John Rebus is in trouble again. Sent to Tulliallan police training college on a refresher course, he has a secret assignment. He is there at the behest of Police chief to find out if there are bent cops among his fellow course mates. But when he learns that the unsolved murder case they will be working on in their course is the one which he hoped to remain unsolved forever, he is not sure whether he is being played by the top brass. Soon a dangerous game of shadows begins.
It is difficult to pick one Rebus novel over other; all of them are above notch. But some are cut above the rest and Resurrection Men definitely sits near the top of Rebus pile. It is not just plot which is complicated enough with four cases. What make Resurrection Men different are its characters. All of them richly drawn in different shades of grey, Rebus included.
Rebus is in punishment; his offence – throwing a tea cup at his boss. He is taken off Marber case, murder of a wealthy art dealer and thrown back to Police training college for a refresher course, his last chance of redemption. Rebus joins a bunch of ‘Resurrection Men’, cops who had run-ins with authority. However, the course is just a ruse. Rebus is actually undercover trying to unearth clues on an old case, a case where three of his fellow classmates were thought to have made their hands dirty with some ill gotten gain.
There is no real evidence that the cops are dirty. So while Rebus tries to either win their confidence or unsettle them, pushing them so that someone slips up and gives him a clue, he is suddenly confronted by a ghost from his past. The case chosen for field study on their course is a six year old unsolved murder of a low life. Rebus knows more than he is willing to let know about the case. In fact, he has a major hand in leaving the case unsolved. Now he is not sure whether he is the hunter or game himself.
Meanwhile, Rebus’s protege, Siobhan is working on Marber case but the case is proving elusive. There are leads, many of them leading to Big Ger Cafferty, Edinburgh’s dreaded gangster but none of them proving conclusive. However, Siobhan is not about to give up.
Rebus has become an addiction for me, the more the better. Resurrection Men is a gritty thriller and Rankin is at his best here. The book is full of characters but all of them have a persona of their own. Rankin creates the world of police with sublime authority, with all the relationship crisscrosses and even suspicions among colleagues. The back and forth dialogues and interplays between Rebus and the ‘troika’, especially Francis Gray is superb. There are twists and counter twists and then some more twists. I have already given enough spoilers so won’t say anything more about the plot.
If you already are a Rebus fan then I don’t have to tell you to grab the book. If you have not yet started with Rebus then Resurrection Men would be an ideal starting point. (Though this is thirteenth book in the series).
Thank you for reading. I appreciate your time.
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