Resurrection Men by Ian Rankin: Book Review

I’m on a roll now with Ian Rankin’s Rebus books. Resurrection Men is excellent, so good that I couldn’t wait to get back to it each time I had to stop reading. And when I finished it I immediately got out the next book in the series A Question of Blood, which promises to be just as good.

Resurrection Men isn’t about body-snatchers (as I wondered it might be), but about the cops who need re-training, including Rebus. They’re at Tullialian, the Scottish Police College and they are a tough bunch indeed, ‘the lowest of the low‘ as one of them, DI Gray tells a witness he is interrogating:

We’re here because we don’t care. We don’t care about you, we don’t care about them. We could kick your teeth down your throat, and when they come to tell us off, we’d be laughing and slapping our thighs. Time was, buggars like you could end up inside one of the support pillars for the Kingston Bridge. See what I’m saying? (page 326)

To help them become team players – fat chance of that I thought – they’ve been given on old, unsolved case to work on. But Rebus was involved in the case at the time and begins to get paranoid about why is on the course. It’s a tough, gritty story and as with other Rebus books, there’s more than one investigation on the go, several, in fact, needing concentration to keep tabs on each one. Siobhan Clarke is now a DS and with Rebus away she is in charge of the case of the murdered art dealer. Siobhan is getting more and more like Rebus and has a much bigger part in this book than in previous books.

Rankin is great on characterisation – they’re all credible, I feel I know the main characters. His dialogue rings true to life and I felt like a fly on the wall throughout, a bit uncomfortable at times as Rebus gets into tricky situations and tries to work out who he can trust. Both he and I were unsure right to the end.

5 thoughts on “Resurrection Men by Ian Rankin: Book Review

    • Thanks, Kerrie. I am reading them in order and after A Question of Blodd there are only three more! I’ve read his post-Rebus books too, so just some of his earlier non-Rebus books left after that! I’ll be getting Rebus withdrawal symptoms.


  1. Nice review Margaret. My interest in Rebus’s series has increased. So far I’ve read only one, The Naming of the Dead. I have Resurrection Men in my TBR pile and has just moved up to the top places.


  2. Margaret – I’m very glad you enjoyed Resurrection Men and I think your terrific review is spot-on. Rankin does create some wonderful characters, doesn’t he? And this one is a guesser : ).


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