Read The Naming of the Dead by Ian Rankin Online


A murder has been committed - but as the victim was a rapist, recently released from prison, no one is too concerned about the crime. That is, until Detective Inspector John Rebus and DS Siobhan Clarke uncover evidence that a serial killer is on the loose ...When Rebus also starts looking into the apparent suicide of an MP, he is abruptly warned off the case, not least becA murder has been committed - but as the victim was a rapist, recently released from prison, no one is too concerned about the crime. That is, until Detective Inspector John Rebus and DS Siobhan Clarke uncover evidence that a serial killer is on the loose ...When Rebus also starts looking into the apparent suicide of an MP, he is abruptly warned off the case, not least because the G8 leaders have gathered in Scotland, and Rebus's bosses want him well out of the way. But Rebus has never been one to stick to the rules, and when Siobhan has a very personal reason for hunting down a riot cop, it looks as though both Rebus and Clarke may be up against their own side ......

Title : The Naming of the Dead
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780752881638
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 420 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Naming of the Dead Reviews

  • Andrew Smith
    2019-01-28 12:54

    In checking the records of my Rankin reads I noted that I hadn't listed this one as 'read'. As this site hosts my primary (well, only) list of the books I can recall reading I thought I'd better correct the oversight. Why? Well, it's not so I can plump up the number of books I can claim To have read by a single digit, but rather to stop me purchasing the same title again - something I've done on several occasions in the past! I normally spot the error sometime around chapter two - and yes, I can be a little slow on the uptake.I read this one a few years ago - I've no idea of the date - and I can only recall the bare bones of the plot. What I can say with confidence is that it contains a large dose of the irreverence Rebus displays to all figures of authority and plenty of the dry humour Rankin endows his hero with. It's a classy series - one of my favourites.

  • Ammar
    2019-02-03 14:37

    Rebus is back again against a drapery of the G8 summit in Scotland. There is a dead MP, was he pushed or did he commit suicide? There are some vigilantes who are getting their own justice ... and there is always Cafferty our favourite gangster/ businessman This time we are on the grounds and not much in the underbelly of the city. Rankin waved a tale with factual events happening in the background. The protests... the various parties that are against every G8 summit. The Live Aid concert. Very good instalment. Now to read Exit music which was officially the last Rebus novel... before he was resurrected back from the mind of Ian Rankin.

  • Sandra
    2019-02-13 19:51

    Il titolo del romanzo mi ha fatto venire in mente, per associazione di idee, “Sotto il vestito niente”, titolo di un film degli anni ’80 credo. “Dietro quel delitto niente”, direi. Non c’è tensione, non ci sono indagini da seguire, seppure il protagonista, John Rebus, sia ispettore della polizia di Edimburgo e debba indagare non su un solo delitto, bensì su quattro –che alla fine diventano cinque- delitti commessi a Edimburgo durante il G8 del 2005. Per oltre tre quarti del libro le indagini sui delitti languono, il ritmo è lento e le divagazioni sono molteplici, alcune delle quali pure interessanti, quali la corruzione dei politici, le ingiustizie sociali, il degrado delle periferie, la criminalità che sguazza tra gli intrallazzi politici, il potere della stampa, il ruolo ambiguo della polizia nelle manifestazioni antiG8. Insomma gli spunti di interesse non mancherebbero, ma la soluzione finale dei delitti, che arriva solo nelle ultime pagine, è deludente, è fiacca ed il finale scelto da Rankin sembra predisposto per un sequel (che non so se ci sia stato, e non saprò penso mai, dal momento che non ho intenzione di leggere altro di lui). Ciò che riesce meglio allo scrittore è delineare i protagonisti, e così John Rebus viene fuori bene, un poliziotto scomodo, un cane sciolto che lavora in solitaria, tollera soltanto l’aiuto della sua collaboratrice Siobhan, altro personaggio che viene ben definito, una donna con molti problemi irrisolti in famiglia, allieva fidata dell’ispettore.Per questo le mie stelline sono due, magari due e mezzo, dal momento che Edimburgo, altra protagonista del romanzo, viene descritta così bene che ti viene voglia di andare a visitarla subito.

  • Laure
    2019-01-23 14:33

    I gave this book 5 stars as I think this series and this instalment in particular stand well above the other modern 'detective stories'. I don't think you could get more for your money: a complex case, complex characters, great setting all distilled with great aplomb and charm by the writer.

  • Gretchen
    2019-02-17 15:43

    One of the best Inspector Rebus books to date. In the beginning of the series, Rebus was almost too hard-core, too depressing. I thought he was on the edge of going down permenantly. However, with the added focus of DS Siobhan Clarke, the series has really taken off. Siobhan (pronounced Shiv-awn) adds another dimension as Rebus's partner. Rebus basically is on the edge ALL THE TIME. With Siobhan, he the lead of a cracker detective team. He's not your average hero. Really into his music, ciggies, booze, and job, Rebus is fat and balding. But he's one of the best characters to follow in a mystery series, EVER! Ian Rankin is an A-One writer - almost Nick Cave lyrical in his sentences. Very hard-core detective book following the likes of the 40s movies and Bogart cool. Also, the series takes place in Edinburgh, Scotland - one of my favorite places in the world. I love revisiting it, Rebus-style.

  • Adrian White
    2019-02-03 16:00

    Interesting use of current affairs, especially the coincidence of the G8 in Gleneagles with the 7/7 bombings in London, and how the media were more obsessed with the granting of the London Olympics than with society crumbling in a distant part of the UK - distant in their minds in miles and relevance.But as a crime novel that mixed political intrigue and the criminal underworld's power struggle, I thought it was okay but not deserving of the fawning over-the-top praise from the very people Rankin disdains.

  • Anna
    2019-02-01 12:01

    Ένα πρόσφατο βιβλίο της σειράς για με τον επιθεωρητή Ρέμπους, το οποίο διαδραματίζεται παράλληλα με τα τη σύνοδο κορυφής G8 που έγινε το 2005 στη Σκωτία και το ίδιο καλοκαίρι, ενώ λίγο μετά έγινε η βομβιστική επίθεση στο μετρό του Λονδίνου - γεγονότα που εμφανίζονται στην υπόθεση. Ο Ρέμπους με τη Σίβον είναι αντιμέτωποι με τη δολοφονία ενός μπράβου του Κάφερτι (ποιος άραγε θα ασχολούνταν σοβαρά με τη δολοφονία από ένα καθίκι και δεν θα ευχόταν κρυφά από μέσα του ότι καλά να πάθει;), η οποία σύντομα αποδεικνύεται ότι ήταν μια τριπλή δολοφονία - τριών καθικίων που δεν θα έλειπαν από κανέναν. Όμως, δεν παύει να είναι δολοφονία, και οι ήρωές μας έρχονται αντιμέτωποι με έναν κατά συρροή δολοφόνο που πρέπει να τον αποκαλύψουν. Παράλληλα, κατά τη διάρκεια της συνόδου κορυφής, και σε ένα τραπέζι προς τους αξιωματούχους, ένας νεαρός και πολλά υποσχόμενος βουλευτής "αυτοκτονεί", με τρόπο που προβληματίζει την αστυνομία.Φυσικά οι δυο υποθέσεις δεν φαίνεται να συνδέονται - πέρα από το ότι τις έχει χρεωθεί ο Ρέμπους. Άρα έχει να παλέψει σε διπλό ταμπλό, ερχόμενος σε σύγκρουση με τις μυστικές υπηρεσίες και το διοικητή τους (φαντάζεστε πώς έρχεται σε σύγκρουση ο Ρέμπους, οπότε ετοιμαστείτε για φαρμακερές ατάκες και περιστατικά με άφθονο γέλιο, χωρίς να κινδυνεύει η σωματική ακεραιότητα κανενός). Ταυτόχρονα, ο θάνατος του βουλευτή ανοίγει την πόρτα για την έρευνα στις συνδιαλλαγές ενός εμπόρου όπλων, ο οποίος, πέρα από τις επαφές του με την Αφρική και τον εξοπλισμό που πουλούσε εκεί, φαίνεται να είναι και ιδιαίτερα διεφθαρμένος στα εντός της Αγγλίας ζητήματα (ΥΓ χωρίς να κάνω spoiler, σχεδόν καταστρέφεται γιατί πουλούσε υπηρεσίες στους Εργατικούς και τους Φιλελεύθερους, μα καλά, είναι δυνατόν να το βλέπουν έτσι οι Ευρωπαίοι; Εδώ θεωρείται δεδομένο πχ για όλα τα ΜΜΕ ότι θα στηρίζουν ΠΑΣΟΚ-ΝΔ μαζί).Επιπλέον, για τους λάτρεις των ταξιδιών, έχουμε και ξενάγηση σε κάποια γραφικά χωριά της Σκωτίας, όπου ναι μεν λόγω του Ρέμπους θα μάθετε κυρίως για τις τοπικές παμπ, αλλά και για την πηγή Κλούτι (Clootie well): πολύ ενδιαφέρουσα για όσους αρέσουν τα creepy places!!Επίσης, ένας τοπικός δημοτικός σύμβουλος παίζει μυστήριο ρόλο και τον βρίσκουμε διαρκώς παρόν σε όλες τις περιπέτειες των ηρώων μας (όχι, τελικά στο τέλος δεν έγιναν κολλητοί φίλοι), ενώ η Μέρι, μια δημοσιογράφος που πρέπει να έχει ξαναεμφανιστεί στη σειρά παίζει τον εκνευριστικό ρόλο που θα έπαιζε κάθε ρεπόρτερ ώστε να εκνευρίσει τους ερωτώμενους, και ναι, φυσικά και αυτή ήταν σταλμένη από τον Ρέμπους ως απειλή για όσα δεν του είχαν αποκαλύψει νωρίτερα οι ίδιοι με τη θέλησή τους!!!Το βιβλίο είναι εξαιρετικά καλογραμμένο (αναμενόμενο άλλωστε), με πολλές παράλληλες ιστορίες που κάποια στιγμή συνδέονται μεταξύ τους με τρόπο που σε αφήνει με ανοιχτό το στόμα, τους αγαπημένους μας κακούς, στριπτιτζάδικα με επίσημους αξιωματούχους μέσα σε αυτά, βόλτες στα δάση και τα άγρια βουνά, πλεκτάνες, συμμορίες με αλητάκια της γειτονιάς και πανκ διαδηλωτές κατά της G8.Το βιβλίο προτείνεται σε όσους αρέσουν οι τέτοιου είδους περιπέτειες, δεν έχει πολύ καταδίωξη, αλλά ούτως ή άλλως ο Ρέμπους πλέον είναι και κάποιας ηλικίας (όχι ότι αυτό θα τον σταμάταγε, αλλά οι περιστάσεις έρχονται κατ' αυτόν τον τρόπο!)

  • Craig Pittman
    2019-01-31 18:33

    Nearly every time I read one of Ian Rankin's novels, I think, "OK, this one is his best." Well, this one is going to be difficult for any of the others to beat, if only for its amazing scope.Usually Rankin's Scottish detectives are plodding around their beats in Scotland, concerned primarily with their country's own past, present and future. But "The Naming of the Dead" takes place against a much larger backdrop, with a G8 summit that took place outside Edinburgh in July 2005. Protesters converge on the site to raise awareness of every social ill from poverty and hunger to the war in Iraq, and of course that draws every policeman and security consultant in the free world too -- everyone except Detective Inspector John Rebus, who's so irascible and contrary that none of the brass wants to let him anywhere near the world's leaders. Of course Rebus winds up there anyway, investigating the mysterious death of a member of Parliament and also an odd bit of evidence from what appears to be a serial killer preying on rapists recently released from prison. He's joined by his frequent partner Siobhan Clarke, and the story focuses on her as often as it does Rebus, which is all to the good. Rebus is contemplating his own mortality in the wake of his brother's death from a stroke, and Clarke is confronting her parents' advancing age and frailty as they show up to protest just like they did in the '60s but find the world is a much rougher place than it was in the Summer of Love. Together Rebus and Clarke tackle not only the bodies that start piling up but also concerns about living with terrorism, dealing with an out-of-control police state and of course the connection between family and memory, which is often Rankin's theme.They're joined by a few other scruffy allies, most importantly a journalist who has traded information with Rebus in the past (I look forward to someday seeing her featured in her own Rankin novel). Meanwhile they confront Rebus' nemesis, crime boss Big Ger Cafferty, who somehow knows every step they're taking.By the end Rebus and Clarke have figured out all the mysteries but also realize that justice, in the traditional sense, is an elusive thing and sometimes depends more on chance than anything else. I read this book in a bit of a rush, thanks to a trip that involved three airline flights and a hotel stay, and enjoyed every minute of it. It had a propulsive plot, interesting characters (even the small ones, like a tourist bus driver who chats with Rebus near the end) and even some great bits of comedy (apparently Rebus is the reason President George W. Bush fell off his bike in Scotland) amidst all the gore and the melancholy and the references to classic rock acts like The Who and Steely Dan. I plan to read a lot more of Rankin, but I don't see how he can top this one.

  • Abailart
    2019-02-04 16:45

    Great to read a Rebus book again. Stopped about five years ago, thought he was long killed off so was happy to find this 2006 one which kept me company on a long journey recently. Usual wit and sparkle, smooth flowing, that unique atmosphere of somewhat seedy characters in a somewhat seedy world: here, power at the most basic domestic level refracts power at the level of G8 politics. Unforgettable Rankin moment: the Mars bar and the two women, as usual so understated the fun may be missed.

  • Kathy
    2019-02-09 19:31

    What was G8 is coming up in a month, the G7 meeting that will include whoever is voted in as France's man (or woman). I thought this Rebus book a good choice since the G8 did meet in Edinburgh 2005 and there were London bombings as described in this book. This is a long one and has a lot going on besides the demonstrations, rioting, global agreements and the possibility of a serial killer loose in Scotland. Both Siobhan and Rebus manage to get suspended during their investigations and Siobhan doing her best as the one in charge gets sucked into Cafferty's web and attempts to control outcomes. The book kicks off with the death of an MP from atop the castle while Rebus is in attendance at his younger brother's funeral, dead of stroke at age 54.Siobhan is rather distracted from scene of crime stuff when she meets up with her parents who were in attendance to make their stand: "They were doing the camping thing with style: a big red tent with windows and a covered porch, foldaway table and chairs, ad an open bottle of wine with real glasses next to it." The local gang seemed to know she was "a pig" and did damage to her car. There was a somewhat strange young woman with camera hanging around her parents at the campground that Siobhan took instant dislike to. Her mother ends up getting beaten about the head by one of the security team, and this manages to derail Siobhan from her responsibilities in finding a killer.There is so much riding on the success of the G8 and so few people concentrating on how to identify the person who murdered at least 3 people that many blind alleys are presented, many people interviewed, many theories floated that the reader could almost give up. I enjoyed all of the nonsense but was relieved when Rebus took marker to board and drew out the diagram of connections that almost led him to the killer. But then...Yes, lots of subplots including arms deals, corruption on many levels, the additional murder of a government official with a closer connection to them and the inability to find justice for the earlier three victims. When they confront the official with their conclusion he knows his position. "'It'll dump a trailerload of dung on your heads,' Rebus warned. 'Will it?..Good for the land though, isn't it, the occasional bit of manure? Now, if you'll excuse me...'"As Rebus and Siobhan had drinks to mark the end of it all, she complained, "It's not enough, is it?..Just ...symbolic...because there's nothing else you can do...The naming of the dead."

  • LJ
    2019-02-17 12:59

    THE NAMING OF THE DEAD (Pol Proc-Scotland-Cont) – VGRankin, Ian- 17th in seriesOrion, 2006- UK Hardcover – ISBN: 0752868586*** The G8 conference is taking place in Edinburgh, and while all other officers have been deployed, DI John Rebus has not. During one conference event, a young politician dies. The police are calling it suicide; Rebus isn’t so certain. That investigation is supplanted by another case. A token is found in “clootie well,” a place where items are placed in remembrance of the dead. The token, and others near it, lead to the possibility of a serial killer targeting recently-released rapists. DS Siobhan Clarke is on the hunt to the riot cop who assaulted her mother during one of the G8 demonstrations. *** Whenever I become discouraged reading books that are less than spectacular, and then pick up an Ian Rankin mystery, I am reminded just how good writing can be. Here Rankin has taken three story lines, against a background of true events and people, and neatly woven them into an absorbing and satisfying story with complex relationship and undertones. Cafferty is back and as manipulative as ever. I loved the music references and very subtle humor. Problems I do see are because the G8 conference was the backdrop, it will date the book very quickly and should one not have read previous books, they won’t understand the significance of Cafferty. I thought this a very good book and highly recommend it, particularly to those who have been reading the series in order.

  • Wendell
    2019-01-28 15:35

    This was my third Rankin/Rebus novel, and I'm afraid it's going to be my last as well. I'll share the blame with the author: Perhaps the problem is just that I don't get it -- I don't get his use of language; I don't get the device of burying the main plot elements under hundreds of pages in which nothing much actually happens; I don't get (to put it bluntly) the main character, rich in shtick and yet, in the end, absolutely two-dimensional and dull. As there are many readers who are crazy for this stuff, obviously I'm the problem. Rankin writing Rebus makes me think of Camilleri writing Montalbano. In both cases, the reader who doesn't share the author's precise cultural/linguistic background has to struggle with slang, dialect, and terminology that doesn't immediately reveal its richness. Camilleri (whom I read in my second language) strikes me as inventive, clever, lush. Rankin, whom I read (purportedly) in English, strikes me as stifling, humorless, inbred. What Rankin is bad at, in any language, is characterization, and a character like Rebus, stoic to the point of making Mt. Rushmore seem all flibberty-gibbet, needs more help than Rankin is giving him. After three of these novels, I already see Rebus as a parody of himself. I admit it; the fault must be mine. But I'm still not going to read any more.

  • Alex
    2019-01-23 14:35

    Side note: Rebus is back in my orbit after a five month break! Damn you, Stephen King!A week in the life of Rebus and Siobhan. Something that sticks out in this one is that everyone calls Siobhan "Shiv", when it is well established that she hates being called that. But outside of that, The Naming of the Dead is a solid entry in the Rebus canon, even if it has one character speak the title of the book in the closing paragraphs.What Rankin has done across the series is make Siobhan almost Rebus' equal in terms of screen time and character development; this particular entry emphasises how alike they've become while underlining their fundamental differences. It all ties together in a much more extreme fashion than usual but it's actually perfectly logical at that.This is the penultimate Rebus before he was retired; henceforth it's entirely uncharted territory for this reader. It was a stupid place for me to stop, but all things serve the beam.

  • Shirley Schwartz
    2019-02-08 19:51

    I absolutely enjoyed this book! Rebus is one of my favourite fictional characters and every book in this series is wonderful. Rebus and his sidekick Siobhan are working together on what appears to be a serial murder case. This is all happening in and around the 2005 G8 summit which was held in Scotland. There are lots of dignitaries and hangers-on all over the Scottish countryside for this week in July which provides Rebus and Siobhan with an unlimited number of suspects. What is most enjoyable about this book is how we see that Siobhan is getting more and more like her mentor. Rebus is within a year of retirement, but that doesn't stop him from doggedly following leads even after he is threatened and bullied by his superiors and other bigwig political and security people. And in this book, Siobhan is right there with him causing all kinds of trouble on her own while she seeks a serial killer. The best part about these books is the realism of the characters and the complex relationship that Rebus and Siobhan have. This book is fast-paced and a wonderful mix of politics, intrigue and a cracking mystery. This series always stays fresh and interesting, leaving me looking forward to the next book in the series.. Hopefully, Ian Rankin doesn't end this series anytime soon. Rebus is a brilliant creation, and I have to keep reminding myself that he is fictional and not real.

  • E.H.
    2019-01-30 17:43

    There is a bookstore in the international wing of the Hong Kong airport that sells only mystery novels and biographies of Mao, and since I'm not one for history, I wound up with this when I was passing through on my way from China to HCMC.That was nearly four months ago. The fact that this book took me that long to read, that I didn't even decide I LIKED it until around page 400, says something about how much trouble this has put me to.I'll take this quickly on two fronts:Inspector Rebus: drinks too much, tries too hard, cares too much. I hated him until a little more than two-thirds of the way through when, standing at the back of a church hall in a ragged coat next to a well-to-do mob boss, he bursts into unexpected laughter at said mob boss's sarcastic quip. Generally I hate (incipient) alcoholics, but I guess I'll make an exception here. Also he drinks Irn Bru. Because he is Scottish. Yes.The writing: DAMN, I wish I was cool like Ian Rankin and could write my sentences without subjects or objects and occasionally without verbs. It would make me seem so hardcore and unconventional. OH WAIT, MAYBE IT WOULD SEEM OBNOXIOUS AND VAGUELY CLICHE. You see what I did there?In summary, this is the most recent in a series that currently numbers 16 and is wildly popular. I can only assume that either a novice should start at book one, or they're way overhyped, much like Sue Grafton.

  • Lori
    2019-02-11 15:43

    Always excited to read another Rebus. Sad to think I am close to coming to the end of this fabulous series. John Rebus is one of my all-time favorite series detectives. I love his sense of humor, his "prickly-ness" and, most of all, his dedication to finding the truth at the expense of all else. His partner, Siobhan, is equally interesting; so much like Rebus in so many ways and yet absolutely appalled to see herself like him and yet unable to stop herself from going into that dark world Rebus inhabits more often than not. The background of this story is the G8 in Edinburgh which creates a great atmosphere for this story. The sudden death of an MP in a dramatic fashion and the sudden appearance of a bunch of clues tying three seemingly unrelated murders together sets the stage for an intricate mystery. Rebus and Siobhan, working as outsiders as Rebus so often does these days work to solve both crimes, antagonizing many along the way. A fast-paced, totally engaging read.

  • Amanda Patterson
    2019-02-13 16:34

    Rebus returns to solve a murder tainted with the backdrop of politics in Edinburgh, July 2005. Rebus and Siobhan Clarke fight the men who control the summit, wanting to hush up anything controversial. Add a serial killer to the mix and you have Rankin writing at his best.Rankin is consistently rated Britain’s No 1 Bestselling Crime Writer. He has won 4 Crime Writers’ Association Dagger Awards and he has even won the American Edgar Award. He has numerous honourary degrees. The Rebus series has been translated into a BBC miniseries. Rankin received an OBE for services to literature.This is Rebus’s 17th appearance in a paperback novel and one of his best. Read The Naming of the Dead.

  • Sharon
    2019-02-06 19:51

    Enjoyed this, but felt it was drawn out a bit. Liked the context surrounding the G8 etc and the questions surrounding power and control. Liked seeing Siobhan's character developing through this book. Her and Rebus' relationship is really interesting, as although they mostly seem to be a really tight wee team, they don't always put their trust in each other. Also quite liked the open-endedness of the conclusion.

  • Nick Jones
    2019-02-04 11:52

    I read this while in Edinburgh, staying in a flat across the street from the Oxford Bar, which plays a significant role in this, as in other Rebus novels. How immediate could you get?

  • The Katie
    2019-01-29 11:53

    I like the story well enough, but this suffers in the conclusion of the story. It's a who-dunnit story with only minimal coverage in the done it part and with no one paying any price for what they have done. I did enjoy the scottish setting.

  • Carl R.
    2019-02-21 14:45

    I hadn't picked up an Ian Rankin novel for some time. Just got kind of tired of him after an intense period some time back. However, if you're going to Edinburgh as we are soon, he's as good a guide in some ways as Rick Steves and a hell of a lot more entertaining. Thus, The Naming of the Dead.The title, like much of the book, is multi-faceted. There are unidentified bodies. The book is set at a G-8 summit beset by protesters who hold a "naming of the dead" protest in honor of those killed in Iraq. The summit, of course, attracts world leaders, which, of course, demands extra security which interferes with Inspector John Rebus' investigation of the unidentified bodies. That's the nub of the plot. There are a number amusing side incidents, the most interesting of which, perhaps, being Rebus' witnessing of George Bush's fall off his bicycle. In fact, Rebus could be said to have caused the incident, but only in the sense that the politician can't stop waving and smiling even when he should be paying attention to more important matters. And that's part of the point of the book, so it's more than just an aside.I don't recall another Rankin that rises to the rank of international thriller. My impression that most of them are pretty local Scottish. However, this one qualifies as a heavy hitter in that department. There are other bodies than those unnamed ones. One of them is a highly placed MP who somehow gets pitched (pitches himself?) over the castle wall. Rebus thinks he ought to be investigating that one, too, that it could be somehow tied to the others. Higher ups disagree. Partner Siobhan, whose parents are among the protestors, is looking to solve the serial killings and get promoted. Multi-layered complications ensue.John Rebus is a pretty unlikeable character in many ways--an alcoholic, smoking, loner with an immense and stubborn talent for solving crime. But no talent at all for developing relationships. That's not an unusual set of traits for a literary detective, but Rankin manages to make his protagonist incredibly sympathetic in the process.Rebus tries very hard to be and do good, and those efforts draw us to him. In addition, every step of the action takes us deeper and deeper not only into his world but the world of both the victims and perpetrators until one often isn't sure which is which is which. And that, I think, is Rankin's point. Thus do we end up appreciating The Naming of the Dead as not a mere thriller, but a deeply moral work worthy of one of the world's top writer's at the top of his game.

  • Dorothy
    2019-02-19 13:56

    In July 2005, Edinburgh was a buzz of activity as it readied itself for the G8 conference to be held there. The most powerful people in the world would be meeting to decide the fate of much of the world for the foreseeable future. Police officers from all over the country had been commandeered to provide security for the event. They came from as far away as London to make sure that nothing went wrong. It seemed that the only nonessential policeman, the only one whose presence was not required to keep the peace around the bigwigs, was John Rebus. Once again his superiors appeared to be sending him a message: You're not needed. You're not wanted. Pack it in.Of course, Rebus has a tin ear when it comes to such messages. He just doesn't hear them and he goes on his way, doing his job just the way he has always done it. His way.Much as his superiors do not want him involved, when one of the delegates to the G8 falls to his death, Rebus is the only officer left at the station to take the call and thus he becomes involved in investigating a high profile death, the very thing his boss hoped to avoid.Meanwhile, Siobhan Clarke is investigating the death of a rapist which means that soon Rebus is involved in that investigation as well. Then Clarke's parents, aging hippies, come to Edinburgh to participate in demonstrations in regard to the G8 and, in the melee, her mother is assaulted, possibly by a policeman. Siobhan is determined to find the culprit and bring him to justice.All of these disparate stories intertwine and interconnect as they have a way of doing in a Rankin tale, and the conclusions to the stories were not quite what I had expected. Although I've read all the Rebus stories, in order, through this one, Rankin still has the capacity to surprise me.Rebus is very near the end now, near the age when he must retire. What will happen to him? He has no life outside of his job. He has sacrificed everything for that job. It will be interesting to see how Rankin handles this. Perhaps I will be surprised again.

  • Christina
    2019-02-13 13:38

    This was probably one of the best of the series I've read so far, on a very different scale from the usual. Most of the books have Rebus pissing off local gangsters and higher-ups in the Scottish police forces, rather than secret services, diplomats, etc. as he does in this one. This one was well-constructed and quite dark, as usual. If, like me, you don't know much about the summer of 2005 in Edinburgh, a quick trip to the Wikipedia page on the 2005 G8 will help you get some of the things that happen. The bicycle incident, for instance, is based on something that actually occurred, because OF COURSE IT IS.Something I noticed in this book especially is that for all Rebus thinks of himself as a rebel and an outsider, he actually isn't. All right, he doesn't get promoted or follow all the rules, but he knows Edinburgh and is known. He's got the man-of-the-people ability to chat with the local lads and the power to pull strings to defend those he cares about. He's accepted in the pubs, and clearly accepted by his peers. It's a local guy thing. I've noticed this for a while but just really got it with this book. When I did, I wondered for an instant whether Rankin is as oblivious to this privilege as Rebus appears to be. Then I thought about how he writes Siobhan and said "no, he gets it." This was a tough book for our Shiv, among others, and I was sorry about how things have turned out with (view spoiler)[Ellen Wylie and Eric Bain by the end of this one. (hide spoiler)] But I've read a bunch of these by now, and I think it's pretty clear: no one makes it out of this series unscathed.

  • M. Dobson
    2019-01-29 17:52

    I've been slowly working my way down the Ian Rankin book list. I read to dissect as an author, but I'm also hooked by this jaded, alcoholic, stuck in a rut aging detective in Scotland. It's as much fun to relive the historic events of the time as it is to read what the cagey old guy is up to these days. This was my first audiobook version and it was well done. Congrats to the narrator.In Naming the Dead, Inspector Rebus examines his life and contemplates the end of a career. He's rolled through several 'better halves' as partners, but this one could be his replacement--and he knows it.Rankin writes one of these a year and ages Rebus the same length of time. Retirement is coming. Did you know that there was an outcry in Scotland for Scotland Yard to increase the age of mandatory retirement BECAUSE of the fictional Rebus? No they weren't successful, but it doesn't matter. I'm going to hang with this guy as long as Ian Rankin breathes life into him.I am catching up with the release dates of current works with sadness. You don't rush through these. You dissect them as a writer. You enjoy the richness of his descriptions, the bluntness and coggy snark in the dialog, and the increasingly wearing of the political higher ups in the service.Long life Rebus!

  • Robin
    2019-02-04 15:38

    In my recent review of The Snowman, I said something about Jo Nesbø moving hardboiled fiction to a climate where it will keep. I guess I shouldn't be surprised to see more hardboiled crime hanging out in Edinburgh, Scotland, which is about 578 miles southwest of Oslo as the plane flies, or about four degrees less in latitude - within about a degree, at each end, of the difference between Juneau and Anchorage. If climate change is driving mystery genres to northerly climes, I should be paying more attention to the writings of Ian Rankin. Based on this book, I probably will.DI (Detective Inspector) John Rebus is an aging, hard-drinking, maverick detective in the Edinburgh CID (i.e., the plainclothes police). He and his lower-ranking partner, DS (Detective Sergeant) Siobhan Clarke - her first name isn't pronounced the way you think - catch a couple of inconvenient cases just as the July 2005 G8 conference, and the massive demonstrations surrounding it, are about to make their part of Scotland a mad place to be. Things get even madder on July 7, 2005 - the date that made "7/7" mean to the U.K. something like what "9/11" means to the U.S. In the midst of that, nobody wants a couple of insubordinate, boundary-crossing detectives poking into an MP's (member of parliament) plunge from a castle rampart - suicide? accident? murder? - or even chasing a serial killer whose trophies are found just up the road from the conference.There are some odd things about that serial killer evidence, though that probably goes without saying. For one thing, the victims - three, so far - are all convicts recently let out on parole, chronic offenders with a record of rape or sexual assault. These are big, bad men: not exactly your typical, high-risk victim; but because they had victims of their own, no one has worked very hard to catch their killers, or rather killer, until now. A connection between the three men and a pro-victim website seems too obvious, too on-the-nose. A psychology professor at the local university points out the key may be anomalies in the evidence concerning one of the crimes. A computer nerd (who happens to be Siobhan's ex-boyfriend), a journalist (who collaborated on a book with John's criminal nemesis), and Big Ger Cafferty, the selfsame underworld kingpin John has spent most of his career chasing, all make themselves suspiciously helpful to the crime-solving pair, while a Special Branch operative, a city councilman, and their own chief constable put up every imaginable roadblock to their investigation, including (in the chief constable's case) suspending them from duty. Also, by the way, Siobhan's parents come to town, her mum ends up in the hospital, the whole southeast of Scotland gets snarled up in a series of demonstrations, riots, and traffic jams, and London gets bombed; so yes, there are a lot of distractions. But in spite of all these things, they keep plugging away at their puzzles.What makes my nose twitch to the scent of something hardboiled is how, while the mystery slowly comes into focus, problems arise in the hero detectives' lives that aren't as easily cleared up. No amount of persistence will make them go away. Chuck in a dash of disillusionment with the state of the world, a specter of mortality with a nice side of nihilistic futility, some heart-tugging struggles with loneliness and (ahem) alcohol, and some of those breathtaking moments when the sleuth is forced to consider whether some of the bodies wouldn't have dropped if it hadn't been for him or her, the occasional surprise where the hero is scrobbled by villains and held prisoner overnight, and the sense that the toughest crimes are best solved by a detective who follows his own ideas about how things are done, rather than sanctioned police procedure... Yes, indeed, the Dashiell does not fall far from the Hammett. This is the 16th of (so far) 21 "John Rebus" mystery-thrillers by Scottish author Ian Rankin, and though it is not the first of the series I have read (that honor belongs to No. 8, Black & Blue), it is the first I have reviewed. Since I've reviewed every book I have read since at least 2003 and perhaps a bit farther back, that tells you about how long it's been since I've dipped a toe in the waters of Rankin's popular series; Black & Blue's 1997 release date provides the yonder boundary of a relatively narrow time window. One of the things that may have deterred me from going back to Rebus is my recollection of Black & Blue being so full of regional dialect and slang terms, such as "paraffin budgie" (meaning, I believe, "helicopter"), that I found it heavy going. I was surprised to find no such difficulty in reading The Naming of the Dead - no budgies, paraffin or otherwise. This suggests either that my recollection was off, or that my reading since sometime between ages 25 and 31 has vastly improved my language comprehension, or that the U.S. editions of Rankin's more recent books are being more heavily edited (if "translated" is too strong a word) to give American readers more of a fighting chance. Assuming the prize lies behind Door No. 3, please remind me not to complain next time I see a publisher's note to American readers, advising them the book has been expurgated of idioms you'd have to be Scottish (or English, Irish, etc.) to understand. If English-to-English translation has become a thing, there may be a good reason.John Rebus has been portrayed by actors John Hannah (2001-2004) and Ken Stott (2006-2007) in a series of films for British television. He is also, as I mentioned, the star of 21 novels, plus a volume or two of short stories. Their titles include Knots and Crosses, The Black Book, Set in Darkness, Fleshmarket Close, Exit Music, and Rather Be the Devil. Rankin's career goes back to the 1980s, and also includes two "Malcolm Fox" novels and seven other novels, including three originally published under the pseudonym Jack Harvey.

  • Amy
    2019-01-29 19:48

    Reviewed in February 1, 2007 Library Journal. Slightly modified review:In this fifteenth novel in the popular Inspector Rebus series, multiple award winner Rankin unfolds a solidly suspenseful mystery tale against the backdrop of the G8 Summit held in Scotland in summer 2005. The G8 gives Rankin reason to inject some wry political commentary into the mix, and it's not at all surprising that Rebus is cynical about politicians and celebrity do-gooders alike. Not only do we get to see several familiar faces from earlier Rebus installments but these characters are developed in a most satisfactory way. (There's also a very funny cameo from one Important World Leader, who is thankfully important no longer.) Surprisingly, this entry in the Rebus series is not as dark or grisly as preceding novels-so if you've been wanting to introduce someone to the world of DI Rebus, you could start with this book.

  • Derek Baldwin
    2019-01-27 12:46

    Only the second Rebus novel that I've read; the first was Knots And Crosses a few months ago which I thought was quite sloppy in places. This is the 16th in the series but having missed out all the intervening ones was no handicap to enjoying the novel, even if some of the back-story was lost on me. The style of writing has improved a great deal though there's still a few bits where the writing is underwhelming. The contemporary setting with real-world events gives the novel more dramatic edge and I enjoyed Rebus's jaundiced take on the world as he sees it, comparable with Wallander for example. I'd go so far as to say that while it doesn't set out to do so, it makes a better job of representing "the state of the nation" than a number of books I've read which do reach for that status.Good job, and I shall try some more - I have at least four or five in my "to read" stacks.3.5 stars

  • Michael Martz
    2019-01-29 18:58

    The Naming of the Dead is another competent mystery in the Rebus series by author Ian Rankin. In it, Rebus and his counterpart Siobhan investigate a series of murders around Edinburgh during the period surrounding the G8 summit. As usual, Rebus isn't one for following rules, direct orders, or much of anything else in his search to understand the connection between the victims and to identify the murderer(s). The circus that seems to accompany the summit complicates matters, as does Rebus' and Siobhan's relationship with an underworld figure who may or may not be involved. Rankin's a top-notch writer and, although the novel drags a bit and not much progress seems to be made through much of it, holds our attention and closes it out in a satisfying, but a bit complicated, conclusion.

  • Sarah
    2019-02-21 11:35

    Ian Rankin's many books featuring Detective Inspector John Rebus are consistent in their same characters, setting, and personalities - the liability of a series - transformed by Rankin into a great asset. Stone by stone, story by story, he builds around the reader a claustrophobia of Scottish urban life, where police and criminal and victim are all well known to one another. While Rebus' superhero survival skills are sometimes over the top, I love the series for its characters and Rankin's marvelous righteousness: every day his characters have to work to choose between the right thing and the wrong thing, and the devil is always watching. Start at the beginning with Knots and CrossesKnots and Crosses.

  • Mark
    2019-02-17 13:46

    Yes, this could be the best yet in a series that’s always intelligent and thrilling. Rankin’s small and tough microcosm of Edinburgh, Scotland continues to expand—or, rather, the dual lenses of home-brewed crime and global-impacting-local get more intricate as the Rebus series continues. This time, it’s the G8 Summit hosted by Scotland in 2005 that provides the backdrop and many of the ideas for the mystery, as large-scale political spectacle, illicit arms and aid deals, police state tactics and protest movements, all come together in the wee bonnie nation—not to mention weird serial-killer stuff and the usual hometown gangsters and ghetto punks. Great stuff.