WATCHMAN by Ian Rankin


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The British Secret Service here is a far cry from the smoothly functioning machine of James Bond and others- Chicanery, politicking, and worse are giving introspective agent Miles Flint a hard time. His marriage is in trouble. He's being blamed for the failure of Operation Latchkey, resulting in the undesired murder of an Israeli gunrunner. Operation Harvest, next in line, has failed to stop yet another IRA bombing in London, already in a state of near hysteria after a series of them. There are hush-hush changes among his coworkers and finally an assignment to Ireland, supposedly to assist in the uncovering of a terrorist cell. Flint soon finds out that it's meant to be his last hurrah. His escape and newfound determination to get to the bottom of things are the best part of an often confusing story that's slow starting but builds to a tense, convincing finale. Slightly disappointing sequel to Knots and Crosses, whose reporter character Jim Stevens makes a peripheral appearance here.
Pub Date: June 1st, 1991
ISBN: 0-385-41809-4
Page count: 192pp
Publisher: Doubleday
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 1991

Kirkus Interview
Ian Rankin
August 11, 2015

Brilliant, irascible and frequently frustrating to both his friends and his long-suffering bosses, John Rebus has made the dark places of Edinburgh his home for over two decades. The Beat Goes On: The Complete Rebus Stories collects all of Ian Rankin's Rebus short stories for the first time, including two never-before published tales written specifically for this collection. From his beginnings as a young Detective Constable in “Dead and Buried,” right up to his dramatic, but not quite final, retirement in “The Very Last Drop,” Rebus shines in these stories, confirming his status as one of crime fiction's most compelling, brilliant, and unforgettable characters. “Rankin’s canny cop is as gray and dour as his Edinburgh beat, but he’s in fine form in these clever, occasionally touching, and often wryly funny vignettes,” our reviewer writes; we talk to Rankin this week on Kirkus TV. View video >


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