Ian Rankin’s A COOL HEAD is a one hour read. Very light read, just 107 pages, written for the BBC’s Quick Read series which “are designed to be read and enjoyed by avid readers and by people who never had or who have lost the reading habit”. The story starts with Gravy, a thirty-something suffering from OCD (Obsessive–compulsive disorder, that’s my guess), working at the graveyard when a flashy BMW drives up to him. From out of the car steps out a friend of Gravy’s, who’s got a bag in one hand and a hole in his chest. Unable to grasp the seriousness of the situation, Gravy thinks this is just another visit from his friend. However, when his friend’s fate is finally met, Gravy feels the need to tell someone. Not to mention deliver the money he’s found in the car.
Meanwhile, gangster Gorgeous George is having a little dilemma of his own. Someone has taken his money. His right hand man has a little problem of his own. A deal that should have been flawless has gone wrong with one man killed and another taking his flashy BMW. The story-line also unfolds a woman who’s in trouble for telling the truth. Two detectives struggle to unfold many mysteries. In just 107 pages, Rankin, has produced a story-line with a bit of wittiness and a bit of black humor. He has shown how in 107 pages, so many lives can affect due to one incidence which is the most humorous tragedy of life.
Again, Rankin, is the master of characterization. He does not put much effort in creating them, I guess, but the characters which he creates are unforgettable. These creations of his are so realistic that a reader can not only visualize but also can feel the essence of each every character.
3 out of 5 from me, for good characterization, and for keeping it short. Recommended to anyone who wants to ‘read’.