Book Dragon is Reading - FaceOff, edited by David Baldacci


2. In The Nick Of Time [John Rebus vs. Roy Grace] by Ian Rankin vs. Peter James

I want to call this a nice little morality play but I’m not sure that’s quite right. Guy’s on his deathbed, insists on making a confession of the time he got away with killing someone back in the sixties during the Mods and Rockers riots.

Well of course you don’t just take someone’s word for that so Rebus has to head down to Brighton and follow up on this with Grace. As it turns out, our confessor got it mixed up and didn’t kill who he thought he had; instead he disabled someone else who is quite eager to make an ID.

The morality play part comes in when they head back up to Edinburgh to get that witness confirmation. The confessor has had a miraculous remission of his cancer and wishes to recant his words to Rebus now that he has a future to lose again. It is of course far too late for that now. As the cops noted earlier, had he confessed the guilt gnawing at him back then he would have served his sentence by now. How much that might have distorted his life away from the now in other details is not touched upon.

I would be tempted to look into the stories of Peter James more except the way Grace’s assistant Norman Potting kept flirting with Rebus’ assistant Siobhan Clarke put me a bit off that idea.