Maddi Hausmann's Reviews > Doors Open

Doors Open by Ian Rankin
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's review
Oct 12, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: mystery
Read in October, 2011

Ian Rankin is a great writer. That said, this isn't as good as his Inspector Rebus series, although still quite good. The story isn't a typical mystery, it's a police procedural but from multiple viewpoints, including some obvious bad guys and less obvious conspirators. There is a betrayal twist to it but it's not as central to the plot as in most mysteries.

The plot: a threesome conspire to rob a National Museum warehouse on "Doors Open" day. The more people they bring into the caper, the more complex the problems become, and as we all know, theives fall out. The characters have multiple connections to each other, which keeps cranking up the suspicion and paranoia that somebody's going to talk who shouldn't, or somebody's going to figure something out that will be mighty inconvenient. By the time the group is ready to pull off the heist, it's grown well beyond the three privileged connivers (a banker, an art school president, and a software millionaire) into organized crime, and then international enforcers. Meanwhile, a detective has a bad feeling about all this but the case isn't assigned to him; that said, he'd just love to take down the politically-connected twit who drew it.

Very enjoyable, but a little on the lighter side (as in less bleak) for Rankin. I always loved the noirness of Rebus' Edinburgh, and this has elements of it, but without Rebus' black moods it gave the book a slicker feels. The grittiness of Edinburgh public housing and criminals is there, it's just held back a bit more.

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