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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

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

"Strip Jack" by Ian Rankin

An early Inspector Rebus. So far I have only read stories from later in the career of this Edinburgh detective (eg Standing in another man's grave, and The naming of the dead). In these he is weary and cynical, a heavy drinker with a sidekick called DS Siobhan Clarke. But in the early books he is a wise-cracking young man. He drinks but it isn't a theme. He has a girlfriend although he is not sure whether he wants a long term relationship or not. He and all his colleagues keep themselves going with a variety of dreadful puns. There is more idealism than cynicism.

It would be interesting to see where the two versions of Rebus join.

This classic police procedural whodunnit starts with a bang: the police raid a brothel and find an MP; the papers have been tipped off. Then the MP's wife is discovered dead. Suspicion falls on the small group of friends who grew up together including the wife of a film star, a mad murderer locked in an asylum, a second-hand bookseller and the owner of a haulage firm.

Best line of the book: "He didn't make waves exactly, but by Christ he splashed like hell."

A tightly plotted whodunnit which kept me interested throughout. August 2014; 279 pages

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