It has been said that 99% of success is just showing up; if so I ought to be mega-successful by now because half my days are spent just showing up at my desk and hoping that something will happen. I’ve done a bit of work this week on some short stories I’m writing but after that I just ground to a halt. I really hope there’s something amiss with my thyroxine levels because otherwise I’m facing a deep, persistent and unexplained tiredness that just won’t quit. I manage all right in the mornings but in the afternoons I struggle to keep awake.
In the meantime I’ve been reading. I’ve finished the Millicent Fawcett book and I’m onto Ian Rankin’s latest, A Song for the Dark Times. (SPOILERS AHEAD) This is very enjoyable so far, though you can’t help wondering how much more life is left in poor old Rebus; he’s coping right now but he’s had to move to a ground-floor flat because of his COPD and his car is hardly healthier than its owner. In this story his daughter is accused of murdering her partner and Rebus heads up to Tongue, on the North-East coast of Scotland, to get up everyone’s nose in his inimitable way. Meanwhile in Edinburgh, Siobhan Clarke and Malcolm Fox are embroiled in the unexplained murder of a wealthy Saudi student, a tangled story in which Cafferty has also become embroiled and which seems somehow to connect to the events in Tongue.
I was wondering whether Rankin still had it – not that there’s any reason to suspect his powers as a writer have diminished, but because Rebus is so much a part of what he does. The characters of Clarke and Fox are interesting, the dynamic between them is engaging and the storylines as good as ever, but there’s no-one like Rebus – and Rebus surely can’t live much longer. Mind you, we thought that about Leonard Cohen – and then he went and released an album after his death, so we can’t give up on Rebus just yet. Anyway, it’s recommended for any fans and whatever doubts I may have had about it are thoroughly dispelled.
Today I’m going to take another stab at my short stories, then I’m going out for lunch and this afternoon I shall probably grind to a ….
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