In a House of Lies

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 31 Mar 2019

Member Reviews

Ian Rankin is one of my favorite crime novelists, and Rebus is up there with Jack Reacher, Dave Robicheaux, Harry Bosch, and any other renowned character in the genre. Rankin has managed to keep his creation fresh across his 25-book series. In this latest installment, Rebus finds himself involved in a cold case that deals with the found skeletal remains of a private investigator who'd gone missing a decade ago. In the process, a different side of Rebus is revealed, a side he would prefer was left unearthed. This is top-notch crime fiction.
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In this 22nd installment of Ian Rankin’s long-popular series, John Rebus is well into retirement (and suffering from COPD) when asked by his former protégé, D.I. Siobhan Clarke, to assist in her investigation of a body discovered in the boot of a car. The investigation turns more complex with the involvement of a real estate developer and movie producer at odds with each other; the plot deepens when the body is identified as that of a gay private investigator with ties to the Edinburgh police – the subject of an earlier (and now purportedly mismanaged) missing persons case which Rebus had earlier been involved with prior to his retirement. Generational differences – Rebus being the age he is – come into play; in this novel of many colorful characters it is sometimes difficult to keep track of who’s who. In terms of the crime-writing element of the case, I’d rate this 4 stars. However, it marked my first entry into the world of Rebus, so it was perhaps a bit more of a struggle for me than for someone who’s known and loved the character for years. The book interested me enough to make me backtrack – I’ll start from the beginning and read it again once the background becomes more clear. It did occur to me to hope that, given Rebus’s age and growing infirmities, D.I. Clarke may be the future of this (or a new) series. In short – recommended for fans of the series; new readers may want to partake of some of the earlier novels before enjoying this one. But if you just enjoy a complex, multi-faceted murder investigation, this well-drawn mystery may be for you! 
I received an advance reader copy of this title from NetGalley and the publisher; this is my honest review.
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When a body inside the book of a car is discovered by kids, a cold missing person case is reopened as murder. Plenty of figurative skeletons are unearthed as Rebus was an officer involved in the missing persons case which was not handled properly 20 years ago. Clarke and Fox get involved in different aspects of the murder investigation while Rebus continues to poke at Cafferty, trying to tie him to the murder or anything that would annoy him. Then there is the tie in with Steele and Edwards whose attempt to harass Clarke backfired. This title nicely advances the series.
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Everyone has something to hide
Everyone has secrets
Nobody is innocent
A missing private investigator is found, locked in a car hidden deep in the woods. He has ties to the police department from the time that Rebus was there. He is one man who knows where the trail may lead - and that it could be the end of him. 
For some reason, I was under the impression that there were to be no new Rebus stories for a while. I was more than excited that one had finally been written. And it is a good one. I love following the train of the various clues and trying to guess exactly who committed the murder. This one was further complicated by the passage of time. But for some reason, I wasn't as drawn in as I have been in the past. It just seemed like there weren't so many clues and then all of a sudden, it was solved. But that did not hamper my enjoyment of the book. 
I do have the desire to go back to Scotland one day and visit all of the places described in the book. I think that would be such fun. Keep the Rebus books coming so that I can keep reading them until I can visit the scene of the crime.
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Six years ago private investigator Stuart Bloom went missing.  Despite an intensive search and investigation no clues emerged to his disappearance.  The police took a public relations hit as the case was a newsworthy one.  Bloom was involved in a dispute between two prominent wealthy men and there were those who suspected the men were pulling strings to cripple the investigation.  Bloom was gay and his partner's father was a murder investigator in another district and that brought its own publicity and calls of favoritism. 

Now, a car has been discovered in a forest and Bloom's body has been found in the trunk with the ankles handcuffed together.  The forest had belonged to one of the wealthy men, a filmmaker, and now belonged to the other who had bought it as the first man's influence waned and he had to sell assets.  Had it been there all along and the police just missed it?

Now the entire former police investigation is under scrutiny.  Most of the men involved are now retired but that doesn't stop the inquiry.  Inspector John Rebus was one of the men involved in the original investigation and he finds ways to insert himself into this one.  One of his mentees, Siobhan Clarke, is one the investigation and feeds him information.  Malcolm Fox, part of the unit who investigates police inquiries from the inside, is also forwarded over to the investigation.  Will the crime be solved and will careers be damaged due to the first investigation?

Ian Rankin is one of the foremost crime novelists working in Scotland today.  His books are models of police procedurals with strong characters who the reader learns to respect in various cases.  He has a knack for outlining the way that human nature will always insert itself between the police rules and regulations; there are always people who are looking to get ahead, those willing to use a case to pay back a slight or to curry favor with those who can do them good; those investigators who aren't giving their job their all due to personal situations or laziness or just incompetence.  He portrays the give and take of an investigation and the myriad levels of obligations and favors that the best policemen know how to manipulate to solve a crime.  This book is recommended for mystery readers.
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When the skeleton of a private detective missing for a decade turns up in an abandoned car, it isn't long before semi-retired Edinburgh police detective John Rebus is drawn into the investigation with ties to his past. The twisty cold case allows Ian Rankin to assemble the old gang of coppers and crooks -- Siobhan Clarke, Malcolm Fox, Big Ger Cafferty -- and makes In a House of Lies (Little Brown, digital galley) a must for readers of the long-running series. An old pair of police-issue handcuffs on the corpse hints at possible corruption and cover-up on the part of Rebus' former team, or maybe the cuffs are just a leftover prop from the low-budget zombie flick in which the missing man was an extra. Then again, they could be a red herring in a case that involves land deals, drug deals and a plea deal that landed a possibly innocent man in prison. For sure there's something fishy about the "Chuggabugs,'' a pair of shady cops now working in the ACU --Anti-Corruption Unit -- and gunning for the good guys. 
from On a Clear Day I Can Read Forever
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Rebus is back in the game with some of his usual adversaries.  Back to basics he is walking the line between legal and illegal in the pursuit of his vision of justice.
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An engrossing read!  Lucky for us, it looks like Rebus won't ever be truly retired.   Even though his presence is unwelcome by some, his involvement is needed when an old cold case is brought to light by the discovery of a long missing private detective.  The victim's family, never satisfied with the original investigation, once again show up to cast aspersions and create red herrings.  Old colleagues and suspects crawl out of the woodwork and even Rebus falls under the shadow of suspicion.  Ian Rankin has written an intricate plot worthy of both he and Rebus.  Absolutely enthralling! Thanks to the publishers and NetGalley for the opportunity to review this title. #InAHouseofLies #NetGalley
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First published in the UK in 2018; published by Little, Brown and Company on December 31, 2018

A dead body in the trunk of a car, ankles handcuffed together, brings John Rebus out of retirement (again). In 2006, he investigated the disappearance of private investigator Stuart Bloom. Rebus and the other assigned police detectives caught quite a bit of flack for botching the investigation. The dead body that has just been discovered is Bloom’s. Siobhan Clarke is assigned to the team that investigates Bloom’s death. Malcolm Fox is assigned to examine the adequacy of the original investigation.

Ian Rankin offers a full plate of suspects. Two business rivals, one of whom hired Bloom to investigate the other, are primary suspects. Bloom’s lover was the son of a Glasgow police detective. The lover and his father are both suspects. And then there are some gangsters and some people who hung out at a gay club and an overlapping group of people who were part of the local movie industry, Bloom having appeared as an extra in a low-budget horror film before he disappeared.

A couple of cops who investigated Bloom’s disappearance later investigated unfounded complaints against Clarke. One of those cops was employed after hours by one of the business rivals. Their presence contributes to personality clashes and increases the number of suspects who might have done in Bloom.

A subplot involves nuisance calls to Clarke that she assumes are related to a case that she recently closed. Rebus begins nosing into a closed murder investigation as a result of those calls. What he finds leads to a challenging question — when is justice best served by allowing the truth about a crime to remain concealed?

Rebus is interesting because, when he was still on the force, his approach to law enforcement was unorthodox. He got results, but by modern standards, his habit of trading favors with criminals and of protecting his friends is considered bad form. Of course, the true bad guys in this story (apart from the person who killed Bloom) are the dirty cops who hypocritically investigate other cops while covering up their own transgressions. They make Rebus look good by comparison.

The plot is intricate, as a Rankin fan would expect. Everything ties together by the end in ways that make sense. That’s become uncommon in the modern world of crime novels. Rankin also avoids chase scenes and preposterous coincidences and the other pitfalls that mar most of today's thrillers. His technique is to create a mystery and allow the characters he has crafted so carefully over the years to go about their business. Each novel adds a bit of character development (this one suggests the possibility of a romance between Fox and Tess Leighton) while allowing the reader to enjoy the interaction of characters who remain fond of each other, no matter how infuriated at each other they might become.

RECOMMENDED
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Thank you to NetGalley for an advanced digital copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. Here is my review:

In this 22nd novel of the series, Rebus has retired from the police and is not in the best of health, but he still can't keep out of this current case. A body is discovered in an abandoned car trunk and it is identified as a person who went missing several years ago. The investigation at that time was badly mishandled and the officers involved are getting a second look. And guess who one of the leading officers of that investigation was........

Siobhan Clarke is now on her own, having recently had a run-in with internal affairs because of her friendship with a reporter, and trying to live up to what her mentor taught her. At the same time she is having to live down the fact that Rebus and his tactics were not always on the up and up.

A lot of old issues are unearthed in this investigation and a lot of Rebus' previous actions come under scrutiny. But he does get involved anyway and in the end offers valuable assistance in solving the mystery.
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A crime read treat!

A slow start but really heated up as Rebus orchestrates in the background. A dead body missing for some years is found in a rusty burnt out car, the ACU: Police Scotland’s Anti-Corruption Unit is still on the tail of Siobhan Clarke, dirty cops are in full bloom and then there's Rebus lending a hand. A skeleton in situ and skeletons in the closet make for an interesting read. 
Catching the threads and pulling them together is a challenge and in the end our man Rebus stitches them all up.

A NetGalley ARC
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Many authors not just Rankin have allowed characters to age real time which causes a problem as you can imagine when they are no longer of service to the story.
This is one such situation from the incredible Ian Rankin in which the whole thing seemed too long and drawn out, tired characters, not much action, and very little to excite readers interest.
I'm a newbie to reading so even though there are many in this series this is my 1st read so perhaps I need a better getting to know you book rather than mid stream but I'd love to have seen more editing.
As they say too much is too much and with Clarke at the helm it seemed to run away on its own but when Rebus was brought back in it took off in a good way.
Everyone has secrets, everyone has kept something hidden, but not everyone is innocent is the basic premise.
Thank you to Ian, the publisher, NetGalley, and Aldiko for this ARC in exchange for this honest review.
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Rebus may be retired from the police force but he certainly is still detecting. A dead body is found in an abandoned car with a little quirk to it. It turns out to be linked to a case Rebus investigated unsuccessfully years ago. The investigation was a scandal in itself with all types of police misbehavior and cover-ups. The body is never found until now.

  Rebus' protege, Detective Inspector Siobhan Clarke, is involved in the new investigation so she draws him in. It turns out that he has a lot to answer for. There are ties to crime bosses and corrupt cops that must be explored. Clarke starts to receive some nuisance calls and visits to her home. She asks Rebus to investigate which he does with gusto. The solution is a tough one.

  Rebus' health is getting worse so I am not sure how many more cases he can investigate. It's also hard when you are no longer employed in that job so I am glad to spend some remaining time with him. It's a satisfying read.

  Thanks to Net Galley for a copy of this book in exchange for a fair review.
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I am a huge Rankn fan, and am thrilled when a new book comes along, but sadly the latest installment was really dull and boring.  For the first time, it all seemed stale and I lost interest almost immediately.  A real bummer indeed.
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This novel brings ailing but still sharp-witted Scottish police detective John Rebus out of retirement  to contribute valuable but sometimes less-than-welcome assistance to the authorities when the remains of a long-vanished private detective turn up on property linked to former suspects. An intricate, suspenseful plot entwines secrets old and new, both about the cold case and about members of the investigating team, who include Rebus's former colleagues Siobhan Clarke and Malcom Fox. Ian Rankin has created another strong addition to an exceptionally strong series, sure to please fans of character driven police procedurals. Note: The publisher supplied an advance reading copy via NetGalley in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.
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"Rebus' retirement is disrupted once again when skeletal remains are identified as a private investigator who went missing over a decade earlier. The remains, found in a rusted car in the East Lothian woods, not far from Edinburgh, quickly turn into a cold case murder investigation. Rebus' old friend, Siobhan Clarke is assigned to the case, but neither of them could have predicted what buried secrets the investigation will uncover.

Rebus remembers the original case - a shady land deal--all too well. After the investigation stalled, the family of the missing man complained that there was a police cover-up. As Clarke and her team investigate the cold case murder, she soon learns a different side of her mentor, a side he would prefer to keep in the past.

A gripping story of corruption and consequences, this new novel demonstrates that Rankin and Rebus are still at the top of their game."

Rebus! I love a good cop whose retirement just can't stick.
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Intriguing and satisfying, Rankin gives readers another Rebus novel that fans will enjoy. Delving into Rebus' past, this cold case could expose skeletons in many closets. Rankin, as always, manages to build up suspense and uncertainty by providing the reader with unreliable witnesses who prefer to give sketchy details. He is a deservedly respected author, whose plots and characters proceed steadily, if warily through a maze of misdirection, to an unforeseen conclusion.

While the interwoven secondary plot demonstrating Rebus' abilities as a detective is perhaps unnecessary, it is entertaining and a good mystery.
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Consistency at any level is difficult, yet Ian Rankin manages to consistently write first-rate mysteries featuring the always interesting and complex John Rebus.  He continues this feat in  In A House of Lies, his new Rebus novel and one that will be embraced eagerly both by long-standing fans and those who discover the series with this entry.  Although Rebus’ health issues interfere with his ability to give chase or undertake all those physically-centered things he did before he retired, his mind is as sharp as ever, as is his willingness to dig for fact, confront anyone and everyone he thinks can help unravel the mystery, and his loyalties remain strong.  Although Rebus is aging, this reader hopes that he has many more opportunities to solve crimes, old and new.
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I couldn't put this one down. I really have to give Rankin props for bringing the Rebus series back to life - I was a little doubtful when he created Malcolm Fox's character, but Fox has proven to be the perfect foil for John Rebus.

Deliciously twisty, and with just enough of Rebus's maddening magic, In a House of Lies is perfect if you love atmospheric police procedurals. I was also happy to see Siobhan Clarke playing a larger role than she has in the last few books. A superb entry in an excellent series.
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John Rebus does not disappoint in his 22nd outing. Retired and in ill health, Rebus offers assistance to his former partner when a dead body is linked to a cold case Rebus worked on 30 years ago.
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