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The Naming of the Dead (2007)

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3.98 of 5 Votes: 1
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0316057576 (ISBN13: 9780316057578)
little, brown and company

The Naming Of The Dead (2007) - Plot & Excerpts

GR8 murder mystery in midst of G8 SummitThere is a lot happening in “The Naming of the Dead” other than the murders Inspector John Rebus is investigating in and near Edinburgh, namely:i)tthe G8 summit in Edinburgh in July 2005ii)tthe Live8 concert also held in July 2005 in various locations including England’s Hyde Park featuring world-topping acts such as The Who and Pink Floyd who are both mentioned, and in Edinburgh on 6 Julyiii)tMake Poverty History, the largest demonstration in Scottish history on 2 July 2005iv)tThe presence of Bob Geldof, the organiser of the Live8 Concert and the Make Poverty History demonstrationThese events tie in with the strict security conditions in which Rebus is investigating, the sensitivity of the information he uncovers and the sometimes unlikeable characters involved in such large-scale events, e.g. Richard Pennen, the Government employee turned successful business dealing in arms-related paraphernalia. The events also give gravitas and accessibility to the scenario and investigation.We learn that John Rebus has always preferred the Rolling Stones to The Who, and get a dose of cultural and music references throughout the book, which heightens its entertainment value. A question asked on the last page before the Epilogue is the reason behind the name of the band, Steely Dan. Do you know it?In the midst of a political setting, we have 3 murders and a fourth questionable death of a prominent MP, Ben Webster from the hotel where the G8 participants were staying. The 3 victims are linked to sex crimes and murders. Rebus questions whether a serial killer is at work. Then midway through the novel, there is the 5th murder – that of a councillor. Rebus and his assistant, Siobhan Clarke, wonder if this murder is related to the others.We feel we are in the hustle and bustle of what Edinburgh would have been like in July 2005, and can almost see the insides of the bars and cafes that Rebus visits. There is the twist at the end that separates classy murder stories from the rest.By the way, the answer to the question about Steely Dan’s name is on page 35 of the book. It is based on a reference in a William Burroughs novel.

Il titolo del romanzo mi ha fatto venire in mente, per associazione di idee, “Sotto il vestito niente”, titolo di un film degli anni ’80 credo. “Dietro quel delitto niente”, direi. Non c’è tensione, non ci sono indagini da seguire, seppure il protagonista, John Rebus, sia ispettore della polizia di Edimburgo e debba indagare non su un solo delitto, bensì su quattro –che alla fine diventano cinque- delitti commessi a Edimburgo durante il G8 del 2005. Per oltre tre quarti del libro le indagini sui delitti languono, il ritmo è lento e le divagazioni sono molteplici, alcune delle quali pure interessanti, quali la corruzione dei politici, le ingiustizie sociali, il degrado delle periferie, la criminalità che sguazza tra gli intrallazzi politici, il potere della stampa, il ruolo ambiguo della polizia nelle manifestazioni antiG8. Insomma gli spunti di interesse non mancherebbero, ma la soluzione finale dei delitti, che arriva solo nelle ultime pagine, è deludente, è fiacca ed il finale scelto da Rankin sembra predisposto per un sequel (che non so se ci sia stato, e non saprò penso mai, dal momento che non ho intenzione di leggere altro di lui). Ciò che riesce meglio allo scrittore è delineare i protagonisti, e così John Rebus viene fuori bene, un poliziotto scomodo, un cane sciolto che lavora in solitaria, tollera soltanto l’aiuto della sua collaboratrice Siobhan, altro personaggio che viene ben definito, una donna con molti problemi irrisolti in famiglia, allieva fidata dell’ispettore.Per questo le mie stelline sono due, magari due e mezzo, dal momento che Edimburgo, altra protagonista del romanzo, viene descritta così bene che ti viene voglia di andare a visitarla subito.

What do You think about The Naming Of The Dead (2007)?

This was probably one of the best of the series I've read so far, on a very different scale from the usual. Most of the books have Rebus pissing off local gangsters and higher-ups in the Scottish police forces, rather than secret services, diplomats, etc. as he does in this one. This one was well-constructed and quite dark, as usual. If, like me, you don't know much about the summer of 2005 in Edinburgh, a quick trip to the Wikipedia page on the 2005 G8 will help you get some of the things that happen. The bicycle incident, for instance, is based on something that actually occurred, because OF COURSE IT IS.Something I noticed in this book especially is that for all Rebus thinks of himself as a rebel and an outsider, he actually isn't. All right, he doesn't get promoted or follow all the rules, but he knows Edinburgh and is known. He's got the man-of-the-people ability to chat with the local lads and the power to pull strings to defend those he cares about. He's accepted in the pubs, and clearly accepted by his peers. It's a local guy thing. I've noticed this for a while but just really got it with this book. When I did, I wondered for an instant whether Rankin is as oblivious to this privilege as Rebus appears to be. Then I thought about how he writes Siobhan and said "no, he gets it." This was a tough book for our Shiv, among others, and I was sorry about how things have turned out with (view spoiler)[Ellen Wylie and Eric Bain by the end of this one. (hide spoiler)]

Reviewed in February 1, 2007 Library Journal. Slightly modified review:In this fifteenth novel in the popular Inspector Rebus series, multiple award winner Rankin unfolds a solidly suspenseful mystery tale against the backdrop of the G8 Summit held in Scotland in summer 2005. The G8 gives Rankin reason to inject some wry political commentary into the mix, and it's not at all surprising that Rebus is cynical about politicians and celebrity do-gooders alike. Not only do we get to see several familiar faces from earlier Rebus installments but these characters are developed in a most satisfactory way. (There's also a very funny cameo from one Important World Leader, who is thankfully important no longer.) Surprisingly, this entry in the Rebus series is not as dark or grisly as preceding novels-so if you've been wanting to introduce someone to the world of DI Rebus, you could start with this book.

One of the best Inspector Rebus books to date. In the beginning of the series, Rebus was almost too hard-core, too depressing. I thought he was on the edge of going down permenantly. However, with the added focus of DS Siobhan Clarke, the series has really taken off. Siobhan (pronounced Shiv-awn) adds another dimension as Rebus's partner. Rebus basically is on the edge ALL THE TIME. With Siobhan, he the lead of a cracker detective team. He's not your average hero. Really into his music, ciggies, booze, and job, Rebus is fat and balding. But he's one of the best characters to follow in a mystery series, EVER! Ian Rankin is an A-One writer - almost Nick Cave lyrical in his sentences. Very hard-core detective book following the likes of the 40s movies and Bogart cool. Also, the series takes place in Edinburgh, Scotland - one of my favorite places in the world. I love revisiting it, Rebus-sytle.

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