Ian Rankin: Even Dogs in the Wild

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Ian Rankin Even Dogs in the Wild
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    Even Dogs in the Wild
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Even Dogs in the Wild: краткое содержание, описание и аннотация

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Hands in his pockets, Rebus turned to face Cafferty. They were old men now, similar builds, similar backgrounds. Sat together in a pub, the casual onlooker might mistake them for pals who'd known one another since school. But their history told a different story. Retirement doesn't suit John Rebus. He wasn't made for hobbies, holidays or home improvements. Being a cop is in his blood. So when DI Siobhan Clarke asks for his help on a case, Rebus doesn't need long to consider his options. Clarke's been investigating the death of a senior lawyer whose body was found along with a threatening note. On the other side of Edinburgh, Big Ger Cafferty — Rebus's long-time nemesis — has received an identical note and a bullet through his window. Now it's up to Clarke and Rebus to connect the dots and stop a killer. Meanwhile, DI Malcolm Fox joins forces with a covert team from Glasgow who are tailing a notorious crime family. There's something they want, and they'll stop at nothing to get it. It's a game of dog eat dog — in the city, as in the wild.

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Ian Rankin

Even Dogs in the Wild


Eventually the passenger ejected the tape and tossed it on to the back seat.

‘That was the Associates,’ the driver complained.

‘Well they can go associate somewhere else. Singer sounds like his balls have been trapped in a vice.’

The driver thought about this for a moment, then smiled. ‘Remember we did that to… what was his name again?’

The passenger shrugged. ‘He owed the boss money — that’s what mattered.’

‘Wasn’t a lot of money, was it?’

‘How much further?’ The passenger peered through the windscreen.

‘Half a mile. These woods have seen some action, eh?’

The passenger made no comment. It was dark out there and they’d not encountered another car for the last five or so miles. Fife countryside, inland from the coast, the fields shorn and awaiting winter. A pig farm not too far away, one they’d used before.

‘What’s the plan?’ the driver asked.

‘Just the one shovel, so we toss to see who breaks sweat. Strip off his clothes, burn them later.’

‘He’s only wearing pants and a vest.’

‘No tattoos or rings that I saw. Nothing we need to cut off.’

‘This is us here.’ The driver stopped the car, got out and opened a gate. A churned track led into the forest. ‘Hope we don’t get stuck,’ he said, getting back in. Then, seeing the look on the other man’s face: ‘Joke.’

‘Better be.’

They drove slowly for a few hundred yards. ‘There’s a space here where I can turn,’ the driver said.

‘This’ll do, then.’

‘Recognise it?’

The passenger shook his head. ‘It’s been a while.’

‘I think there’s one buried somewhere in front of us, and another over to the left.’

‘Maybe try the other side of the track, in that case. Torch in the glove box?’

‘Fresh batteries, like you said.’

The passenger checked. ‘Right then.’

The two men got out and stood for the best part of a minute, their eyes adjusting to the gloom, ears alert for unusual sounds.

‘I’ll pick the spot,’ the passenger said, taking the torch with him as he headed off. The driver got a cigarette lit and opened the back door of the Mercedes. It was an old model, and the hinges creaked. He lifted the Associates cassette from the seat and slipped it into his jacket pocket, where it hit some coins. He’d be needing one of those for the heads-or-tails. Slamming the door shut, he moved to the boot and opened it. The body was wrapped in a plain blue bedsheet. Or it had been. The trip had loosened the makeshift shroud. Bare feet, pale skinny legs, ribcage visible. The driver rested the shovel against one of the tail lights, but it slid to the ground. Cursing, he bent over to retrieve it.

Which was when the corpse burst into life, emerging from sheet and boot both, almost vaulting the driver as its feet hit the ground. The driver gasped, the cigarette flying from his mouth. He had one hand on the shovel’s handle while he tried to haul himself upright with the other. The sheet was hanging over the lip of the boot, its occupant disappearing into the trees.

‘Paul!’ the driver yelled. ‘Paul!’

Torchlight preceded the man called Paul.

‘Hell’s going on, Dave?’ he shouted. The driver could only stretch out a shaking hand to point.

‘He’s done a runner!’

Paul scanned the empty boot. A hissing sound from between his gritted teeth.

‘After him then,’ he said in a growl. ‘Or it’ll be someone else’s turn to dig a hole for us.’

‘He came back from the dead,’ Dave said, voice trembling.

‘Then we kill him again,’ Paul stated, producing a knife from his inside pocket. ‘Even slower than before…’

Day One


Malcolm Fox woke from another of his bad dreams.

He reckoned he knew why he’d started having them — uncertainty about his job. He wasn’t entirely sure he wanted it any more, and feared he was surplus to requirements anyway. Yesterday, he’d been told he had to travel to Dundee to fill a vacant post for a couple of shifts. When he asked why, he was told the officer he’d be replacing had been ordered to cover for someone else in Glasgow.

‘Isn’t it easier just to send me to Glasgow, then?’ Fox had enquired.

‘You could always ask, I suppose.’

So he’d picked up the phone and done exactly that, only to find that the officer in Glasgow was coming to Edinburgh to fill a temporary gap — at which point he’d given up the fight and driven to Dundee. And today? Who knew. His boss at St Leonard’s didn’t seem to know what to do with him. He was just one detective inspector too many.

‘It’s the time-servers,’ DCI Doug Maxtone had apologised. ‘They’re bunging up the system. Need a few of them to take the gold watch…’

‘Understood,’ Fox had said. He wasn’t in the first idealistic flush of youth himself — another three years and he could retire with a solid pension and plenty of life left in him.

Standing under the shower, he considered his options. The bungalow in Oxgangs that he called home would fetch a fair price, enough to allow him to relocate. But then there was his dad to consider — Fox couldn’t move too far away, not while Mitch still had breath in his body. And then there was Siobhan. They weren’t lovers, but they’d been spending more time together. If either of them was bored, they knew they could always call. Maybe there’d be a film or a restaurant, or just snacks and a DVD. She’d bought him half a dozen titles for Christmas and they’d watched three before the old year was done. As he got dressed, he thought of her. She loved the job more than he did. Whenever they met up, she was always ready to share news and gossip. Then she would ask him, and he would shrug, maybe offer a few morsels. She gulped them down like delicacies, while all he saw was plain white bread. She worked at Gayfield Square, with James Page for a boss. The structure there seemed better than at St Leonard’s. Fox had wondered about a transfer, but knew it would never happen — he would be creating the selfsame problem. One DI too many.

Forty minutes after finishing breakfast, he was parking at St Leonard’s. He sat in his car for an extra few moments, gathering himself, hands running around the steering wheel. It was at times like this he wished he smoked — something to occupy him, to take him out of himself. Instead of which, he placed a piece of chewing gum on his tongue and closed his mouth. A uniform had emerged from the station’s back door into the car park and was opening a packet of cigarettes. Their eyes met as Fox walked towards him, and the other man gave the curtest of nods. The uniform knew that Fox used to work for Professional Standards — everyone in the station knew. Some didn’t seem to mind; others made their distaste obvious. They scowled, answered grudgingly, let doors swing shut into his face rather than holding them open.

‘You’re a good cop,’ Siobhan had told him on more than one occasion. ‘I wish you could see that…’

When he reached the CID suite, Fox gleaned that something was happening. Chairs and equipment were being moved. His eyes met those of a thunderous Doug Maxtone.

‘We’ve to make room for a new team,’ Maxtone explained.

‘New team?’

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