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I was really disappointed with this book, especially considering Rankin talks about his coming of age as a writer in the introduction I thought that this was far and away his weakest Rebus novel so far.The story wasn t particularly gripping, few unanticipated twists and turns, and very little tension There was also the noisy narrator, lots of clich s and verbal mannerisms which I suppose to be Rebus s inner voice, but were off putting and annoying and made it harder for me to like the man.This is the fourth of the series, and I guess I ll give it another go and read the fifth Black Books , but I ll do so with far less enthusiasm. This book was my first forray into the Inspector Rebus series, and it was quite an enjoyable one It had all the elements of a good mystery multiple suspects, interwoven crimes, red herrings galore, and a detective with loads of intellect and personality to tie it all together.I also liked how uniquely Scottish the book felt The accents, the language, the constant misting rain all added a terrific amount of atmosphere But the thing I liked best was Rebus ability to be wrong To get the right clues, but not read them in the right order or draw the correct conclusions I loved that a lot of the mystery solving was luck, or team work, or the result of general stubborness My only critique is that the ending left many a motive still muddled It wasn t a clear cut solution, which I often expect from a mystery novel But it was a good read, with a great sleuth at the heart of it. MP Gregor Jack Is Caught In An Edinburgh Brothel With A Prostitute Only Too Keen To Show Off Her Considerable Assets When The Media Horde Begins Baying For Political Blood Jack S Friends Rally Round To Protect Him But Some Of Those Friends Particularly His Wife S Associates Are Not So Squeaky Clean ThemselvesInitially Detective Inspector Rebus Is Sympathetic To The MP S Dilemma Who Hasn T Occasionally Succumbed To Temptation But With The Disappearance Of Jack S Wife The Glamour Surrounding The Popular Young Man Begins To Tarnish Someone Wants To Strip Jack Naked And Rebus Wants To Know Why This is the fourth book in Ian Rankin s series starring the smart but independent detective Rebus At this stage of the series Rebus has not evolved into the complex character that we see in the later books and the crime story has a relatively simple plot Nevertheless Rebus is true to from, disheveled and anti authoritarian, living a bachelor existence in his bland flat and grungy pubs, constantly letting his girlfriend down by missing dates and prevaricating about moving in with her.The plot centres around an Edinburgh MP, Gregor Jack who is caught in a raid on a brothel The press have been tipped off about the raid leading Rebus to think the popular MP has been set up by one of his political enemies When Gregor s wife, the party loving Elizabeth, goes missing, Rebus suspects a plot to oust the MP and sets out to find the missing woman and the truth This is a novel set very firmly in Scotland with Rebus investigations take him not only into the rough side and the privileged side of Edinburgh but also into the towns of nearby Fife and the highlands of Scotland The landscape is often bleak or rugged and beautiful and the weather is often dreary and this all adds atmosphere to the basic plot, along with the authentic sounding Scottish dialogue A very good basic, gritty crime story Love it In Ian Rankin s Strip Jack, the fourth novel in his long running murder mystery series, the newly promoted Edinburgh police Inspector John Rebus is decidedly unenthusiastic about the latest assignment from his sanctimonious boss, Chief Superintendent Farmer Watson Rebus is ordered to join a large task force assembled for a midnight raid on a high end brothel, where he dreads the idea of unmasking members of the city s elite However, once the police have stormed the house, he is surprised to find Gregor Jack MP sitting on a bed with an unclothed young woman Jack has a reputation as both a man of integrity and a diligent representative of his constituency s interests in London Most MPs, Rebus wouldn t have given the time of day But Gregor Jack was well, he was Gregor Jack Mild was an adjective often used about Jack So were honest, legal and decent Though fully clothed himself in the brothel, Jack s carefully cultivated image is in tatters after he is marched in front of the cameras on his way to the police van that will take him into the station for questioning.For Rebus, there are three questions to be answered who informed the Chief Superintendent about the existence of the brothel, why was the MP found there, and who tipped off the press These three questions turn out to be the key to unraveling a complex mystery surrounding two presumably linked murders that bedevil the police and entertain the press for weeks on end Another, much less urgent case the theft of several rare first editions from the home of a divinity professor at the University of Edinburgh also proves to be crucial to identifying the murderer.In the course of the investigation, Rebus and his colleagues are forced to navigate through the byzantine relationships among the friends surrounding Jack and his wife, Elizabeth, who is one of the murder victims Rebus is convinced that one of these family friends is Elizabeth s murderer, but a homeless and seemingly deranged man has confessed to both murders and then fled The Chief Superintendent and the Chief Inspector who is Rebus immediate superior are focused on tracking down the man and imprisoning him for both crimes They re under pressure from the police, and from Elizabeth s influential father, to close the case quickly Rebus is convinced that the man s confession is full of holes But he must work around his bosses to follow his instinct on a parallel investigation.Strip Jack was published in 1992 and reflects police procedures and the technology available at that time For example, a telephone booth figures in the mystery in a major way.In the John Rebus mysteries, Ian Rankin makes generous use of words known only to Scots For instance, Both men had zippered their jackets against the snell wind and the occasional smirr Because Rankin is himself Scottish and has lived in Edinburgh for most of his life, I don t hold this against him Certainly, it s easier to excuse than the pretentious practice of some English language writers to sprinkle words and phrases in French or Italian throughout their books.The title of this novel comes from a card game called Strip Jack Naked that is also sometimes known in Scotland, presumably as Beggar Thy Neighbour. Strip Jack by Ian Rankin.The golden age of Scottish mysteries has arrived with Inspector Rebus Mark this story as on the same level as John Dickson Carr at his best.A must read for all addicted to elaborately entangled mysteries. An early entry in the Inspector Rebus series, when he was gentler and kinderwell, at least somewhat This is a short book and a quick and satisfactory read A popular and squeaky clean MP is caught in a police raid of a high class brothel It appears that someone has notified the press ahead of time and they are waiting at the door with cameras ready The MP s wife, daughter of a rich and powerful industrialist, is out of town and can t be located It doesn t take long to find herdead and dumped in a local river But that is just the beginning of a series of strange and twisting story lines that will keep you guessing I did guess who the murderer was but as Rebus would say, it was just an inspired thought.I like the earlier Rebus books since he becomes a nasty piece of work in later stories I would suggest that readers new to the series, read in somewhat of a chronological order to see how the author develops the character over the years. Loved this taut, character rich, smart detective novel In fact, reading this was so freakin satisfying that I felt ticked about the time I ve wasted recently on some new books that were marketed with a lot of vigor but left me wondering how they even got published I was starting to think I was just not enjoying reading any a sad thought But no, just sad excuses being published and promoted How does that happen I thought it was so competitive to get published Oh well.I remember reading that Jean Paul Sartre read detective mysteries for pleasure Sometimes I ve thought, wow, that s sort of embarrassing, isn t it.But not today Ian Rankin writes circles around these ridiculous authors I ve tried lately Life s too short, man I need to trust my gut This is the fourth entry in the Inspector Rebus series I enjoyed it but it was not my favorite of the four I have now read It seemed slow at times but a true police procedural would probably proceed like this while the police interview suspects It centered around a group of childhood friends who kept in touch and socialized over the years A MP Gregor Jack is picked up in a raid at a brothel and the press are there already Inspector Rebus suspects a set up against the the popular MP He tries to locate Gregor Jack s wife as he wants to interview her and find out who could be setting up her husband Gregor Jack s wife leads a separate and different life style than her husband The procedural process begins There is also an investigation in the burglary of rare old books that starts out the book I always enjoy the location of a mystery set in Scotland Inspector Rebus is a tenacious and independent thinker Looking forward to the next book in the series I have a lot of good reading ahead as this book is really an early book in the series. A complex web of college friends now mostly successful adults present some baffling puzzles for Rebus to untangle, not before deaths and not without Rebus losing his hair to fire in a battle to bring justice.