Watchman – Ian Rankin

Miles Flint is a watchman. His role is to watch. Nothing more. Miles does not want anything more. MI5 have other ideas.

Britain has a new threat – the IRA. The mainland is being bombed and everyone is nervous. Miles does not want to become involved he has his own problems both personal and professional. However the powers that be have another game they are playing. As well of the IRA all of sudden there are Arabs and Israelis’, newspaper journalists, well known MPs and a trip to Belfast for Miles.

He now becomes a player and not an observer. Tied up in office politics of which he has no control. Rankin provides a book which had elements for me of James Bond and I agree with another reviewer who likens the book to having something of a Le Carre quality to it. Plots like these prove very difficult to review because to do so you may intentionally or inadvertently give something away. Sometimes the only way to explain a book is to give the whole story. That would stand with this book.

For me it was a complex plot that requires attention as it twists and turns, although I was clear what happened at the end, there did not seem to be any loose ends. It is a relatively short novel, any longer and I think it would have lost its impact and I do not believe I would have stayed to the end. This is an early Rankin novel and the first one I have read but I will certainly pick up on of his more popular Rebus books and compare.

I have of course heard of Ian Rankin and Rebus. Although to be honest my knowledge of Rebus is from the very early television series with John Hannah and perhaps the odd one or two with Ken Stott but I have yet to read any Rebus based novels. I was given this book in the goody bag at the newbooks readers day back in April, not realising it was not a ‘Rebus’ novel. It shows you how you can easily assume that an author has only produced one body of work.

I read this book for the Crime Fiction Alphabet for the letter I. However life took over and it was never going to be read and reviewed by the date for that letter. However, I am going to add it to my list for the challenge (found at the tab at the top of this blog) and carry on regardless in true British Fashion. I have a book to be read for letter J and it will help get down the ever growing pile of books that are sent to me from the lovely publishers.

3 thoughts on “Watchman – Ian Rankin

  1. I’ve had this book – unread – for a while now. Somehow I just couldn’t get into it, I suppose it’s because I’m not really interested in books about spies and espionage. But I’ve really enjoyed all of the Rebus books.

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