Ian Rankin is known for uncovering Edinburgh’s underbelly in his Inspector Rebus novels, but a different side again is exposed in Doors Open – the dark streak of rich, bored executives; art lovers; and software engineers in the Scottish capital.
Mike Mackenzie is a 37-year-old art collector who is offered a chance to do dirty. The adrenaline is just the hit he has been looking for. Along with Gissing – the art professor, and his banking friend Allan, Mike brings in Chib Calloway, renowned gangster, for some much-needed muscle and expertise.
But as more and more people come into the mix, demands rise, and the secret is stretched to breaking point. Will one’s paranoia be their undoing? Or the mean but civilised Norsk Hell’s Angel called ‘Hate’ who is chasing up Chib for money owed? Have the art-loving wannabe thieves gotten themselves in too deep?
This book is really great fun. If you love heist films like Oceans Eleven, or The Thomas Crown Affair (which are aptly referenced by characters in the book), or if you enjoy general crime fiction there is plenty to keep you entertained. Much of the enjoyment for me came from the Edinburgh setting – the favourite of the 12 cities I visited in UK/Europe in February. Much of the action takes place in areas I wandered.
One reason Rankin has been on my to-read list for a while, too, is due to his charming appearance on ABC’s First Tuesday Book Club in 2008. Next time around I must get the audio book so I can indulge in the Scottish accent!
Overall, an easy and entertaining read with a fair bit of suspense and excitement. Good for summer.