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Friday, March 4, 2016
My Washington Times Review Of Ian Rankin's 'Even Dogs In The Wild'
My review of Ian Rankin's Scottish crime novel Even Dogs in the Wild appeared in the Washington Times.
Ian Rankin’s character Scottish Detective Inspector John Rebus was a 40-year-old detective sergeant when we first meet him in 1987’s “Knots and Crosses.” As Mr. Rankin has aged his character in real time through his 20 crime novels, the crime novelist was compelled to retire Rebus from the police force and from the center of his novels, despite his popularity with readers.
Rebus is a flawed man. Brooding and sarcastic, Rebus only finds solace only in music, smoking, drinking and his job as a detective. He is estranged from his wife and daughter and has few friends. A former British soldier who served in Northern Ireland during the violent era known as “The Troubles,” Rebus joined the Scottish police and was successful as a detective. But in addition to battling organized crime members, serial killers and corrupt politicians, Rebus also took on his own police bosses.
After Mr. Rankin retired Rebus in 2007’s “Exit Music,” he continued to write additional crime novels that featured Rebus‘ partner and protege, Detective Inspector Siobhan (pronounced “shi-vawn”) Clarke, as well a new character, Malcom Fox of the Complaints Bureau (which is the equivalent to Internal Affairs in most U.S. police departments). Due to his unpopular job in Complaints as well as by his nature, Fox is a righteous, sad and lonely police officer.
Now in Mr. Rankin’s “Even Dogs in the Wild,” the curmudgeonly, cynical Rebus is back in the forefront. Rebus is serving as a consulting detective (like another popular fictional detective, Sherlock Holmes) for the police in Edinburgh, Scotland. Rebus is aiding Clarke and Fox in the investigation of a high profile murder of Lord David Menzies Minton, a former senior government prosecutor.
The murder looks at first as if it was a random act committed during a burglary, but Clarke wonders why nothing has been stolen and she is curious about a threatening note found on the scene. Despite her youth, English background, a university degree and an interest in technology — things that are repugnant and alien to Rebus — she became his trusted friend and colleague in the earlier novels and Rebus helped her become a fine detective.
You can read the rest of the review via the below link:
Paul Davis is a writer who covers crime. He has written extensively about organized crime, street crime, sex crime, cyber crime, drug crime, white collar crime, crime fiction, crime prevention, espionage and terrorism. His 'On Crime' column appears weekly in the Washington Times. He is also a regular contributor to Counterterrorism magazine. His work has also appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Philadelphia Daily News and other newspapers, magazines and online publications. As a writer, he has attended police academy training, gone out on patrol with police officers, accompanied detectives as they worked cases, accompanied narcotics officers on drug raids, observed criminal court proceedings and visited jails and prisons. He has covered street riots, mob wars and murder investigations. Paul Davis' online "Crime Beat" column offers his Q&As with cops, crooks and crime writers. Paul Davis has been a student of crime since he was a 12-year-old aspiring writer growing up in South Philadelphia. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy when he was 17 in 1970 and served on the aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk during the Vietnam War. He also served two years on the Navy harbor tugboat USS Saugus at the U.S. floating nuclear submarine base at Holy Loch, Scotland. Following his Navy service, he performed security work as a Defense Department civilian and he later became a full-time writer. He was also a producer and on air host of the radio interview program Inside Government for 14 years. Paul Davis' On Crime and Crime Beat columns, crime fiction and magazine and newspaper pieces can be read on this website. His full bio can be read by clicking on the above photo.