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I live in Bedford, England. Having retired from teaching; I am now a research student at the University of Bedfordshire researching into Threshold Concepts in the context of A-level Physics. I love reading! I enjoy in particular fiction (mostly great and classic fiction although I also enjoy whodunnits), biography, history and smart thinking. I have also recently become a keen playgoer to London Fringe Theatre. I enjoy mostly classics and I read the playscripts and add those to the blog. I am a member of Bedford Writers' Circle. See their website here: http://bedford-writers.co.uk/ Follow me on twitter: @daja57

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

"The Naming of the Dead" by Ian Rankin

Inspector John Rebus and sidekick DS Siobhan Clarke seek a serial killer after the possessions of three victims of unsolved murders turn up near Gleneagles on the eve of the G8 Summit there in July 2005.

The week of the G8 Summit was momentous. Scotland was under siege from 'Make Poverty History' marchers and the anarchists and rioters who went with it. Siobhan's parents are on the march and Siobhan suffers from the split loyalties between police trying to keep order and the protesters, especially when her mother is hit over the head while demonstrating. Was it a rogue policeman? Throughout this multi-layered novel the thin divide between goodies and baddies is shown to be blurred: Rebus has often crossed this line before but will Siobhan? Is the charismatic local councillor a good guy or does he run the gang of local hooligans and is he angling to replace gangster Ger Cafferty as Edinburgh's Mr Big?Is the Special Branch detective who repeatedly impedes the investigation doing this for good 'security' reasons or is he in the pocket of an Arms dealer? Have the undercover cops gone native?

As well as G8, protests and rock concerts, this is the week in which London won the 2012 Olympics. The next day came the London 7/7 tube and bus bombings. This fantastic book, so much more than a genre whodunnit, weaves all these together in a general question about morality today. It has a strong plot which kept me reading, a large cast of brilliant multi-faceted characters and as many layers as an oil painting.

July 2014; 515 pages

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