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Even Dogs in the Wild by Ian Rankin

We have gathered all the fantastic reviews our Book Club Members have sent us this month.

Click on each name to read the review. If you would like to become part of the Viking Book Club, sign up here >>

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Terry Dowrick

Ian Rankin’s latest book brings together John Rebus and several of his other established characters. Not being familiar with Rankin’s work, I was some way into the book before I managed to sort out the various players. Thereafter , I enjoyed this mystery of our times featuring a struggle for gangland control of Edinburgh and Glasgow, police corruption and revenge killings motivated by historic abuse of kids by men in positions of authority. Perhaps the most interesting feature was the implication that the interests of law enforcement officers and organized crime figures might at times be closely aligned and might even be helpful in containing random violence in modern day cities. While the outcomes were signalled well before the final pages, this did not detract from the enjoyment of the story. An enjoyable read for poolside or fireside which encourages me to seek out some of the earlier Rebus novels.

Valerie Betts

This is a good book which involves Rebus coming out of retirement to assist Siobhan Clarke and Malcolm Fox in solving the mystery of why Lord Minton, a confirmed bachelor with no known enemies has been murdered and why the shot aimed at Big Ger Cafferty missed. There are several sub plots during the course of the book which eventually come together, including the appearance of a Glasgow gang in Edinburgh and the death of one of its members. As usual Ian Rankin has put together a perfectly constructed plot with a story line which is right up to date and holds your attention until the end. I enjoyed reading this book immensely.

Kathleen Harrison

I enjoyed this book although I found the plot occasionally confusing. It was good to have familiar characters back albeit have not read Ian Rankin's book recently. Although Rebus is retired, it stills works when he asked back to assist, I also appreciated the procedural side of things. Rebus, to my mind is still one of the better police stories when it comes to the working of police and ways in which things have to be done Well worth reading and I look forward to Ian Rankin's next novel to see where he is taking Rebus, continue as a consultant or perhaps become a private investigator.

Jennifer Edwards

This is an indulgent book written by an indulgent author pandering to his tribe of Rebus followers. I finished the book without any sense of belonging or ownership of the confused, weak and nasty story. Rebus the one time detective is brought back to working life by a former police partner Siobhan Clarke who persuades the Edinburgh police to hire him to investigate the murder of the Lord Advocate who was found bludgeoned to death in his study with a note saying "I will kill you for what you did". This is a book crying out for an opening credits section to handle the far too many characters. Every time the book was put down I had to search back over previous pages to catch up on the story line and the character associates. The ending has such an implausible conclusion that there is little to recommend it.

Sheila Powell

Another great novel from Ian Rankin who never fails to impress. Having taken a break from his books I was delighted to receive this one as a gift from Viking, thank you. I am pleased that Rebus is back in the saddle with his dry sense of humour. You can't keep an old man down! There is one way to sum up Rankin, he is the master of murder, mayhem and mystery. As usual there is a gripping storyline with suspense right to the end.

Eileen North

I had not read an Ian Rankin novel before but will certainly be reading more! The book arrived a week before Christmas and I did not think I would be able to finish it in time to write the review. However passing up a couple of board games with the family enabled me to do so! I found the storyline easy to follow with a couple of twists towards the end. The “ending” was unexpected and nicely contrived.

Gordon Walker

As a regular reader of Ian Rankin's Rebus series I was pleased to receive a copy of 'Even Dogs in the Wild' from the Book Club. Rebus is now retired from the Edinburgh Police but when the chance came to be a police consultant and, at the same time, to help his old enemy/friend Big Ger Cafferty, there was no holding him. Retirement has not damped his enthusiasm and he is, as usual, ahead of the game (and the rules of engagement). This a good read although the plot is somewhat contrived (two police teams and three groups of gangsters). Rebus' interaction with former colleague, DI Siobhan Clarke is nicely crafted. We can expect to hear more of retired Rebus.

Andrea Upton

I enjoy crime books and have always fancied reading an Ian Rankin novel, so when this arrived in the post I was delighted. The book is number 20 in a series of novels about a police detective, who is, by this book, retired but brought back into action to help out on a case. The plot is really based around them solving two crimes which are linked, with a little bit of a twist at the end. I must admit I was slightly disappointed that it took me quite some time to get into the book, but this may have something to do with me not having read any of the previous books in the series, so the characters were unfamiliar. To me the book seemed to have a bit of a slow start, but got better and better the further into it I got, which led to me reading the final quarter in one sitting! A very well written enjoyable read!

Lucy Hedges

I was delighted to be asked to review this book for the Viking book club – it’s two firsts for me in that I have never read any of Ian Rankin’s novels before and I’ve never written a book review. Of course I’ve heard of both Ian Rankin & his character Rebus, so I was expecting it to be good: you don’t get to write 20 books & have a TV series made unless there is something captivating about the character, but I was not expecting to be hooked by the end of the very first page! Set mainly in Edinburgh the plot weaves in several directions as the characters try to work out what has, and is, happening, and which of the many criminals are responsible for the various major and minor crimes. My lack of prior knowledge of the characters was no disadvantage as the book stands alone as a first read very well. I will however be rushing off to buy the rest of the series ASAP!

George Cowie

Thanks for the opportunity to read a new John Rebus. A well-constructed lead up and plot which kept me guessing who the killer(s) might be - I was wrong! I have not read any fiction for some time, I mostly read artists and scientific books. This book has certainly enticed me back into the 'fiction fold'. Definitely a book for your 'on board libraries'.