A Good Hanging (Inspector John Rebus Series)

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Overview

Twelve remarkable, gritty stories starring Detective Inspector John Rebus in his home city of Edinburgh, as only Ian Rankin can portray it: not just the tearooms and cobbled streets of the tourist brochures, but a modern urban metropolis with a full range of criminals and their victims?blackmailers, peeping Toms, and more than one kind of murderer. It's a city like any other, a city that gives birth to crimes of passion, accidents, and long-hidden jealousy, and a city in which criminal minds find it all too easy ...

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A Good Hanging (Inspector John Rebus Series)

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Overview

Twelve remarkable, gritty stories starring Detective Inspector John Rebus in his home city of Edinburgh, as only Ian Rankin can portray it: not just the tearooms and cobbled streets of the tourist brochures, but a modern urban metropolis with a full range of criminals and their victims—blackmailers, peeping Toms, and more than one kind of murderer. It's a city like any other, a city that gives birth to crimes of passion, accidents, and long-hidden jealousy, and a city in which criminal minds find it all too easy to fade into the shadows. As dedicated readers of the series well know, nobody is better equipped to delve into Edinburgh's back alleys and smoky pubs than Rebus, and no one better able to illuminate his world than Ian Rankin.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A...but beautifully written series." — The New York Times Book Review
Publishers Weekly
For his 13th Det. Insp. John Rebus volume, Ian Rankin (The Falls) has traded the full-length police procedural for a collection of 12 gripping stories. The king of tartan noir puts his popular Scottish "heart attack material" supersleuth to work investigating arson, a ghostly vision, a converted ex-con and the "perfect murder" in A Good Hanging's fast-paced mini-mysteries. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Although Edgar Allen Poe proved that it was possible to craft a satisfying short mystery, there is always something disatisfying about that form: under its limitations, the plot contrivances are more obvious and the character development skimpier. First published in England in 1992, this collection of 12 tales reflects those flaws, but it also features Detective Inspector John Rebus, Rankin's police hero, and his fascinating city of Edinburgh. From the hanging of a young actor to a confessed murderer's declaration of innocence, the enigmatic and secretive Rebus solves these cases, much to the chagrin of his inferiors (and superiors): "How was he [Holmes] expected to shine, to be noticed, to push forward to promotion, when it was always Rebus who, two steps ahead, came up with the answers?" These stories are slight but enjoyable. Budgets allowing, purchase for your Rankin fans; otherwise, stick to Rankin's more complex and compelling novels like The Falls. Wilda Williams, "Library Journal" Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Nothing more than 12 character studies, perhaps-but the character they're studying is probably the most interesting man in detective fiction, the quintessential thinking man, Edinburgh DI John Rebus. It's fascinating to watch him ratiocinate his way through a schoolgirl's enforced suicide ("The Gentlemen's Club"), his old nemesis "Trigger" Crawford's revenge on a drug dealer ("Auld Lang Syne"), a peeper's comeuppance ("Tit for Tat"), an alibi that breaks down, rises again, then crumbles ("Not Provan"), a Hammett cliche ("The Dean Curse"), and a hanging that turns out to be manual strangulation (the title story). Rebus, per usual, groans at pathologist Dr. Curt's puns-most noticeably in "Seeing Things"-reconstructs and then deconstructs a murder scenario in "Concrete Evidence," believes a murderer when he recants a confession in "Playback," and sorts through fantasy and fact as they wend their way through Frank the tramp's brain in "Being Frank." And while "Monstrous Trumpet" finds Rankin in a playful mood and Rebus confronting his Francophobia and a passel of man-baiters, it is the brief "Sunday" and Rebus's reaction to murdering a thug that most worries his perpetual underling, Constable Brian Holmes-and sticks with the reader the longest afterward.
From the Publisher
"A...but beautifully written series." — The New York Times Book Review
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312980009
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 1/5/2004
  • Series: Inspector John Rebus Series
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 6.72 (w) x 10.88 (h) x 0.89 (d)

Meet the Author

Ian Rankin

Ian Rankin is the worldwide #1 bestselling writer of the Inspector Rebus mysteries, including Knots and Crosses, Hide and Seek, Let It Bleed, Black and Blue, Set in Darkness, Resurrection Men, A Question of Blood, The Falls and Exit Music. He has won an Edgar Award, a Gold Dagger for fiction, a Diamond Dagger for career excellence, and the Chandler-Fulbright Award. He has been elected a Hawthornden Fellow, and received the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for his contributions to literature. He graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 1982. He lives in Edinburgh, Scotland, with his wife and their two sons. 

Biography

"I grew up in a small coal-mining town in central Scotland. I was always interested in stories. Even though the town had no book stores (and my parents were not great readers), I made full use of the local library. It was mind-boggling to me that (at the age of 11 or 12) I could not gain access to a movie theatre to see such classics as The Godfather, A Clockwork Orange, or Straw Dogs, yet no one stopped me from borrowing these titles from my library. Books seemed to have about them a whiff of the illicit and the dangerous. That was all the encouragement I needed. I went to university in 1978, joined a punk band (on vocals), and continued to write a lot of song lyrics and poems. However, I found that my poems were actually 'telling stories', and so started to write short stories.

A few of these found publication and even won some awards. Then one story raged out of control and became my first novel. It was never published, but that didn't matter: I was now a novelist. I stumbled on Detective Inspector John Rebus by accident while attempting to write an update of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde: Rebus would be my Jekyll, his Hyde a character from his past. Along the way, I discovered that a cop is a good 'tool,' a way of looking at contemporary society, its rights and wrongs. Rebus, I decided, would stick around. Meantime, I finished unviersity, moved to London for four years (where I worked first as a college secretary, later as a hi-fi/audio journalist), then rural France for six years. Both my sons were born in France. By the time the oldest had reached school age, we'd decided to move back to Scotland. I now live and work in Edinburgh, and the Rebus novels have gone from strength to strength in terms of sales and recognition."

Author biography courtesy of Little, Brown & Company

Good To Know

Before making it as an author Rankin held a wide variety of gigs, including working in a chicken factory, as a swineherd, a grape-picker, and a tax collector. He even performed as the frontman of the short-lived punk band, The Dancing Pigs.

He has broken Irvine Welsh and Iain Banks's records, with six titles in the Scottish top 10 bestseller list simultaneously.

His favorite/inspirational books include pretty much anything by James Ellroy, Ruth Rendell, and Raymond Chandler—plus classics of Scottish Literature such as Robert Louis Strevenson's Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, James Hogg's Confessions of a Justified Sinner, and Muriel Spark's The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. Other "desert island" titles include Martin Amis's Money, Anthony Burgess's Earthly Powers, Anthony Powell's A Dance to the Music of Time and Ian McEwan's First Love, Last Rites.

His favorite web site is http://www.oxfordbar.com — the official web site of Rebus's favourite Edinburgh tavern!

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    1. Also Known As:
      Jack Harvey
    2. Hometown:
      Edinburgh, London and France
    1. Date of Birth:
      April 28, 1960
    2. Place of Birth:
      Cardenden, Scotland
    1. Education:
      Edinburgh University
    2. Website:

Table of Contents

Playback 1
The Dean Curse 23
Being Frank 49
Concrete Evidence 63
Seeing Things 87
A Good Hanging 109
Tit for Tat 137
Not Provan 157
Sunday 175
Auld Lang Syne 189
The Gentlemen's Club 205
Monstrous Trumpet 225
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 9 )
Rating Distribution

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(5)

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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2012

    A must for Ian Rankin "Inspector Rebus" readers.

    Some writers have a natural talent for spinning good stories into novels but struggle writing an effective short story. The opposite is true as well, but short story collections suffer in the marketplace. Ian Rankin shows a remarkable talent for not only writing in both formats but also to accomplish it with a cross-over character in Inspector Rebus. These stories compliment the novels but read well as stand alone mini-cases. They could have been story ideas that just didn't flesh out to full novels or even side stories to larger cases, but they ended up here as well written shorts that are great reading. Enjoy.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 5, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Nice change of pace

    Before John Rebus was too grizzled for his own good, Ian Rankin wrote this treasure of short stories about him. Some are serious, others light-hearted, and all are entertaining. I have the entire Rebus collecion and this stands out among my favorites.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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    Posted January 3, 2012

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    Posted July 16, 2014

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