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A mugging gone wrong ... or murder? A dissident Russian poet is found dead - at the same time a delegation of Russian businessmen arrives in town. For some, it is crucial that the case is closed quickly, clinically and with the minimum of attention. But DI Rebus and DS Siobhan Clarke believe this is something more than a random attack - especially after a particularly nasty second killing. Then, a brutal and premeditated assault on a local gangster puts Rebus in the frame - and he may not survive long enough to solve anything...
At a private school, two teenagers are killed by an ex-Army loner who then turned the gun on himself. Finding the truth will take Detective Inspector John Rebus into the heart of a shattered community. Ex-Army himself, Rebus becomes fascinated by the killer, and finds he is not alone. It seems the man had friends in high places and enemies to spare. And Rebus has secrets of his own. He's fresh out of hospital, with newly bandaged hands, and won't say what happened. But after the death of a criminal he visited, who had been stalking DS Siobhan Clarke, Rebus is the prime suspect...
1: KNOTS AND CROSSES - the novel which first introduced John Rebus. Year 10: BLACK AND BLUE - the breakthrough novel, winner of the CWA Gold Dagger. Year 20: EXIT MUSIC - where Rebus retires...but will he ever be able to leave it all behind?
In the 1960s, the infamous Bible John terrorised Scotland when he murdered three women, taking three souvenirs. Thirty years later, a copycat is at work, dubbed Johnny Bible. DI John Rebus's unconventional methods have got him in trouble before - now he's taken away from the inquiry and sent to investigate the killing of an off-duty oilman. But when his case clashes head-on with the Johnny Bible killings, he finds himself in the glare of a fearful media, whilst under the scrutiny of an internal enquiry. Just one mistake is likely to mean losing his job - and quite possibly his life.
If you were a concerned fan dubious how Rebus was going to fare in retirement, fear not for although in Standing in Another Man’s Grave, he and the familiar surrounding characters had to get their heads round their new positions and in Saints of the Shadow Bible they were still getting used to their new lives, now in this one they have definitely arrived. This is back up to full standard. Taking risks and going his own way as usual, Rebus still doesn’t mind how unpopular he might be with those in authority. In fact he treats his actions as confirmation that his way works, but he would, wouldn’t he? The story is woven around two old gangsters and an up and coming Edinburgh criminal. It is littered with red herrings and twists which are hugely enjoyable plus some more personal stuff especially about Clarke and Fox of the local CID which will delight fans. Excellent. ~ Sarah Broadhurst
Hands in his pockets, Rebus turned to face Cafferty. They were old men now, similar builds, similar backgrounds. Sat together in a pub, the casual onlooker might mistake them for pals who'd known one another since school. But their history told a different story. Retirement doesn't suit John Rebus. He wasn't made for hobbies, holidays or home improvements. Being a cop is in his blood. So when DI Siobhan Clarke asks for his help on a case, Rebus doesn't need long to consider his options. Clarke's been investigating the death of a senior lawyer whose body was found along with a threatening note. On the other side of Edinburgh, Big Ger Cafferty - Rebus's long-time nemesis - has received an identical note and a bullet through his window. Now it's up to Clarke and Rebus to connect the dots and stop a killer. Meanwhile, DI Malcolm Fox joins forces with a covert team from Glasgow who are tailing a notorious crime family. There's something they want, and they'll stop at nothing to get it. It's a game of dog eat dog - in the city, as in the wild. EVEN DOGS IN THE WILD brings back Ian Rankin's greatest characters in a story exploring the darkest corners of our instincts and desires.
Detective Inspector Siobhan Clarke is investigating the death of a senior lawyer during a robbery. But the case becomes more complex when a note is discovered, indicating that this may have been no random attack, and when local gangster Big Ger Cafferty receives an identical message, Clarke decides that the recently retired John Rebus may be able to help. He's the only man Cafferty will open up to, and together the two old adversaries might just stand a chance of saving Cafferty's skin. But a notorious family has arrived in Edinburgh, too, tailed by a team of undercover detectives. There's something they want, and they'll stop at nothing to get it. DI Malcolm Fox's job is to provide the undercover squad with local expertise, but he's soon drawn in too deep as the two cases look like colliding. And meantime, an anonymous killer stalks the night-time streets, focussed on revenge. It's a game of dog eat dog - in the city as in the wild. Even Dogs in the Wild brings back Ian Rankin's greatest characters in a story exploring the darkest corners of our instincts and desires. Read by James Macpherson
There is no detective like DI Rebus - brilliant, irascible and endlessly frustrating both to his friends and his long-suffering bosses. For over two decades he has walked through the dark places of Edinburgh . . . Now Rebus's life is revealed through this complete collection of stories, from his early days as a young DC in 'Dead and Buried' right up to the dramatic, but not quite final, retirement in 'The Very Last Drop'. This is the ultimate Ian Rankin treasure trove - a must for aficionados as well as a superb introduction to anyone looking to experience DI John Rebus, and the dark and twist-filled crimes he has to investigate, for the very first time.
Rebus is back on the force after his time in cold case investigations but he has been demoted to Detective Sergeant. He has also mellowed, lost his spark so do not look for the old Rebus, just enjoy Rankin’s involved, many-threaded plot. We do see the old Rebus resurface towards the end when he uses old methods to solve one of his old cases involving the death of a prisoner some 30 years ago. Before that we have an angry Rebus discovering too much, plus having a no vote for the referendum, which is interesting. ~ Sarah Broadhurst
Recently retired, Rebus is working in a small unit which looks into old, unsolved cases. Still famed for his unconventional methods and still heavily smoking and drinking, he remains in contact with old comrades and villains alike. Fans will know Siobhan Clarke and Big Ger Cafferty, to name a couple, newcomers will be happy just following along. The story involves several missing girls who may or may not be dead. After Rebus retired in Exit Music and Rankin delved into new areas he developed one Malcolm Fox (The Complaints) whom he now ingeniously introduces here into a minor role which we just know will be developed in future books. Interestingly the cold case being investigated is in the north so taking Rebus out of Edinburgh. ~ Sarah Broadhurst Ian Rankin says of the return of Rebus: “I felt there was unfinished business between the two of us. He had never really gone away but was working for Edinburgh's cold case unit. And I knew I had a story that was a perfect fit for him.” Longlisted for the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year 2014. June 2013 Book of the Month.
A series of seemingly random disappearances - stretching back to the millennium. A mother determined to find the truth. A retired cop desperate to get his old life back... It's been some time since Rebus was forced to retire, and he now works as a civilian in a cold-case unit. So when a long-dead case bursts back to life, he can't resist the opportunity to get his feet under the CID desk once more. But Rebus is as stubborn and anarchic as ever, and he quickly finds himself in deep with pretty much everyone, including DI Siobhan Clarke. All Rebus wants to do is uncover the truth. The big question is: can he be the man he once was and still stay on the right side of the law? Read by James Macpherson
A paedophile taking pictures of children at Edinburgh’s Zoo speaks of trouble to Rebus, but it seems others think not. Dilemma. Rankin is so good at throwing up social issues, nutty problems and tricky situations. This is littered with them, as it is with different story lines and references to past cases. It’s beautifully done, intriguing, tantalising but for those not in the ‘know’ it’s not distracting. Not as dark as most, this fairly rips along, it’s difficult to put down.
The Black Book of the title belongs to a brutally attacked colleague and contains baffling coded secrets which Rebus must obviously solve. In a convoluted plot of Edinburgh’s low life we meet arch villain “Big Ger” for the first time and discover his protection racket. This is definitely Edinburgh’s dark side … brilliantly revealed. ~ Sarah Broadhurst
Internet role playing lies at the heart of this stunning novel, one of his best. The Rosslyn Chapel makes a brief appearance, the falls being close by, and Rankin’s consummate plotting is used to its full. This is wonderful stuff, interestingly without the large development of Rebus’ personal problems that more of the other books include.
Winner of Crime Thriller of the Year at the British Book Awards 2005. Very much the thinking man’s mystery, this novel is dominated by racial issues, the thugs and the refugees just outside Edinburgh. It is peppered with a variety of nasty crimes, has Rebus desk-less, further proof of his superiors edging him out, and his side-kick Siobhan becoming that little bit more important to him … but when will they become lovers? This is not his best, but second-best is still great. ~ Sarah Broadhurst
Undeterred by pressure from above to drop a sensitive case, Rebus unearths dirty dealings and conspiracy within many official departments. Along the way we find a tender side to our spiky cop in a novel that eventually brings him a little closer to his estranged daughter. Although his drinking problem is on the increase, this complicated, unhappy fellow, who is not doing too well, demands our sympathy, or at least mine. The blending of political corruption and the development of Scotland’s economy is fascinating. A really good one. ~ Sarah Broadhurst
Gregor Jack MP is discovered in a brothel during a police raid and the tabloids have a field day. It seems he was framed … then his wife is murdered. This takes Rebus away from his gritty Edinburgh into Fife and the highlands as he investigates the world of a successful man. But human failings also happen outside a city, infidelity, jealousy, lust are all explored along with loyalty and respect as Gregor Jack’s chums stick up for him. So Rebus can do ‘upmarket’ too, which is interesting but not as enthralling as underbelly Edinburgh in my mind. This is not a place to start your Rebus trip.
Rebus continues to grow as a character as we spend more time with him. Here his ex-SAS experience is called on in a case that starts at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and swings from the country to Belfast and back. Heavy on the Catholic/Protestant Irish question and rich in low-life, this gives us a mass of plot, Big Ger (from The Black Book) escaped from prison and very dangerous, and a whole lot more to add to our respect for this troubled, unconventional detective.
Rankin, himself now in London, brings Rebus down “to suffer” but basically because he is supposedly an ‘expert’ in catching serial killers. This particular one leaves teeth marks on his victims and hence is nicknamed ‘Wolfman’ which was the original title of the novel. London does not suit Rebus and his relationship with the Met is interesting, lots of Scottish-English rivalry/prejudice and not nearly as much feeling for place that the Edinburgh novels have … But the plot is great, fast and twisted, well written and compulsive as ever with another bruising love affair but sadly to my mind a rather lame ending. ~ Sarah Broadhurst
Full of plot, incidents, twists and turns. At its core is gang warfare, a Nazi war criminal and Rebus struggling with his demon drink and the memory of his daughter. Edinburgh, of course, is at the centre of it all. It is one of his best, complicated, clever and very satisfying.
Rankin is one of the masters of crime fiction and Knots and Crosses is where it all began. Here, we are introduced to John Rebus, SAS paratrooper turned Detective Sergeant. When young girls start disappearing around Edinburgh he is called in to investigate, but the case becomes far more personal than he could ever have imagined as he is sent clues in form of knoted string and matchsticks. Brilliantly plotted and the backdrop of Edinburgh plays as big a part in the novel as any of the characters. I read it in one sitting. Highly recommended. ~ Sarah Broadhurst
Our curmudgeon, with bandaged hands and his bad attitude against authority, particularly his superiors, makes him a prime suspect for a particular case of arson and surprisingly his past comes back to haunt him when there is a shooting in a school which looks like the work of a crazed ex-SAS member. All is made worse by army investigators. With its red-herrings and diversions, this is another excellent yarn. ~ Sarah Broadhurst
Revolving around the new Parliament building and early dark secrets, this has seemingly unconnected cases building to a wonderful, convoluted tale of corruption and greed.
Don’t start your Rebus experience here for this is too full of his despair and failings for you to fully appreciate the man. You need to know him better to get the most out of this. If you do know him then this is terrific. At last his patience has snapped and as a result he is sent for retraining. Now his colleagues are also all officers with attitude problems, some pretty bad, and this makes for an extraordinary tale of good cop/bad cop, but it is for the real fan, not for the casual crime reader. ~ Sarah Broadhurst Barry Forshaw on Ian Rankin and Bill James... Ian Rankin is one of the UK’s bestselling British crime writers. Aficionados admire the gritty, socially committed toughness of his books, along with their vividly realised sense of place. And these are exactly the qualities that may be found in the work of the veteran Bill James, whose astonishing consistency over many years is a continuing cause for admiration. And, like Rankin, James has few equals when it comes to memorable, highly individual dialogue. Fans of Rankin’s Rebus novels – including Resurrection Men – will relish Bill James’ Harpur and Iles novels: start with You'd Better Believe It.
Winner of Crime Thriller of the Year at the Galaxy British Book Awards 2007.A very different Rebus. The darkness and aggressive atmosphere of previous books is much lighter and Rebus himself is a softer, much more sympathetic person – except in his approach to ‘authority’ which has always appeared as much the enemy as the criminals. Siobhan Clarke partners him here and this time has an almost equal share of the book. I had difficulty putting this one down, it is absolutely gripping.
The hunt for the killer of a junkie whose body is found in a deserted building in a very rough housing estate is the backdrop to the second Rebus mystery. He is now an Inspector and courted by Edinburgh’s elite. So Rankin gives us two sides of a great city, although it is the dark side that pushes through this chilling novel and its complex plot. ~ Sarah Broadhurst
All the way through this book the overwhelming feeling is the pathos of Rebus’ lonely life and with only ten days to retirement, what will he do, for this is farewell to Rebus. It is also another brilliant, atmospheric tale with Rebus annoying his superiors, going off at a tangent and facing his old nemesis, Big Ger, again. As always there is a twist in the end and, after the final results, finishes with a cliff hanger! Rebus will be sadly missed. The lonely, difficult, drinking, smoking character will leave a large hole, but this is a great farewell. ~ Sarah Broadhurst Shortlisted for the Crime Thriller of the Year Award at the Galaxy British Book Awards 2008.
All the way through this book the overwhelming feeling is the pathos of Rebus’ lonely life and with only ten days to retirement, what will he do, for this is farewell to Rebus. It is also another brilliant, atmospheric tale with Rebus annoying his superiors, going off at a tangent and facing his old nemesis, Big Ger, again. As always there is a twist in the end and, after the final results, finishes with a cliff hanger! Rebus will be sadly missed. The lonely, difficult, drinking, smoking character will leave a large hole, but this is a great farewell.
'And in Edinburgh of all places. I mean, you never think of that sort of thing happening in Edinburgh, do you...?' 'That sort of thing' is the brutal abduction and murder of two young girls. And now a third is missing, presumably gone to the same sad end. Detective Sergeant John Rebus, smoking and drinking too much, his own young daughter spirited away south by his disenchanted wife, is one of many policemen hunting the killer. And then the messages begin to arrive: knotted string and matchstick crosses - taunting Rebus with pieces of a puzzle only he can solve.