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Monday, May 13, 2013

Standing in Another Man's Grave by Ian Rankin


A pair of retired Edinburgh cops leaves the funeral of another retired cop. One is going home the other, Rebus, to a meeting, which he is already late to, with other retired cops in a new cold case unit headed by a full time cop, James Page. Rebus likes referring to him by using classic Led Zeppelin song titles, which annoys some. Talk about deep retirement. This is how Ian Rankin’s Standing in Another Man’s Grave begins.
A woman comes to speak to DI Gregor Magrath about her missing daughter. Magrath retired many years ago and is unreachable, so Rebus goes to speak to her. She tells Rebus that her daughter was the first to disappear and recites more names of missing women since her daughter’s disappearance that share similar details.
Rebus was an old dog, a cop from the last generation. He rubbed elbows with every one and had no friends. He drank with hoodlums, with cops, with low lifes and high lifes. Internal affairs were always looking into something he was doing even now in retirement. He knew his way around the seedier parts of town and didn’t do anything by the book. He was the only maverick in the force because he produced. “…and in walks John Rebus, not even bothering to wipe his shoes, leaving bits of muck everywhere without even noticing.” This was the best description of John Rebus and his twisted way with people. But he does make things happen when few others can or do. He is a maestro.  He is vinyl and the others are digital.
Six young women have gone missing with very similar traits: all connected to a certain roadway, all sent a picture of a picture from the same locale to someone on their cell phone address book. Is this picture real or designed to throw the police off track. I know when I’m in Scotland a good pair of wellies is required footwear to be stored in the boot. Why doesn’t Rebus know this?
Rebus just bulls ahead not making friends as the gangsters have words with him for speaking to the other, the cops are finding him tiresome yet he is doing a lot better than they are, and the civilians are frustrated with him. His strength is he is keeping his eye on the prize in spite of how much alcohol he consumes. A colleague may have said it best, “Tell me, is it possible for anyone to come to know you without them always feeling they’re slipping their neck into a noose?’
Keep track of the songs so you can answer the question in he end?

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