Somewhere deep in the slums of Edinburgh the body of a man is found. All evidence points towards an overdoses, except for one: the man’s body is elaborately staged, with the lower half of his body wrapped in plastic and his arms spread out as if he’s been crucified. A pentagram has been drawn on the wall and candles have been staged around the victim. Inspector John Rebus has been called in to investigate the murder, but finds the whole thing perplexing. Who staged the body like that? What happened to the man’s camera? And who laced the man’s heroine with rat poison?
Hide and Seek is the second installment of the Inspector Rebus series. I quite enjoyed the first one, even if the this-time-it’s-personal angle has been done over and over. Rebus is an interesting guy, not always likable, often grouchy and impossible to deal with (the fact that he’s able to get beautiful women is still a bit iffy and too much male fantasy territory, but at least he can keep his hands to himself). This book improves on the first one somewhat; the writing is a bit less erratic, the plot a bit less obvious.
What I didn’t like was that the plot is rather convoluted. I found it hard to keep track of who did what and why (I’m still not sure who put the rat poison in the heroine, or whether it was even fully disclosed). It didn’t help that everyone Rebus works with seems to be the same person (there’s a Holmes and a Watson). The central mystery is intriguing enough, though, and I liked the eat-the-rich vibe the book was giving off.
I know there are about 20 other Rebus books out there so I’m taking my time, but it’s been a while since I found a series that truly interests me, and I’m curious to see where Rebus will take me next.