The Hanging Garden continues Ian Rankin’s saga of John Rebus, and is stuffed to the rafters with plot. Rebus is working on a case about a suspected World War II war criminal, now an old man who enjoys planting flowers in a cemetery, while he attempts to protect a Bosnian refugee who has been forced into prostitution, a new crime lord attempts to take over Edinburgh, the yakuza seem to be moving in, and his daughter is in a coma after a hit-and-run accident … or was it really an accident?
Dealing with all this, Rebus also attempts to stop drinking.
The Hanging Garden dishes out an amazingly dense plot, but still finds time to draw Rankin’s finely tuned characterizations, getting under the skin of most of the characters.
While a fine police procedural, The Hanging Garden does suffer a bit from the sheer weight of the plot and the far-reaching coincidences that tie the pieces together. Nevertheless, it is endlessly readable and absorbing, and Rankin’s writing remains top-notch.
Well worth reading, whether you’re a Rebus fan or not. And you should be a Rebus fan. Really.
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Posted Saturday, 27 May, 2006 by Nic Lindh
Another book roundup, including some stellar athletes and soldiers, what might be the most jaded, soul-weary protagonist ever, and some grimdark fantasy.
The Internet is getting creepy, and Nic is breaking out his tinfoil hat after newspaper paywalls push him over the edge.
Nic is tired of tech sites obsessing over Apple’s financials and business strategy. So very tired.
Nic reads a book about the processed food industry and is incensed.
Computers are complicated. This brings out the irrational in people.
Nic proposes the loan word Rechthaberei be incorporated into American English.
The Core Dump is back! Books were read during the hiatus. Includes The Coldest Winter, Oh, Myyy!, Tough Sh*t, The Revolution Was Televised, The Rook, Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore, Gun Machine, Fortress Frontier, Standing in Another Man’s Grave, and The Memory of Light.
This site will return in February.
From a true patriot to a world-weary detective, a dead god, and a civilization about to sublime from the galaxy, this book roundup spans the gamut. Includes Where Men Win Glory, Wild, Inside the Box, The Black Box, Three Parts Dead, Red Country, and The Hydrogen Sonata.
Springsteen gives a concert in Phoenix. It’s fantastic.