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.