Rankin excels at intertwining the settings and the story in that the setting almost becomes a character.
—Pauline Clarke, Chief Superintendent, Winnipeg School Division
Back to school means back to books. Libraries are abuzz with kids in search of a good read. Pauline Clarke knows first hand how important literature and the arts are to a well-rounded education. She is the chief superintendent of schools with the Winnipeg School Division.
So SCENE wanted to know what was at the top of her reading pile and it turns out she's a fan of mystery novels:
It all started in my early teens when I read Edgar Wallace
novels. Although I am presently reading Michael Dibdin's A Long Finish
, for Bookmarked I have chosen an Ian Rankin
The Impossible Dead
is set in Edinburgh and the east coast of Scotland, the same area as Rankin's Inspector Rebus novels, and not coincidentally the area where Ian Rankin lives.
"The Impossible Dead" by Ian Rankin (Orion)
It is the second novel to examine the harsh world of the office of complaints and conduct, led by Inspector Malcolm Fox, whose role is to investigate the corrupt members of the police force.
Rankin excels at intertwining the settings and the story in that the setting almost becomes a character. He depicts the public face of Edinburgh and its surrounds, the "tourist" Edinburgh that many others and I have visited and recognize, alongside the realistic, earthy and gritty side of life where Malcolm Fox and his colleagues ply their trade.
Rankin does it with humour, an unexpected connection from the present day investigation to one of two decades ago and insight into the lonely, sometimes very unhappy life of a decent, scrupulous police officer.
I am looking forward to Rankin's next novel, Standing in the Dead Man's Grave, which brings together a returning Rebus and Malcolm Fox.
On another note as an educator I was excited to find, on a recent visit to the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the children's book Baggage
. Written by Samuil Marshak and illustrated by Vladimir Lebedev, the book was first published in Russia in 1926 and was a best seller in its day. It is a delight!