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Resurrection Men: An Inspector Rebus Novel Hardcover – February, 2003

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Like Edinburgh inspector John Rebus, the resurrection men of the title are treading on thin ice--they've all been sent to a short course at the Scottish Police College because they've failed in some way, generally "an issue with authority." Rebus has been known to have issues of that nature before, which only boosts his credibility with the other cops in attendance, suspected by their bosses of being on the wrong side of the fence, on the take, or even guilty of murder on several previous occasions. The dour Inspector's agenda aims to bring the higher-ups proof of the so-called Wild Bunch's nefarious activities; in the process, his own conduct in the old case he and his college classmates must rework and revisit comes under scrutiny. A solid police procedural whose protagonist, the hero of 14 other titles in this internationally acclaimed series, continues to grow on readers who are just discovering him. --Jane Adams

From Publishers Weekly

Rankin's moody Inspector John Rebus, unorthodox pride of the Edinburgh police, begins this latest installment in hot water. He's been sent back to the police college for "retraining," with a group of other "resurrection men," for throwing a cup of coffee at a superior in a moment of frustration. It soon becomes clear, however, that the police brass have their own agenda for Rebus. Some of his fellow officers are suspected of being on the take, and it's his mission-should he accept it-to try to infiltrate their schemes, perhaps even encourage them. Meanwhile, a murder he and the edgy Det. Sergeant Siobhan Clarke have been investigating has turned up some curious links with an apparently Teflon crime boss Rebus has been after for years. The two cases gradually come together in Rankin's skillfully woven plotting, full of his trademark tough, oblique dialogue and sudden moments of touching warmth. The book's only drawbacks are that it seems a little overextended, and that the final bloody climax lacks something in conviction, if not in tension. This isn't one of Rankin's top efforts, but even coasting, he leaves most police procedurals at the gate.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Series: Inspector Rebus Mysteries
  • Hardcover: 436 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown & Co.; 1st edition (February 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316766844
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316766845
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (94 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #599,727 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful By tregatt on January 25, 2003
Format: Hardcover
In a moment of pure frustration, DI Rebus throws a mug of tea at his superior DCS Gill Templer. This action causes him to be removed from the Marber murder inquiry (Edward Marber was a successful Edinburgh art dealer who was brutally murdered outside his residence), and sent to Tulliallan Police College for counseling and a refresher's course on how to be a better police officer. There, he meets other officers who have all been sent up for the same reasons -- an inability to deal with authority and proper police procedure -- the Resurrection Men (or the Wild Men depending on who you're talking to) who have all been given this one last chance to pull up their socks and rescue what's left of their careers.
As part of their rehabilitation, the Resurrection Men have been given a cold case to investigate -- the murder of Eric Lomax, a vicious small time crook who was beaten to death sometime in 1995. The point of this exercise is to go over (again) the previous inquiry and to understand where that initial investigation had gone wrong, see if any new leads can be further developed, and to see if they can all work together as a team and actually get a result. Hindering this current investigation however are secrets that some of the Resurrection Men have pertaining to the original investigation -- Rebus included. Will these secrets come back to haunt these officers? Will the secrets actually affect the current investigation? More worrying for Rebus however is the sinking feeling that any time now someone will discover his particular secret, and that he will really have to face the music for having crossed the line that fateful day in 1995...
"The Resurrection Men" proved to be quite to read.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Bookreporter on March 22, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Inspector John Rebus has outdone even his own previous record for behaving badly --- he threw a cup of tea at DCS Gill Templer and got himself sent back to the police academy for some remedial lessons in playing well with others. Those who know Rebus well from previous books about him by Ian Rankin (this is the 14th, plus a novella) will be skeptical that this old Scottish dog can take on any new tricks --- and those who haven't yet had the pleasure are well advised to make his acquaintance very soon.
The Resurrection Men, as they are collectively called, is a group that, like Rebus, is being given one last chance to behave, or be tossed out of their various precincts. That's on the surface. Beneath the surface, it's not so simple. There are, as you might expect, shades within shades of bad cop behavior. Some difficult cops are worse than others --- that's the real problem Rebus takes on in this complexly plotted novel.
There are really three stories here, two of them are about crime (one past, one present) and the other is the ongoing, absorbing tale of Rebus's personal life, which has taken a new turn since the book just previous, THE FALLS. Our Scots Detective Inspector has, no matter how improbably, entered a relationship with an interesting woman of his own age named Jean Burchill. Jean works as a curator in a museum in Edinburgh; she can hold her own and doesn't take any guff off anybody, including John Rebus. His sudden remand to the police academy, with its outside-Edinburgh location, together with his having to maintain a certain amount of secrecy, soon puts the new relationship at risk. Dealing with this personal problem, Rebus gains new depth to his personality. It's painful. There's nothing easy about these things, ever, especially for Rebus.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By prisrob TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 2, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Detective John Rebus goes "under" at the request of his superiors to find the "dirty cops" in this Scottish novel.
This is superb writing, you get the feel of the characters, are inside their minds editing as they speak and wondering as they do what will happen next. I have read enough mysteries that I can often guess the ending- this story was more subtle and more exciting- a great, great read...
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Stephen McHenry on April 11, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Great character development, brilliant plot developments, twisty endings, realistic settings. 435 pages holds your interest all the way through, this book follows after The Falls, the development of the supporting/background characters continues in believable and interesting fashion. The complexity of the plots that sometimes run parallel then may fold in on themselves, then unfold, is fascinating. A great detective story, fantastic writing. If you are in the mood to read two, read The Falls first and then this; however you can read this one on its own and be very pleased.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Sissalou on February 18, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I have a note for Rebus fans and new comers.
For John Rebus fans:
This newest book is a must. Buy it, if for no other reason, than the supplementary note in the front of the book that exlains the Scottish police force chain of command. No longer do we North Americans have to wonder whether a DC takes home more in his "pay packet" than an ACC. Or what a "wooley suiter" is. Hey, you can use this handy list when you watch "Frost" and other British police shows popping up on PBS stations or on Canadian TV whose signals stretch over the borders. Better yet, use it when you see a "John Rebus" special on TV over here when you can find one showing.
I won't go into the story details--other reveiws have done a good job on doing that, but what I will say is that I thought the story started out very well. There were many exciting possibilities in it (A+) for that. But, I would have liked to see a lot more ending action. But overall, I still give the book 5 stars (4 for the story and 1 for the supplementary info)
For new comers:
The John Rebus stories are a series. Each book is fine as a stand alone. I read them out of order and liked them anyway, but if you have an opportunity, read them in order. However, this particular story does very well as a stand alone if you want to read it first and then start from the beginning. Rebus is a detective with personal problems--which seem to aid his work rather than detract from it. It is fun to watch him sometimes suffer, sometimes stumble, but always work methodically through a case. Rebus is a very human character.
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