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Witch Hunt

3.61  ·  Rating details ·  1,935 Ratings  ·  144 Reviews
She is an ingenious assassin, with as many methods as identities, a master of disguise with an instinct for escape.... She is Witch, and she makes for alluring prey, teasing her pursuers as she eludes them, hunting her victims with breathtaking creativity, beguiling the most powerful men in the world with her dark beauty and cunning. Witch is wanted by the world's most eli ...more
ebook, 0 pages
Published December 1st 2005 by Little, Brown and Company (first published January 1st 1993)
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Jun 20, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although a very old book, I first got my hands on this book at a bookstall while waiting for a flight from Amsterdam in 2002. I had not finished reading it and due to the arrival and customs, I misplaced and lost it for good. Although, I searched fervently, I could not get a copy of the book again. Recently, though I finally completed my quest.

As for the book, I would like to give it a 3.5 or so. When it was written, it was more of a newer concept. A female assassin. Especially one with a track
Dec 24, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A decent enough spy thriller that becomes better once the individual spy hunters start developing separate personalities, but nothing out of this world fantastic. Witch--an elusive terrorist who is linked to a string of bombings and assassinations by the barest of hints--is an engaging, enigmatic character that eventually falls flat due to the discovery of her ultimate motive. The team tasked with hunting her down are typical archetypes (the new guy looking to prove himself, the smartass, the ve ...more
Barry Martin Vass
This was a disappointment. Witch Hunt is a stand-alone book seperate from Ian Rankin's Inspector Rebus series, and it just doesn't satisfy. It struck me as being very overwritten, i.e., where a few lines or paragraphs would have sufficed, thousands of words and a great many chapters are thrown at us. Remember those old sci-fi pulps where the writers were paid a penny a word? Yeah, like that.
Isca Silurum
Journey better than the ending. Clunky at times it feels like an earlier novel. Aimed at a teenage boy market, well men never grow up!
Jun 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A boat sinks in the channel just off the British coast. Both crew members are killed. A tragic accident? When the security services notice a French boat was sunk that same night in similar circumstances an investigation begins. Special Branch initially believe this to be a case of drugs or arms smuggling but when MI5 get the story they notice similarities between this and a previous case of theirs. Retired MI5 operative, Dominic Elder, is drafted in to the investigation to hunt down his old neme ...more
A far fetched story but well written
Peter Hall
Jan 08, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rankin is my favourite crime writer and having read all the Rebus (and lately Fox) novels set in Edinburgh I'm filling in some of the gaps in my reading of the back catalogue. Rankin wrote what he calls "Airport Thrillers" to keep the money rolling in whilst working on the Rebus series. This stopped when Rebus took off.
Witch Hunt was written under the pen name of Jack Harvey and published in '93. Whilst there are some differences in style there are plenty of the usual qualities of Rankin here.
Jul 14, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A passable thriller. It pushes along at a reasonable rate, and interplays between the three main characters - two young, and one brought back from retirement, and none feeling particularly original. The plotting is fine enough, but the 'twist' and motivation at the end feels flat and a bit implausible - although a terrorist book with that plot feels bizarrely mundane compared to the real life cases now. It's not bad, but with the London and southern England setting, it still feels perfunctory, r ...more
Aug 23, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It started in the Video section of the Library could I resist a film called Rebus ...I love puzzles ... Enjoyed the episodes - different than our American detective shows .. then reading 44 Scotland Street, McCall referenced an author - Ian Rankin hummm familiar sounding name. Ah yes the videos I had watched now I am a fan ...apparently a lot of other people are also as I am on a wait list for the Rebus series ...
Apr 27, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a fast paced read, enjoyable but becoming a little dated as the case might have been solved a lot quicker with the help of mobile phones and the internet! It was written by a young Rankin who clearly thought anyone over 50 was OLD, I wonder what he would think rereading it in his 50's.
Rohit Ranade
finished it in one night(cause the book was due the next day,and till the previous day,could not find myself to read it).But the book started out really well, but slowly started losing its grip, till at the end, the whole plot seems too improbable.on the whole,a boring book.
Caroline Elwood-Stokes
fab book best one yet
rated it liked it
Feb 15, 2017
Alex Marriott
Loved it, although at my own fault, it took me a while to get into it as I didn’t actually read the blurb. I spent the first 100 pages confused about when Rebus would appear. Therefore, a very harsh 3 stars.
A decent thriller that Rankin (writing as Harvey) seemed to leave open-ended with room for a series that doesn't seem to have materialized, unfortunately. I would have liked to see his MI5/MI6 world crossover with his Rebus world at some point.
Jul 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, novel
Interesting work from a favorite author.
Lilly Wood
Feb 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh my lord, the ending.... chilling!
Ian Rankin is one of those names I've never read but always somehow had the impression he was one of those writers who combined mainstream popularity with highly accomplished writing. More of a John Grisham than a Dan Brown, if you catch my meaning. So this book came as something of a mild disappointment.

The tale of authorities in a race against time to locate an assassin is similar in outline to Day of the Jackal, but whereas that is renowned for its well researched authenticity, the standout
Mar 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book. It's very different from the Rebus books, but the plot, though there were parts of it I didn't find wonderfully plausible (there were some very lucky guesses made by the "hunters", for example), made for an entertaining read that kept me interested in what would happen next, right up to the end. Worth a read if you enjoy a good yarn well spun.
Dennis Goos
I read a bit but the story didn't catch for me. I abandoned the book.
Feb 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a really great story, a little dated, but that's not an issue. The twists and turns are gripping and the characterisation is up to Rankin's usual standard.
Jul 11, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 19, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
After devouring three Agatha Christie books in three weeks, I was looking for a way to freshen up this year's August Mystery Month. My father recommended Ian Rankin. "It's certainly not great literature," he would say, but having grown up in Scotland, he was partial to Rankin's vivid descriptions of Edinburgh life.

Of the six or seven Ian Ranking books on my parents' shelves, I chose Witch Hunt, not for any reason other than its size. I have a relatively long train commute each morning, and becau
Oct 28, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
By no means a bad book, Witch Hunt had a complex, well handled and well written plot. The fact that I was listening to it in odd choppy bits of time as work and my attention waxed and waned wasn't to it's advantage but neither was it the book's fault. The decision to name two of the main characters Dominic and Dominique for what seems to be no apparent reason was more than a little annoying. (It probably would have been less annoying if I'd been reading and not listening.) The story has suffered ...more
James D
Oct 27, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another very good Ian Rankin novel! This one is not about John Rebus or Edinburgh. It focuses on a young woman assassin (code name Witch), a retired London detective (Dominic Elder) who's been after her for years, and some younger police in London Criminal Investigation Division. CID is competing with Special Branch and some detective work gets done in spite of the politics. Elder is a Rebus-like loner, obsessed with Witch, who might be responsible, a decade or more past, for killing his only da ...more
Oct 19, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Over the last 20 years, Ian Rankin has not lost his edge. Yes, you have to pay attention, but his thrillers will keep you turning pages. In this exciting book, many law enforcement agencies in several countries are desperately trying to find as assassin known as 'witch '. She is female, attractive and very clever. Is she just an assassin for hire, or does she have a political agenda?? She has been the obsession of Dominic Elder, a retired British spy master. And she is well aware of Dominic and, ...more
Sundarraj Kaushik
Dec 17, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A book on terrorism by Ian Rankin. The book starts with the sinking of two ships along the channel, one on the French side and one on the British side by a lone female anarchist who has been labelled as "The Witch" by the British Intelligence. The secret agencies in Britain start their investigation. Before they can figure out much an Arab banker is murdered.

This brings into picture a key character who is a retried officer. His daughter has been killed in a terror attack plausibly launched by Th
Mar 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I picked this up from my bookshelf after picking up John Deaver's THE EMPTY CHAIR when I checked that I have read this already.

I have fallen in love with Rankin's writing and this has not failed me. This particular book is good because it introduces a character that has no experience in police work but found the link that connects several incidents that involves the Witch.

This book is 'commenting' that police footwork is much better than relying too much on technology. The old schooler showing t
P.D.R. Lindsay
A thriller by Ian Rankin is always going to be an enthralling read and hard to put down. This one is in his spy series originally released as written by Jack Harvey.

The witch is an assassin the intelligence agencies of half the world have been hunting. Now she is coming to London where there is one of those international conferences with most heads of state will be attending. Retired but still wanting to get the Witch is Dominic Elder who believes she bombed the Paris shopping area where his dau
Candy Wood
This is another good Ian Rankin title that isn’t part of the Inspector Rebus series. The main settings are London and Paris, and the action involves intelligence and security services as much as police. What I can’t figure out is why it’s labeled “Jack Harvey #1.” There are several characters I’d be glad to read more about, especially Dominic Elder, Joyce Parry, Michael Barclay, Dominique Herault, and John Greenleaf, but there’s no Jack Harvey in the book, not anywhere there. Quick Google search ...more
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Christine Jones? (spoiler) 1 4 Oct 25, 2013 04:45AM  
  • Blood at the Root (Inspector Banks, #9)
  • Fatal Frost (Detective Jack Frost Prequel, #2)
  • Dirty Money (Parker, #24)
  • Cold in Hand (Charles Resnick, #11)
  • Dead Ground
  • The Fire Engine That Disappeared  (Martin Beck, #5)
  • The Veiled One (Inspector Wexford, #14)
  • Shadow
  • The Iron Tiger
  • Koniec świata w Breslau
  • The Dead of Summer (Anders Knutas #5)
  • Dans les bois éternels (Commissaire Adamsberg, #7)
  • Trust Me (Cover Me, #2)
  • Hard News (Rune Trilogy, #3)
  • Toxic (Seamus Moynihan, #1)
Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

A pseudonym used by Ian Rankin.
More about Jack Harvey...