent Scottish history: the G8 summit meeting in Edinburgh in July 2005. But this is no disguised political tract; instead, Rankin digs deeper into Rebus's psyche and continues to explore themes of justice and retribution, impermanence, loss and regret.

Rebus is the same truculent character he has always been and impending old age - his 60th birthday and consequent retirement - is preying on his mind.
Eurocrime says, "Ian Rankin is one of the world's most respected authors and THE NAMING OF THE DEAD is another example of why. A complex plot with multiple threads and consistently believable, multi-layered characters all combine to make a totally absorbing read." The Independent says, "The Naming of the Dead is classic Rankin, and if you're in love with the unchangeable Rebus, you'll relish it."

I have also read the following from this series:
#1 Knots and Crosses
#3 Tooth and Nail
#13 Resurrection Men


  1. I may have to start checking out to see what they have available on audio books at my library. Don't think they have a lot, though. I have to dibby out close eye work of any kind anymore and art & crafts and letter writing usually wins--LOL! :)

    1. It's hard when you're having eye trouble. Audio books can be hard to find, I know. is good but you have to pay a monthly subscription fee after the first 30 days. I've seen some books at youtube, but I've never tried to find anything in particular so don't know how much is there.

  2. I haven't heard of this author or series. It sounds good. :) You always seem to discover so many interesting series. Hugs-Erika

    1. I found this series when I read Resurrection Men, which had won the Edgar Award. I come across a lot of things just browsing the local book store :)