Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Standing tall

Former detective John Rebus is brought back from retirement to work on cold cases. He doesn't like his stuffy boss and continues his reputation as a loner and not a team player.

A woman comes to his office and requests his help in looking into the case of her daughter's disappearance. Her daughter, Sarah, was sixteen when she disappeared twelve years ago.

He doesn't hold out much hope but tells her he'll look into it. When he does, he sees the cases of other missing girls and the cases have enough in common to make him think that a serial killer might be at work. He brings this info to his old friend, Siobhan Clark who is now a deputy inspector. She's glad to see him and it appears as if he was her mentor.

As a side story, there is an officer from Internal Affairs who has been after Rebus but now that Rebus is in a civilian capacity he can't be touched by Internal Affairs. This man knows that Rebus is friends with a gangster and is afraid that he might be passing privileged information.

Rebus goes to the northern section of Scotland and learns more of the missing girls. When a new girl goes missing, the case get an added boost in the urgency to solve the crimes. Rebus shows great determination as he travels long distances to investigate. As he does, he discusses the case with his Saab, in the same manner that Charles Todd's character, Ian Rutledge talks to the ghost of his friend, Hamish.

The most engaging part of the story is Rebus's smooth narrative when discussing the developments in the case and how officers like Clark can help. He also has a good report with Nina Hazlet the mother of the first victim.

As a story of a serial killer, this story is engrossing. There are some surprises and roadblocks that Rebus must overcome but his persistence pays off. There are good descriptions of the Scottish countryside and the life around a main highway that was the setting of a number of the young girls abductions.

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