From Publishers Weekly
In Scottish author Rankin's intricately plotted heist thriller, software millionaire Mike Mackenzie, high-end banker Allan Cruikshank, and college art professor Robert Gissing devise a plan to liberate forgotten works of art from a warehouse storing the overflow from Edinburgh's museum collections. The trio commissions an art student nursing an antiestablishment grudge to paint fakes to swap for the originals, and Mackenzie's chance meeting with schoolmate Charlie Chib Calloway, now one of the city's most notorious gangsters, allows the group access to muscle and weapons. But cracks soon appear in the plan, with an inquisitive detective inspector, who's been on Calloway's trail for months, getting too close for comfort. Using the smalltown feel of Edinburgh to advantage, Rankin (Exit Music
) gives his caper novel a claustrophobic edge while injecting enough twists, turns, and triple crosses that even the most astute reader will be surprised at the outcome. (Jan.)
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Exit Music (**** Nov/Dec 2008) was reputedly Rankin's last novel to feature Detective Inspector John Rebus, and it appears that may be the case. Yet, while many authors--and readers--have difficulty adjusting after a highly successful series, Rankin does not. With style and verve, he plunges pen first into a winning tale about the perils of too much free time. Critics found the Scottish art world a unique setting and enjoyed the book's biting humor and roller-coaster plotting. But be advised: Doors Open is not an Inspector Rebus readalike, and longtime fans may be disconcerted to find nothing familiar except for the Edinburgh backdrop. However, Doors Open will appeal to those who take pleasure in far-flung settings and clever crime capers.