I’ve had Hide and Seek since January and I’ve read it now. Such a shame. I think it’s because the book was playing Hide and Seek with me, not allowing me to read it. And with that, we continue the tradition of lame jokes for ever Book Recommendation.

Hide and Seek was written back in 1991, hence is free of much of the complexity of modern books. Hide and Seek follows Inspector John Rebus. It is one fine day when John Rebus finds a dead body in a squat in Edinburgh. The dead body is of Ronnie, a drug addict who apparently overdosed on a batch of Heroin, after a dry spell where he didn’t get a fix. Rebus notices the body, laid out seemingly in a satanic pose, maybe as a sacrifice to the devil himself. In another room in the squat, there is a pentagram. The body, Ronnie, is full of cuts and bruises, as though beaten up. And there is a pouch of fresh heroine with the body. It seems like any other drug overdose. Yet what Rebus discovers, in parts of his own accord, and at times being catalysed into action by certain acts.

Rebus is the main reason you will stay hooked onto this book. That’s because, the plot of the book is OK. It’s the plot you know that seems very simplistic but is not. There is a huge conspiracy surrounding it. The plot seems all over the place, with too many characters and too many stories. It’s not that they aren’t impactful, but it’s just too much. Even the climax is unable to hit you that well. There are a few moments in the climax, but it is too, I don’t know. Maybe baffling or convenient or farfetched. I couldn’t make sense out of it. The plot just didn’t work for me.

It’s Rebus. Rebus is the one for whom you’ll be reading this novel. Rebus starts off as this run of the mill, everyday cop who has nothing special about him. Pining over the fact that he’s become old. Thinking about his old lover. Being an ass to his juniors; calling them names. Showing signs of humanity and pity for other people. But a great cop. The way he works, though you might not be approving of it, he gets results. He thinks things through and works hard and gets results. He’s an ass to his juniors for a reason. And he’s sharp. And he’s experienced. He knows how most things work and how to tackle situations. But at times even he can be beaten, despite the experience. Rebus is the winning point of the book, because he comes off as a great and real cop, but most of all as a relatable human.

 There were very few things that I liked about this book other than this. Maybe it’s because I didn’t read the book properly. Rushed it a bit too much for this Book Recommendation. I don’t know. But a few more things I appreciated. Such as the fact it is also a much focused book. It deals with the case. Only the case. There are no shenanigans per say and there I very little straying from the case in the narrative; though like I said, the number of stories relating to the case itself are too many.

And the narrative. Ian Rankin has written in a third person perspective. He usually follows Rebus in the narrative, but at times also follows other secondary characters, to provide more information regarding the plot. While it was fun, sometimes the fact that the portions of the narratives were too little to actually enjoy them.

All in all, Hide and Seek is not a bad book. It is a good book. Might actually be a great book. I still don’t know if I read it properly. It feels weird. I can’t think of much about the book. It’s a 250 page book, so maybe all of you can give it a steady and brisk read and tell me whether I’m right!


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Published by Shrey Ahuja