Monday, 5 April 2010

My Dad Reviews...Doors Open - Ian Rankin

Well, that's me just back from a few days away to the lovely Fife coast.

OLD DOGS is out today and I still can't quite believe it. Thanks to all for the good wishes online and offline. There's still time to enter the competition to win a copy. Just leave me a note in the comments or send me an e-mail with the first line of the book you are currently reading and you will go into the shoe. In fact, I've had so many entries I shall now have to draw them out of a boot. And I am giving away three copies instead of two. I will draw the winners at the end of this week.

And now, since I am feeling tired and lazy after a weekend of jollification, I managed to bully my Dad into doing another review for me. So, courtesy of my Dad, here's a review of Ian Rankin's DOORS OPEN. He assures me that he's not included any spoilers. Take it up with him if you think otherwise. Just a reminder first of all of my Dad's tastes:

DISLIKES: romance, books that have too much swearing in (I guess that's my Dad not going to read my next book either, then - I thought it was just my Mum I had to keep away from it). Also doesn't like horror, and books with vampires, pterodactyls and the living dead in them. Also, something called an ungoliant. No, I have no idea either - I think my Dad has been at the sherry.

: thrillers, spy novels, war stories and books with elves in (the elves can swear their little heads off as far as he's concerned). Oh, and maps. He bloody loves maps. If you ever meet him, for goodness' sake don't ask him for directions. Not even to the bathroom.

PREFERS: Philip Marlowe to Miss Marple, Inspector Morse to Homicide.

DOORS OPEN - Ian Rankin
Publisher: Orion
Published: August 2009
First Lines: 'Mike saw it happen. There were two doors next to one another. One of them seemed to be permanently ajar by about an inch, except when someone pushed at its neighbour. As each liveried waiter brought trays of canapes into the saleroom the effect was the same. One door would swing open, and the other would slowly close. It said a lot about the quality of the paintings, Mike thought, that he was paying more attention to a pair of doors.'

A story of intrigue, scams and violence. DOORS OPEN is the tale of a Fine Arts theft in Edinburgh. The main character is Mike Mackenzie - a self made millionaire. Mike believes that the theft of pictures which belong to the main art galleries in the city, but which are in storage, will go undetected. With the aid of Alan Cruickshank (a bit of a wimp), Professor Robert Gissing (a dreamer with big ideas of making a name for himself), and an art student/forger they all call Westie (a sad case of being under the thumb*) the stage is set. Mike, who is not a serious criminal, enlists the aid of a local criminal, Chib Calloway (an Edinburgh hoodlum who has got in with the wrong crowd**) who provides the necessary muscle and dubious expertise.
The robbery goes according to plan, then begins to fall apart, with the perpetrators falling out with each other, because unknown to them Chib has a dark secret which is personalised in a foreign criminal with tattooed fingers (a thoroughly bad egg***).

Read the book to find out more, I can promise that, once picked up, it is a book that is difficult to put down.

Donna's Dad

Thanks Dad. I just have to point out a couple of things though...
The phrase 'under the thumb' appeared to be typed with great feeling. I have no idea why.
** I'm not sure whether an Edinburgh hoodlum who has got in with the wrong crowd means he's drinking tea with the ladies who lunch, but...
*** only my Dad could say that and get away with it.


  1. Gorgeous picture, but aren´t your feathers a bit darker than the last time we saw you?

  2. It had better be a lovely boot. And you do remember I don't need to be drawn - or even painted - don't you?

    Maybe you shouldn't pay so much attention to your Dad's likes and dislikes? Did he do the same for you? Force him to read ... well, something. New. Different.

  3. Dorte - it's my new look :o)

    Bookwitch - it's a DELICIOUS boot. And are you suggesting that I should make my Dad read something he wouldn't normally? He still hasn't forgiven me for making him read OLD DOGS.

  4. I will ignore the slur. Just because I take notice of MOST of the instructions (it makes for a quieter life)does not mean to say I am under the thumb. I operate a philosophy of selective deafness.

  5. Getting your dad to review is the best idea I have ever heard. I'm going to make my Dad read the new Safran Foer book about vegetarians and see how many times he uses the phrase "skinny hippies."

  6. Mr. Moore, I have a few...just a few, ha...pecadillos, and one is that I very seldom will read a review until after I've read a book. In fact I seldom read any reviews even after reading a book. I like my own opinions enough, and my own tastes enough, all I usually want is a brief synopsis before reading one, to see if it floats my boat; and I'll make up my own mind later, smile.

    All that said, I do read your reviews here. Okay, oncoming praise: Your reviews are to the point, spare but every word counts, and they tell what is needed with never a spoiler in sight (one reason I quit reading reviews), never smarmy or silly, and very well done even if it's not a book I like, the review is well done. And also, I like your terms and Donna's comments with the stars. :-)

    This particular book, I liked very much, and your points are very well done here, thanks for reviewing books for Donna. And Donna, thanks for your comments too. :-)

    That photo of the sea and that bird-awesome! And another huge congratulations on your book's launch!! Yay Donna!

    Thanks for a great column, Moores! :-)


  7. I do like the Rankin books that I've read but not as much as I thought that I would.

  8. I never read reviews.

  9. MJ - isn't that paternal abuse? :o)

    Bobbie - spare and to the point? How UNLIKE my Dad in real life (Oh, I am so getting in trouble for that one!) And thank YOU Bobbie.

    Paul - I guess it depends on how much you were expecting to like them :o)

    Dad - not even your own?

  10. "Thanks for a great column, Moores! :-)"
    I'll second that. The interplay between the two of you is absolutely wonderful. :)