Saturday, December 09, 2006

Bleeding Hearts - Ian Rankin

Bleeding Hearts
Ian Rankin
Little, Brown and Company


Michael Weston is an assassin known for several things: long-distance shots, shots clean through the heart, and setting off explosions in the area as a diversionary tactic. Weston, far from being an action hero, James Bond sort, is a hemophiliac, not athletic, and not comfortable with messy deaths. In fact, his non-threatening appearance has helped him out of trouble more than once, and will continue to do so.

Readers first encounter Weston in the midst of a hit on a London TV reporter. He manages to complete the hit, but barely manages to escape the police. Obviously, someone tipped off the authorities. But who? To find out, he first has to find out who hired him for the job, and work back from there. His investigation, aided by Bel, the daughter of his armorer, takes him from London to the U.S. And, to add to his troubles, he’s being trailed by one Leo Hoffer. Hoffer, hired by the father of an innocent bystander accidentally killed by Weston during a hit, is a relentless P.I. with a taste for publicity.

This is not a new installment of the Inspector Rebus series, but Rankin fans will still find much to enjoy here. First published (in the U.K.) in the mid-90s under a penname, this is a standalone novel. Weston narrates his passages in first person, giving a real immediacy to his character. The plot contains enough twists, turns, and eccentric characters to keep even the most jaded reader entertained. Don’t start this one too late at night; you’ll stay up much later than you’d planned.

Rating: 8 ½
November 2006
ISBN# 0-316-00912-1 (hardcover)


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