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Witch Hunt: A Novelby Ian Rankin
Synopses & Reviews
She is a Witch, and she makes for alluring prey, teasing her pursuers as she eludes them, hunting her victims with breathtaking creativity, beguiling the most powerful men in the world with her dark beauty and cunning. Witch is wanted by the world's most elite police agencies and doggedly pursued by three very different detectives. Two are at the beginning of their careers, and one is staking a lifetime's experience on tracking her down. Working with and against each other, crossing paths and crossing swords, the detectives must stop her before she pulls off her most daring assignment yet — a killing whose repercussions will reverberate throughout the world.
"In this rather tepid thriller, Britain's security services are thrown into a tizzy thanks to the mysterious female superassassin known as Witch, who changes disguises and personae at the drop of a hat, carrying out hits and gravitating ominously toward the vulnerable heads of state at a London summit. Witch should be a potent femme fatale, combining female penchants for dressup and masquerade, social infiltration and sexual manipulation with male tendencies toward violence and lone-wolf alienation. But Rankin's attempts to get inside her head fall a bit flat. Glamorous on the outside, this lady assassin is dull on the inside; Witch has a touch of feminist outrage but spends most of her time dourly mulling over the details of upcoming hits. The novel often ditches her to take up the richer psychologies of the detectives tracking her, the incessant bureaucratic infighting and turf battles among various police and intelligence agencies, and a knockabout romance between an English spy-bloke and a French spy-gamine on Witch's trail. Rankin (Resurrection Men, etc.) is more comfortable with drawing-room mystery than spy thriller here; much of the action is interior, revolving around probing interviews and crossword-puzzle clues, and the terrorist-spectacular plot eventually deflates into a family melodrama. Rankin piles on lots of absorbing assassin and police procedural sleuthing, but it's all in pursuit of a routine case. Agent, Peter Robinson. (Sept. 21)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"[A] gritty, multilayered yarn about an ingenious femme fatale....Regardless of locale, Rankin's hard-boiled tales are compelling, original, and chilling as a Scottish mist." Booklist
"[T]ightly spun and suspense-ridden....Witch Hunt keeps you guessing....[Witch is] an elusively cool character...and fascinating to watch....Her real goal, when discovered, is as simple as it is inevitable and astounding." Providence Journal
"[M]emorable characters, a complex and intriguing plot, and a strong sense of place....This espionage thriller/mystery will please Rankin's fans and should attract many new readers to his other works. Highly recommended." Library Journal
"[A] well-paced thriller with something for everyone: drama, mystery, romance, and humor." BookReporter.com
"A formidable presence in Rankin's precision-tooled plot." Marilyn Stasio, New York Times Book Review
Now in paperback: from the Edgar Award-winning author of Resurrection Men — a pulse-pounding, stand-alone thriller about the hunt for a cunning female spy with deadly allure.
She is an ingenious assassin, with as many methods as identities, a master of disguise with an instinct for escape.... She is Witch, and she makes for alluring prey, teasing her pursuers as she eludes them, hunting her victims with breathtaking creativity, beguiling the most powerful men in the world with her dark beauty and cunning. Witch is wanted by the world's most elite police agencies, doggedly pursued by three very different detectives - one woman and two men. Two are at the beginning of their careers, one is staking a lifetime's experience on tracking Witch down, and all three display a professional determination that veers dangerously close to obsession. Working with and against one another, crossing paths and crossing swords, the detectives on her trail must stop her before she pulls off her most daring and ingenious assignment yet, a killing whose repercussions will reverberate throughout the world. The intricate deceits and confidences that lead Witch to her latest target inspire an elaborate chase, but no matter how fast her pursuers track her, no matter how expertly they anticipate her every move, Witch always remains one step ahead of the game. With time growing short, it seems she will elude authorities again - but an unexpected link to her own mysterious past may upset her streak of calculated terror. Edgar Award winner lan Rankin delivers a novel of espionage that rivals the classics of the genre, confirming his stature as one of the modern masters of suspense.
About the Author
Ian Rankin was born in the Kingdom of Fife in 1960. In 1997 he was awarded the Macallan Gold Dagger for Fiction for Black and Blue. His subsequent Rebus novels have all been international bestsellers. He lives with his wife and two sons in Edinburgh.
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