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“Blood Hunt ”

Written on: 21/02/2006 by Harriet Klausner (18637 reviews written)

Blood Hunt

Ian Rankin

Little, Brown, Mar 2006, $24.95

ISBN: 0316009113

Former English Special Forces soldier Gordon Reeve is stunned to learn his brother Jim, a California freelance reporter, committed suicide. Gordon, who runs a survival course for weekend warriors on remote Skivald Island off South Uist, Scotland, has a problem with accepting his sibling killing himself, even though the two barely stayed in touch. Still, he flies to San Diego to bring the body home and to learn what happened.

SDPD Police Officer Mike McCluskey explains to Gordon why the department ruled his brother's death a suicide, but knowing Jim, even if they were not close, his gut screams homicide. Deciding to follow his instincts and ignore the cops, Gordon begins to make enquiries into who would want his sibling dead by looking for why, starting with Jim's work that reference Agrippa, which leads him to his siblings investigation into the illegal deadly activity of Co-World Chemicals. Fueled by rage, Gordon confronts his enemies, leaving corpses in America and Scotland as he seeks the truth, which detours back to his days during the Falklands campaign.

Don't mess with Gordon keeps the fast paced plot moving at a frantic action packed level that grips the audience from start to finish, even as the storyline switches gears from amateur sleuth to global conspiracy, and finally to past military vengeance (against perhaps an even more crazed individual). Readers will realize how smooth Ian Rankin is, as he shifts the gears effortlessly through his raging protagonist, following one clue after another while leaving plenty of work for the undertakers. Though this is not a Scottish Inspector John Rebus novel, Gordon's lunacy makes for a delightful wild ride.

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