Sunday, March 26

Blood Hunt by Ian Rankin

Review by Gloria Feit

            Gordon Reeve is a former soldier, having served in the SAS/Special Forces, now in business doing survivalist training over 72 hour periods, at his property in Scotland.  His even-keeled life is interrupted one day by a phone call telling him that his brother, James, a journalist, has been found dead in San Diego, California, his death apparently a suicide.  Gordon flies out to the States, alone, his wife and son staying at home.  What he finds leads him to have serious doubts that his brother committed suicide, and he becomes convinced that he was murdered.  He returns home to Scotland, having had his brother’s body cremated in the US, and continues his search to find what his brother was working on that had caused him to go to California and led to his death.  Relentless does not begin to describe his quest.
            Reeve discovers ties to a huge international company, and finds that tracking down his brother’s past movements in that direction, and his own now, has inherent problems when he contemplates exposing the truth of what he finds: “as long as companies like them are throwing money at advertising departments, publishers will love them, and the publishers will see to it that their editors never print anything that might upset Sugar Daddy.”  The plot takes the reader from Scotland to San Diego to England, France, Wales, NYC and Washington DC, with plenty of nerve-jangling suspense as it goes roaring into its denouement.
            The author delves into Nietzsche and other philosophers of that period; he quotes David Hume thus:  “A man, brought to the brink of a precipice, cannot look down without trembling,” and indeed begins the book with the line  “He stood on the edge of the abyss, staring down.”  
            Mr. Rankin’s writing, as we’ve come to expect from this author, is wonderful, and seems to effortlessly carry the reader along with him.  This is an author who never disappoints.
            Blood Hunt was originally published in 1995 in the UK under the author name of Jack Harvey, as, IIRC, are all Mr. Rankin’s book not in the Rebus series.


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