Rebus in the house (again)

23 03 2019

In a House of Lies by Ian Rankin



Everyone has something to hide
A missing private investigator is found, locked in a car hidden deep in the woods. Worse still – both for his family and the police – is that his body was in an area that had already been searched.

Everyone has secrets
Detective Inspector Siobhan Clarke is part of a new inquiry, combing through the mistakes of the original case. There were always suspicions over how the investigation was handled and now – after a decade without answers – it’s time for the truth.

Nobody is innocent
Every officer involved must be questioned, and it seems everyone on the case has something to hide, and everything to lose. But there is one man who knows where the trail may lead – and that it could be the end of him: John Rebus.

It feels like Rebus is having the most active retirement imaginable. Despite being largely focused on walking his dog and avoiding cigarettes and alcohol, Rebus still seems to find time to get completely embroiled in a new/old case. Naturally this brings out many a skeleton, metaphorical and in one case literal, from lots of closets for Rebus to get mixed up with.

Hard to believe after all these years but this is a series which continues to entertain and this is one of the best to date with much to challenge and stimulate. Definitely recommended.


The old devil

4 11 2017

Rather Be the Devil by Ian Rankin


John Rebus can’t close the door on the death of glamorous socialite Maria Turquand. Brutally murdered in her hotel room forty years ago, her killer has never been found.

Meanwhile, Edinburgh’s dark heart is up for grabs. Young pretender Darryl Christie may have staked his claim on the city’s underworld – but has criminal mastermind and Rebus’ long-time adversary, Big Ger Cafferty, really settled down to a quiet retirement? Or is he hiding in the shadows until Edinburgh is once more ripe for the picking?

Old Enemies. New Crimes. Rebus may be off the force, but he certainly isn’t off the case.

Rebus just never actually retires. And he never seems to forget about any of his old cases either. But who would not want him on their side when Big Ger is around. It’s the usual cracking read from Rankin and let’s hope there are still more to come from everyone’s favourite old devil.


four stars

Can’t complain

28 12 2010

The Complaints by Ian Rankin

Another not a Rebus novel from Rankin, this time featuring a bit of a different kind of copper, Malcolm Fox:

Fox is part of the unpopular Complaints & Conduct department of the police force (better known as ‘The Complaints’) — and the reason for that unpopularity is clear to see: this is the department designed to root out corruption in the force and investigate suspect officers. The current target for Fox is policeman Glenn Heaton of the CID, who has often sailed close to the edge; now there appears to be material for a case against him. But at the same time, another cop, Jamie Breck, is suspected of being part of a ring indulging in child abuse.

It’s not bad and shows that Rankin can leave Rebus behind and still deliver a distinctive policeman as a very good lead character, in Edinburgh, and provide an entertaining plot with a number of very good twists. Worth a go.

[Read on ipad]

On Rebus

27 01 2008

The Rebus books by Ian Rankin

Have not mentioned the Rebus series before but in the past four or five years have read them all. OK, only just. Iwas going to wait for Exit Music to appear in paperback but then just couldn’t delay any longer and have just finished it. Generally, I avoid the Waterstones’ crime section, but was finally persuaded by the weight of highbrow reviews of Rankin to give him a go.

And am pretty glad I did. Despite the often grim subject matter I have found them all to be an easy read with really strong characterisation, not only of Rebus and those closest to him but other more transient individuals too. And a gritty and real Edinburgh is pretty prominent in most of the books too.

So, overall, good fun and really great entertainment. The soundtrack to Rebus’ life is not one I would choose for a minute (generally stuck in the early 70s) but despite this he is a genuinely interesting and sometimes almost likable rather than an annoying and curmudgeonly rebel (which is generally others’ view of him).

This is, I think, the full list in order

Rebus Series:
1 Knots and Crosses (1987)
2 Hide and Seek (1991)
3 Tooth and Nail (1992)
A good hanging (short stories)
4 Strip Jack (1992)
5 The Black Book (1993)
6 Mortal Causes (1994)
7 Let It Bleed (1996)
8 Black and Blue (1997)


9 The Hanging Garden (1998)
10 Dead Souls (1999)
11 Set in Darkness (2000)
12 The Falls (2001)
13 Resurrection Men (2003)
14 A Question of Blood (2004)
15 Fleshmarket close (2005)
16 Naming of the Dead (2006)
17 Exit Music (2007)

All highly recommended but don’t ask me to remember which one is which.

%d bloggers like this: