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book reviews

May 8, 2023

“I believe neither in luck nor in destiny, I trust only the science of probabilities. I have studied mathematical statistics, combinatorial analysis, mass functions, and random variables, and they never have held any surprise for me.” Over the past weeks, I read  both second and third volumes of The Mirror Visitor series, by Christelle Dabos, […]

a journal of the [less] plague and [more] pestilence year

July 10, 2022

Read Rankin’s last Rebus, A song for the dark times, which takes place between Edinburgh and the Far North (of Scotland). I reasonably enjoyed it, by which I mean I was not expecting novelty, but rather reuniting with a few characters, including the Teflon villain, Big Ger Cafferty, still around at his craft. Rebus is […]

Laidlaw [book review]

January 21, 2020

I read William McIlvanney’s Laidlaw [in planes last week] after I saw it recommended as a pre-Rankin novel. Which inspired the whole tartan noir literature. Including Rankin’s books, most obviously. The book is set in 1970’s Glasgow, which sounds rougher and grittier than when I was visiting the West End two decades later. The city […]

in a house of lies [book review]

August 7, 2019

While I found the latest Rankin’s Rebus novels a wee bit disappointing, this latest installment in the stories of the Edinburghian ex-detective is a true pleasure! Maybe because it takes the pretext of a “cold case” suddenly resurfacing to bring back to life characters met in earlier novels of the series. And the borderline practice […]

blood hunt [book review]

October 28, 2018

I realised just lately that I had not read the early non-Rebus novels of Ian Rankin (written as Jack Harvey) and thus ordered cheap used copies of three of these, which waited for me on my (new) desk when I returned to Warwick. The first one I tried is Blood Hunt, a 1995 conspiracy novel […]