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The Naming of the Dead by Ian Rankin

The Naming of the Dead (2006)

by Ian Rankin

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1,879505,532 (3.85)65



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Showing 1-5 of 43 (next | show all)
Mystery as political/social commentary? One of Rankin’s earlier mysteries piqued my interest in immigration detention centers. This one, written in 2006, covers the G-8 conference in Scotland while advancing by inches the central relationships. There’s talk of the cash just floating out there in Iraq for “reconstruction” and much of it disappearing. Come to think of it – wasn’t that actually a news story in 2008? I only wish our hero wasn’t an alcoholic. The pints and neat whiskeys make me thirsty. There are some funny repartees, though, and thoughtful analysis of human behavior – this one, for example, on p.385 “…his conscience hammered into submission by circumstance.”
Did you notice the scrawny fox in this one? Coincidence? or a reference to Edinburgh's OTHER famous mystery writer? ( )
  MaryHeleneMele | May 6, 2019 |
All the G8 details, while giving a clear--and unappealing!--picture of what it's like being around one of those massively money wasting conferences, bogged down the plot line for me, so I didn't enjoy this one nearly as much as the previous couple in the series. ( )
  Siubhan | Feb 28, 2018 |
Synopsis: There is a governmental dinner at Edinburgh Castle and a delegate falls - or is pushed - off the ramparts to his death. A paroled rapist is murdered. Siobhan's parents are in town for a protest. All of these incidences come together to complicate Rebus's life and confuse his crime solving abilities.
Review: Interesting look at life in Edinburgh during the riots and protests of the 1970s. ( )
  DrLed | Dec 3, 2017 |
Well, this Rebus book, although good, didn't grab me quite as much as previous ones I have read. Having thought about it for a day I think it is because there were no references to music that I really connected with. There was music but most of it was by bands that I didn't recognize or, if I did, I never got into their music. Where is Van Morrison? or John Coltrane? Oh well, Rebus has varied and eclectic musical tastes and I guess he wasn't in the mood for my favourites.

The action in this book takes place in July of 2005 while the G8 summit was taking place in Scotland and some home grown terrorists were bombing subways and a bus in London. Almost every police officer in the British Isles was involved in providing security for the G8 except for Rebus but he happened to still be at work when an MP fell (or was pushed) to his death from Edinburgh Castle. So he grabbed the case despite a senior official from London interfering. Meanwhile, Siobhan was involved in the G8 security set-up and she happened to stop at an odd little place called Clootie Well near the castle where the G8 summit was to take place. Clootie means clothes and the trees about this place were festooned with scraps of cloth. Siobhan recognizes one of scraps as coming from the clothes of a recent murder victim. She calls Rebus and he comes to take a look. They agree there must be a connection with their case and call in the SOCO's to take evidence. The same London official who was in Edinburgh for the MP's death shows up at this crime scene, concerned that it will impact on the G8. Rebus and Siobhan are told to pursue the case quietly until the summit actually starts and then put it on ice. Knowing Rebus as we do, we know he will not follow direction and this time both he and Siobhan are put on suspension. Meanwhile, Siobhan's parents arrive in Edinburgh to take part in the anti-summit protests. Siobhan goes to their tent to see them but is viewed with suspicion and has her car vandalized. The local councillor, Tench, comes to her rescue but seems to be suspiciously close to one of the local hoodlums. When this hoodlum conks Siobhan's mother on the head and sends her to hospital Siobhan is out for blood.

Rankin is great at giving local colour to recent events. I remember this week quite well although I was more impacted by the bombings than the G8. I'll never be able to listen to a report about the G8 again without visualizing George Bush falling off his bicycle and doing a face plant in the dirt. I guess we won't have him to kick around for much longer though. ( )
  gypsysmom | Aug 7, 2017 |
The Naming of the Dead is another competent mystery in the Rebus series by author Ian Rankin. In it, Rebus and his counterpart Siobhan investigate a series of murders around Edinburgh during the period surrounding the G8 summit. As usual, Rebus isn't one for following rules, direct orders, or much of anything else in his search to understand the connection between the victims and to identify the murderer(s). The circus that seems to accompany the summit complicates matters, as does Rebus' and Siobhan's relationship with an underworld figure who may or may not be involved.

Rankin's a top-notch writer and, although the novel drags a bit and not much progress seems to be made through much of it, holds our attention and closes it out in a satisfying, but a bit complicated, conclusion. ( )
  gmmartz | Sep 10, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 43 (next | show all)
A book with many plot elements can risk becoming amorphous and overcomplicated. But Rankin does not get lost that way. In his backhanded, reluctant way Rebus winds up uniting all the book's loose ends, and seeing how he accomplishes this is a pleasure. Besides, "The Naming of the Dead" isn't really about its detective plot. It's about Rebus's taking stock, not only of his own past but also of the world around him.
added by geocroc | editNew York Times, Janet Maslin (Apr 3, 2007)
That's a lot of plot (nor is it all of it), but the strength of the novel lies in the way that Rankin weds it to his exploration of character: we get more insight into Clarke as she struggles with her relationship with her academic parents. Throughout, Rebus is brooding on his age and increasing isolation, thinking about the unexpected death of his brother and the way he has messed up with the rest of his family.
added by geocroc | editThe Observer, Peter Guttridge (Nov 12, 2006)
It's page-turning, complicated crime, with some fine vignettes containing the only convincing pathos in the book. It feels as if written on the hoof by someone running round with a microphone, collecting soundbites of humour, fury and moral angst - like Dickens on speed, highly enjoyable, but ultimately breathless.
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We have the choice to try for a new world every day, to tell what we know of the truth every day, to take small actions every day.
A.L. Kennedy, writing about the march on Gleneagles
Write us a chapter to be proud of.
Bono, in a message to the G8
To everyone who was in Edinburgh on 2 July 2005
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In place of a closing hymn, there was music.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0316057576, Hardcover)

The leaders of the free world descend on Scotland for an international conference, and every cop in the country is needed for front-line duty...except one. John Rebus's reputation precedes him, and his bosses don't want him anywhere near Presidents Bush and Putin, which explains why he's manning an abandoned police station when a call comes in. During a preconference dinner at Edinburgh Castle, a delegate has fallen to his death. Accident, suicide, or something altogether more sinister? And is it linked to a grisly find close to the site of the gathering? Are the world's most powerful men at risk from a killer? While the government and secret services attempt to hush the whole thing up, Rebus knows he has only seventy-two hours to find the answers.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:02:17 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Sent to man an abandoned police station during an international conference between the leaders of the free world, officer John Rebus investigates the suspicious falling death of a delegate at an Edinburgh banquet.

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