Review

Witch Hunt

by Ian Rankin



Ex-Special Branch agent Dominic Elder comes out of retirement to
aid with the investigation of a boat explosion when it appears that
his long-time nemesis, a chameleon-like assassin dubbed merely
Witch, may be responsible. The fishing boat sank in the British
Channel during the wee hours of the morning, and the evidence
points to murder. Using the boat as transportation from France,
Witch left a subtle trail to announce her arrival in England. But
she also left a message --- a personal one for Elder. Bluntly, she
warned him: Don't bother looking for me. You won't find me. I will
find you.

But that is the least of Special Branch's worries, if Elder's
intuition proves correct. He has seen her work firsthand and knows
her to be a truly frightening enemy, an enemy who always seems one
step ahead of the authorities. Who does Witch have in her
crosshairs this time?

It is due to the sharp eyes of young Michael Barclay that the
investigation is launched at all. His thoroughness, however, lands
him in hot water with his boss, who sends him to France in
Inspector Doyle's footsteps to meticulously retrace his every move.
Finally understanding the need to think outside the box, Barclay
uncovers a new lead --- with the help of a resourceful police
escort, Dominique. Aside from her invaluable translation (his
French is, at best, meager) and guidance around Paris, Michael
finds her deliciously attractive. But he manages to conduct a
fairly good investigation despite his growing personal
interest.

Back in England, Elder badly wants to capture Witch. It almost
seems like a personal vendetta. In an effort to cover all bases, he
takes Doyle and another inspector under his wing, realizing his own
skills have softened during his years away from the game, years off
after an abrupt retirement following an operation tersely referred
to as Silverfish, nothing more.

With the upcoming summit of world leaders to be held in London,
Witch's target seems obvious. Maybe too obvious. Elder and his team
follow the leads she feeds to them, but wonder whether they are
gaining on her or if it's all a merry chase.

WITCH HUNT is a well-paced thriller with something for everyone:
drama, mystery, romance, and humor.

Reviewed by Kate Ayers on January 24, 2011

Witch Hunt
by Ian Rankin

  • Publication Date: August 1, 2005
  • Genres: Fiction, Thriller
  • Mass Market Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
  • ISBN-10: 0316010383
  • ISBN-13: 9780316010382