John Rebus

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Review: Ian Rankin’s latest Inspector Rebus novel proves he’s one of the masters of crime writer

RankinDogsPicking up a new Rebus book is like meeting with an old friend who you haven’t seen for a while but with whom you are instantly comfortable and in whose company you are completely certain that life is going to be anything but dull. In Even Dogs in the Wild, Ian Rankin’s 21st in the series, the Edinburgh detective has finally retired, and it’s appropriate that we first make contact with Rebus in Edinburgh’s Oxford Bar, his favourite watering hole.

His friend, and former colleague Detective Inspector Siobhan Clarke (Shiv) is investigating the high-profile murder of a senior barrister, formerly Scotland’s top law officer, who was shot with a cryptic threatening note found nearby. Clarke is a bend-don’t break-the rules pragmatist who knows how to operate in the highly political Police Scotland bureaucracy.

Rebus returns

Rebus is back, as cynical, manipulative, unorthodox and brilliant as ever.

It is fortunate that writer Ian Rankin decided not to follow his instinct and kill off Detective John Rebus when he felt the character had run its course. Instead, in Exit Music, released in 2007, he decided to pension of what is probably one of crime fiction’s most celebrated characters

Despite lcomplaints from fans, Rankin stuck to his guns and spent the next few years writing books about the antithesis to Rebus, Malcolm Fox, who works for Edinburgh’s internal affairs unit.


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