Ian Rankin, Witch Hunt Reviews

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“Witch Hunt ”


written by Harriet Klausner on 10/07/2004

Witch Hunt
Ian Rankin
Little, Brown, Sep 2004, $19.95, 400 pp.
ISBN: 0316009105

They call her Witch because of her abilities to change her identity, "seduce" her opponents and her victims even without meeting them, and complete the kill; she is the ultimate cold blood professional assassin. This "Cassandra Chameleon" is so good at her trade, she is a legend.

New Scotland Yard investigates the sinking of two ships in the same night near Folkestone and off Calais; several counterintelligence agencies worry that the incidents parallel events in other places over the past few years that culminated with assassinations. MI5 fears that the sinking is the calling card of the magical Witch in England to kill a VIP. As the cops follow clues, espionage agencies in Britain and France struggle to cooperate to stop the ingenious femme fatale assassin who obviously targets some worldly figure or why else hire the best? However, this time Witch knows she must be even more cautious to avoid mistakes because besides her hefty fee, this job is personal, which means emotions could hamper judgment.

WITCH HUNT is an exhilarating espionage thriller that hooks the audience once the key cast is introduced and fans get over the fact that Rebus is not here. The story line moves quickly forward with several plots tied together through the Witch link in a sort of Sink the Bismarck kind of way as several groups independently give chase. Separately these various counterspy agencies and police forces know they will fail, but if they can bury their jealousies and work as a team, together they might succeed; that is the timely message that Ian Rankin furbishes in his action-packed multiple perspective Sink the Witch thriller.

Harriet Klausner

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