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3.0 16
by Ian Rankin
     
 

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Three friends descend upon an art auction in search of some excitement. Mike Mackenzie-retired software mogul, bachelor and fine art enthusiast-wants something that money can't buy. Fellow art-lover Allan Cruickshank is bored with his banking career and burdened by a painful divorce. And Robert Gissing, an art professor, is frustrated that so many paintings stay

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Overview

Three friends descend upon an art auction in search of some excitement. Mike Mackenzie-retired software mogul, bachelor and fine art enthusiast-wants something that money can't buy. Fellow art-lover Allan Cruickshank is bored with his banking career and burdened by a painful divorce. And Robert Gissing, an art professor, is frustrated that so many paintings stay hidden in corporate boardrooms, safes and private apartments. After the auction-and a chance encounter with crime boss Chib Calloway-Robert and Allan suggest the "liberation" of several paintings from the National Gallery, hoping Mike will dissuade them. Instead, he hopes they are serious.

As enterprising girlfriends, clever detectives, seductive auctioneers and a Hell's Angel named Hate enter the picture, Ian Rankin creates a highly-charged thriller, a faced-past story of second guesses and double crosses that keep changing the picture, right until the harrowing finish.

Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
With Detective Inspector John Rebus (Exit Music, 2008, etc.) rusticated by mandatory retirement, Rankin offers a stand-alone about dishonor among thieves. At 37, Mike Mackenzie has more money and time than he knows what to do with. The combination isn't certain to spell trouble, but that's the way to bet it. Having sold his partnership in a white-hot software company, Mike takes his place among Edinburgh's most bored eligible bachelors. By contrast, noted art expert Robert Gissing is far from bored; people with a mission seldom are. Prof. Gissing views himself as a freedom fighter on behalf of artworks. Too often, he insists, masterpieces are imprisoned, locked away from public appreciation in fat-cat boardrooms or neglected and half-forgotten in musty warehouses. He proposes that Mike join a liberation movement: "We'd be freeing them, not stealing them. We'd be doing it out of love." For Mike, it's a wake-up call and a siren song, and his heart races as he prepares to strike a blow. The team soon assembled includes a top-notch forger and a savvy bottom-feeder ready to supply whatever muscle is needed; clearly, not all team members are in it for the love of art. The heist is meticulously planned and carried out with impressive efficiency, but it's when the thieves fall out that the fun begins. Not up to Rankin's best-Rebus, we miss you-but certainly entertaining.
Library Journal
Rankin's (www.ianrankin.net) follow-up to his 17th and final Inspector Rebus novel, Exit Music (Audio Reviews, LJ 1/09)—also available from Hachette Audio and read by James Macpherson—is his first stand-alone thriller since the pseudonymously written Blood Hunt (1994). Here, retired software millionaire/art lover Mike Mackenzie enlists the aid of a banker, a distinguished art historian, an art student, and Edinburgh's leading gangster to rob the National Gallery of Scotland. Mix in a suspicious police inspector, the student's greedy girlfriend, and a particularly vicious Scandinavian thug, and the thieves find themselves in a spot of bother. Rankin offers a bit more humor here than in his beloved Inspector Rebus series; his skill at characterization remains top-notch. Macpherson varies his Scots burr depending on the given character's background, with some of the criminals having close to impenetrable accents. Fans of Rankin, heists, Edinburgh, and art history should find this entertaining.—Michael Adams, CUNY Graduate Ctr. Lib.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780316078788
Publisher:
Little, Brown and Company
Publication date:
09/13/2010
Pages:
362
Sales rank:
576,019
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.10(d)

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