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Hide and Seek (Dead Letter Mysteries) by Ian…

Hide and Seek (Dead Letter Mysteries) (original 1991; edition 1997)

by Ian Rankin

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Title:Hide and Seek (Dead Letter Mysteries)
Authors:Ian Rankin
Info:St. Martin's Paperbacks (1997), Mass Market Paperback, 210 pages
Collections:Your library

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Hide & Seek by Ian Rankin (1991)



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Showing 1-5 of 38 (next | show all)
Detective Inspector John Rebus is back following the case in Knots and Crosses; this time he finds himself on a case that that may have supernatural elements to it. The body of a drug addict is found in a squat, in between two burnt down candles and a pentagram painted on the wall next to it. While most people were quick to discard this of a heroin overdose, Rebus is determined to investigate to find the true circumstances surrounding this death. What transpires is something far more sinister than a simple overdoes, is it murder? Or even worst, is it a conspiracy?

One thing that I really enjoyed about Knots and Crosses was the way Ian Rankin took on a different approach to the crime genre. The crime took a back seat in the story and the novel spent most of the time developing characters and building the backstory that will set up the rest of the series. I understand that Hide and Seek would not be able to continue developing John Rebus as a character the same way Knots and Crosses but I still expected more. I knew Rankin could write a crime novel that was not formulaic or unoriginal, but Hide and Seek was not on the same level as the first book in the series.

It has been come out that Hide and Seek was Ian Rankin’s attempt in presenting a modern take on The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. A story that fascinates Rankin; he has even filmed a documentary (Ian Rankin Investigates Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde) exploring the origins of this classic from fellow Scottish writer Robert Louis Stevenson. There are a few nods to the classic found in this book from ‘Hide’ in the title of the novel and the private member’s club known as the Hyde club.

Ian Rankin found himself in the middle of a scandal when a case featuring similarities to the novel became apparent. This scandal was mentioned in parliament and two lawyers opened an investigation into Rankin to determine if there was any connection. While any allegations made towards Ian Rankin turned out to be false, this real life scandal gave this book some extra attention in the public eye.

I was very disappointed with Hide and Seek and will continue my search for a new crime series. I have very particular taste, but mostly I want a series that is dark, gritty, original and does not feel like a ‘crime of the week’ situation; is this too much to ask for? I thought Inspector Rebus may have been a good series to explore, but this novel convinced me otherwise. Not sure if the next book (Tooth and Nail) is any good but I do not think I will be finding out.

This book originally appeared on my blog; http://www.knowledgelost.org/book-reviews/genre/crime/hide-and-seek-by-ian-ranki... ( )
  knowledge_lost | Apr 25, 2016 |
This solid, if somewhat dated, book is the second in the Inspector Rebus series. Rebus is called in to investigate a young man's death by drug overdose, with a possible connect to Satanic rituals. On the personal front, he is living the bachelor life after an unsuccessful relationship, but his star is rising within the Edinburgh police force, and he is asked to serve on an anti-drug commission with some of the city's most influential leaders.

The mystery held my interest, although its resolution seemed rather contrived. I was also left wondering where Rankin is taking his character. In the first book he was a bit of a curmudgeon; in this he is more of a romantic lead with more scenes alluding to his physique and sexual encounters. That didn't work as well for me, since I already had a certain picture of him in my imagination. And again, it may be due to the age of this book (published in 1991), but he seems to embody every detective stereotype.

Still, I'll keep going because these work well for me when I'm in the mood for something light. ( )
  lauralkeet | Aug 17, 2015 |
In the second book of the Inspector Rebus series, Rebus checks out the death scene of a junkie in an Edinburgh squat. There are aspects that look ritualistic, from the placement of the body, the candles, the drawing on the wall, though it's also clear the deceased had recently shot heroin. Rebus works to figure out if it was suicide or murder, while also finding that his new commander has volunteered him to head a drug prevention team that brings him into contact with the city's elite.
Interesting premise, good mystery, though there are some cheesy parts that are likely from Ranking being a young writer at this point. ( )
  mstrust | Jul 16, 2015 |
In a run down area of Edinburgh, a junkie is found dead in a building used by squatters.

On a wall near the body of the deceased, officials notice a drawing. It's a five star image with two concentric circles.

Detective Inspector John Rebus is at the scene. His first thought is that it might be some sort of astrology or witchcraft symbol. Perhaps the deceased was killed as part of a satanic ritual or sacrifice?

Rebus's supervisor, Superintendent Watson invites Rebus to an exclusive restaurant to meet some influential men in Edinburgh. The Superintendent and the other men at the table are interested in the drug trade in the area where the body was found. They have a desire to revitalize the area.

When Rebus speaks to the M.E. he finds that the man's death was from impure heroin laced with rat poison. If there is going to be a use of this, a killer might be active and want to kill more people so Rebus makes the case a priority.

Later, a young squatter named Tracey contacts Rebus. She is about the same age as Rebus's daughter, Sammie. Tracey tells Rebus that the deceased was a friend, The man had been beaten and was afraid someone was coming after him.

The story moves nicely and we get a good picture of Rebus with the usual desires of a man, a good drink and the company of women.

The plot develops in an unexpected but nicely described manner. With good pacing and interesting characters who are well described. the story has all of the elements of an engrossing read. ( )
  mikedraper | Mar 23, 2015 |
Didn't enjoy this one as much as the first Rebus book. I hope they get better! ( )
  olegalCA | Dec 9, 2014 |
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"My devil had long been caged, he came out roaring."--The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
To Michael Shaw, not before time
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312963971, Mass Market Paperback)

At night the summer sky stays light over Edinburgh. But in a shadowy, crumbling housing development, a junkie lies dead of an overdose, his bruised body surrounded by signs of Satanic worship. John Rebus could call the death and accident--but won't. Instead, he tracks down a violent-tempered young woman who knew the dead boy and heard him cry out his terrifyng last words: "Hide! Hide!" Now, with the help of a bright, conflicted young detective, Rebus is following the girl through a brutal world of bad deals, bad dope and bad company. From a beautiful city's darkest side to the private sanctums of the upper crust, Rebus is seeking the perfect hiding place for a killer.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:16 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

A junkie lies dead in an Edinburgh squat, spreadeagled, cross-like on the floor between two burned-down candles, a five-pointed star daubed on the wall above. Just another dead addict, until John Rebus begins to chip away at the indifference, treachery, deceit and sleaze that lurks behind the facade of the Edinburgh familiar to the tourists.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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