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Doors Open by Ian Rankin
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Jan 24, 2010

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Read in January, 2010

Rankin, Ian. DOORS OPEN. (2010). ***. This in not an Inspector Rebus novel, but features instead Inspector Ransome. The plot involves the theft of art work from a storage facility by a group of mis-matched individuals who want to do so for a variety of reasons. A perfect plan is devised. Once a year, Edinborough has “Open Door Day,” in which the doors of offices and facilities not normally open to the public are open for the one day and tours are allowed, facilitated by the various staffs. The crew plans to take the limited tour of the arts storage facility and, in the process, steal a selected number of paintings and replace them with high-quality fakes. Then, one of the thieves would later attest to the authenticity of the replacement paintings and be trusted since he was a professor of art at the local university. Obviously, if nothing was found to be missing, there would be no theft to be reported. Each of the “gang” was motivated by a different reason. Mike, the money man of the group, and a retired computer business millionaire, was simply bored, and felt that this was a good way for him to obtain some paintings that were never likely to come up for sale. Allen, an employee of a large bank, saw it as a way to obtain art that his corporate employer could never have hanging on its walls. It would put him one up on his employer and add greatly to his self-esteem. The pit in the pudding, however, was the addition of an underworld character who would supply the additional hands needed for the job and the weapons needed to instill fear in the guards and staff of the museum storage facility. The theft goes off like a charm. Soon however, the various agendas of the various members take over and the gang members begin to turn on each other. Especially violent is the heavy in the group, who needs the proceeds of the heist to pay off a debt he owes to a drug cartel in Denmark, who has sent over a collector, a crazed Hell’s Angel named Hate, to help collect the money. When it come right down to it, the various gang members realize that they have all been tricked by the originator of the plan, and end up with nothing. This is a good thriller by a highly regarded writer, but is not up to his usual standards. The many twists and turns of the plot require a serious suspension of disbelief on the part of the reader, and even tax those disbeliefs of serious Rankin fans.
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