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Doors Open by Ian Rankin

Doors Open (original 2008; edition 2008)

by Ian Rankin

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8223611,042 (3.31)55
Title:Doors Open
Authors:Ian Rankin
Info:Orion (an Imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Ltd ) (2008), Edition: Export ed, Paperback, 260 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
Tags:Fiction, British Author, Scotland, Edinburgh, Crime Novel, Art, 12 in 12

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Doors Open by Ian Rankin (2008)


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Showing 1-5 of 32 (next | show all)
This is not an Inspector Rebus book.
Three friends without any criminal past, but all art lovers, stage a heist of valuable art from the storehouse for the Scottish Museum. They get help from a local mobster. Since the mobster had been under surveillance, the inspector is able to figure out what happened, mostly, fairly straight-on.
Problem with the plot for me was the the art Professor who first proposes the job to his friends initially makes it sound like the plan is genius because no one would even know that there was any theft, but then it turns out to be another thing entirely and no one raises a question about it. ( )
  BillPilgrim | Mar 7, 2014 |
I know it’s somewhat heretical but I’ve never been a fan of Ian Rankin’s most famous creation. However I do like to try other things Rankin writes, even when I suspect it’s not really my thing; a category which DOORS OPEN, being a heist tale, definitely belongs to. Happily though I found myself well entertained.

The heist in this instance involves the theft of paintings from the National Gallery’s warehouse in Edinburgh. The thieves are a Robert Gissing, a professor and curator; Mike Mackenzie, a software millionaire who is a little bored with life and Allan Cruikshank, a banker. The three friends decide, almost on a whim, to relieve the gallery of a few of its undisplayed works during the annual ‘Doors Open’ day when various institutions around the city offer public tours. During their planning, which includes adding a weed-smoking art student who specialises in copying famous works to their number, they realise they need a bit more infrastructure and so enters Chib Galloway, a former schoolmate of Mike’s and a local petty crook. The heist itself occurs about halfway through the novel and the rest of the book depicts things going rather horribly awry.

The novel’s plot starts strongly offering a more believable heist than most in that it doesn’t involve a load of fanciful technology and the motivations for the three friends are also credible. That doesn’t mean the reader doesn’t question the sense of their plan (could a painting that’s only a few days old ever fool anyone for more than a moment that it is an old masterpiece for example?) but it’s not difficult to imagine three blokes of a certain type talking themselves into carrying out this kind of hair-brained scheme. And even when things start to unravel I stayed with them, accepting that one of them would fall apart when the reality of what they’d done hit home and that someone else might get greedy after the event. But by about the three-quarter mark, when the Viking thug called Hate and the policeman not assigned to the investigation but butting in because he could made their presence felt, I’d lost my capacity to suspend disbelief. These elements felt like over-the-top nonsense but they weren’t quite ridiculous enough to take the book into full blown comedy caper territory so, for me anyway, it ended up in a kind of no-man’s land of awkwardness.

There are a lot of characters in DOORS OPEN and it’s a fairly short book so none of them is terribly well fleshed out and quite a bit of what we ‘know’ about them relies on our understanding of certain stereotypes. That said there is some genuine black humour in some of the dialogue between the characters and the references to other, more famous heist tales are nicely done.

As someone who is a bit fed up with genre publishing’s current conservatism, manifest most starkly in its capacity to push series well beyond the point where they cease being creative, I have to applaud the decision to publish something like DOORS OPEN. It’s not a perfect novel but it is pretty entertaining and full of genuine surprises right to the end.
  bsquaredinoz | Jan 5, 2014 |
From Wikipedia Doors Open is a 2008 novel by crime writer Ian Rankin. It is his first stand alone thriller in over 10 years. The story was originally published as a serial novel in The New York Times Magazine. Read more - Shopping-Enabled Wikipedia on Amazon In the article: Plot outline | Related works From Publishers Weekly In Scottish author Rankin's intricately plotted heist thriller, software millionaire Mike Mackenzie, high-end banker Allan Cruikshank, and college art professor Robert Gissing devise a plan to liberate forgotten works of art from a warehouse storing the overflow from Edinburgh's museum collections. The trio commissions an art student nursing an antiestablishment grudge to paint fakes to swap for the originals, and Mackenzie's chance meeting with schoolmate Charlie Chib Calloway, now one of the city's most notorious gangsters, allows the group access to muscle and weapons. But cracks soon appear in the plan, with an inquisitive detective inspector, who's been on Calloway's trail for months, getting too close for comfort. Using the smalltown feel of Edinburgh to advantage, Rankin (_Exit Music_) gives his caper novel a claustrophobic edge while injecting enough twists, turns, and triple crosses that even the most astute reader will be surprised at the outcome. (Jan.)
Copyright Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
  Hans.Michel | Sep 13, 2013 |

An excellent story of a raid on the National Gallery of Scotland, mostly from the point of view of the upper-middle class robbers who hire an underworld boss as an accomplice, and also that of the detective investigating them. I expected the tension to be about whether or not they would be caught - and knowing Rankin, either is possible - but in fact there was an excellent twist at the end when the real story is revealed. ( )
  nwhyte | May 12, 2013 |
Ian Rankin’s Doors Open is a heist-cum-caper story set in contemporary Edinburgh, and his first novel since he announced that he was not planning to write any more Rebus stories. A group of middle class academics and a banker get involved in planning and executing the ‘perfect crime’ – a plan to ‘steal’ artworks from galleries across Edinburgh whilst they’re not on public display. Like most stories of this kind, it doesn’t turn out to be as straightforward as first planned, and events soon start to spiral out of control. There’s the obligatory Rankin stock characters – the disgruntled police officer and a local small-time crook that has delusions of grandeur by believing he’s actually Edinburgh’s Mr Big. The ending’s just about OK, but nothing spectacular, and at times I had to force myself to care enough about these lacklustre individuals enough to finish the book.

The writing was fairly low-key – no stylistic challenges to be found here – with a somewhat wearing use of copious amounts of dialogue to explain the plot and keep things moving. I would assume that this is a book that could easily be adapted into a fairly uninspiring ITV drama, as there would be relatively little for the screen writer to do when adapting it for the screen. I can’t really recommend this, except that it’s an easy read, great for a long train journey say, when it doesn’t matter if your attention wanders, or you’re distracted by the noisy family across the aisle.

© Koplowitz 2012 ( )
  Ant.Harrison | Apr 28, 2013 |
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The open door was only yards away, and beyond it lay the outside world, eerily unaffected by anything happening inside the abandoned snooker hall.
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For the right man, all doors are open...Mike Mackenzie is a self-made man with too much time on his hands and a bit of the devil in his soul. He is looking for something to liven up the days and perhaps give new meaning to his existence. A chance encounter at an art auction offers him the opportunity to do just that as he settles on a plot to commit a 'perfect crime'. He intends to rip-off one of the most high-profile targets in the capital - the National Gallery of Scotland. So, together with two close friends from the art world, he devises a plan to a lift some of the most valuable artwork around. But of course, the real trick is to rob the place for all its worth whilst persuading the world that no crime was ever committed. But soon after he enters the dark waters of the criminal underworld he realises that it's very easy to drown...… (more)

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