It's late in the fall in
Rebus discovers that an elite delegation of Russian businessmen is in town, looking to expand its interests. And as Rebus's investigation gains ground, someone brutally assaults a local gangster with whom he has a long history.
Has Rebus overstepped his bounds for the last time? Only a few days shy of the end to his long, controversial career, will Rebus even make it that far?
About the Author
Ian Rankin is a #1 international bestselling author. Winner of an Edgar Award and the recipient of a Gold Dagger for fiction and the Chandler-Fulbright Award, he lives in Edinburgh, Scotland, with his wife and their two sons.
Hometown:Edinburgh, London and France
Date of Birth:April 28, 1960
Place of Birth:Cardenden, Scotland
Read an Excerpt
By Ian Rankin
Copyright © 2007
John Rebus Limited
All right reserved.
Chapter One The girl screamed once, only the once, but it was enough. By the time the middle-aged couple arrived at the foot of Raeburn Wynd, she was kneeling on the ground, hands over her face, shoulders heaving with sobs. The man studied the corpse for a moment, then tried shielding his wife's eyes, but she had already turned away. He took out his phone and called the emergency number. It was ten minutes before the police car arrived, during which time the girl tried to leave, the man explaining calmly that she should wait, his hand rubbing her shoulder. His wife was seated curbside, despite the nighttime chill. November in Edinburgh, not quite cold enough for a frost but heading that way. King's Stables Road wasn't the busiest of thoroughfares. A No Entry sign prevented vehicles using it as a route from the Grassmarket to Lothian Road. At night it could be a lonely spot, with not much more than a multistory car park on one side, Castle Rock and a cemetery on the other. The street lighting seemed underpowered, and pedestrians kept their wits about them. The middle-aged couple had been to a carol service in St. Cuthbert's Church, helping raise money for the city's children's hospital. The woman had bought a holly wreath, which now lay on the ground to the left of the corpse. Her husband couldn't help thinking: a minute either way and we might not have heard, might be heading home in the car, the wreath on the back seat and Classic FM on the radio.
"I want to go home," the girl was complaining between sobs. She was standing, knees grazed. Her skirt was too short, the man felt, and her denim jacket was unlikely to keep out the cold. She looked familiar to him. He had considered - briefly considered - lending her his coat. Instead, he reminded her again that she needed to stay put. Suddenly their faces turned blue. The police car was arriving, lights flashing.
"Here they come," the man said, placing his arm around her shoulders as if to comfort her, removing it again when he saw his wife was watching.
Even after the patrol car drew to a halt, its roof light stayed on, engine left running. Two uniformed officers emerged, not bothering with their caps. One of them carried a large black torch. Raeburn Wynd was steep and led to a series of mews conversions above garages that would once have housed the monarch's carriages and horses. It would be treacherous when icy.
"Maybe he slipped and banged his head," the man offered. "Or he was sleeping rough, or had had a few too many ..."
"Thank you, sir," one of the officers said, meaning the opposite. His colleague had switched the torch on, and the middle-aged man realized that there was blood on the ground, blood on the slumped body's hands and clothes. The face and hair were clotted with it.
"Or someone smashed him to a pulp," the first officer commented. "Unless, of course, he slipped repeatedly against a cheese grater."
His young colleague winced. He'd been crouching down, the better to shine light onto the body, but he rose to his feet again. "Whose is the wreath?" he asked.
"My wife's," the man stated, wondering afterwards why he hadn't just said "mine."
"Jack Palance," Detective Inspector John Rebus said.
"I keep telling you, I don't know him."
"Big film star."
"So name me a film."
"His obituary's in the Scotsman."
"Then you should be clued up enough to tell me what I've seen him in." Detective Sergeant Siobhan Clarke got out of the car and slammed shut the door.
"He was the bad guy in a lot of Westerns," Rebus persisted. Clarke showed her warrant card to one of the uniforms and took a proffered torch from the younger of the two. The Scene of Crime Unit was on its way. Spectators had started gathering, drawn to the scene by the patrol car's blue beacon. Rebus and Clarke had been working late at Gayfield Square police station, hammering out a theory - but no prime suspect - in an unsolved investigation. Both had been glad of the break provided by the summons. They'd arrived in Rebus's wheezing Saab 900, from the boot of which he was now fetching polythene overshoes and latex gloves. It took him half a dozen noisy attempts to slam shut the lid.
"Need to trade it in," he muttered.
"Who'd want it?" Clarke asked, pulling on the gloves. Then, when he didn't answer: "Were those hiking boots I glimpsed?"
"As old as the car," Rebus stated, heading towards the corpse. The two detectives fell silent, studying the figure and its surroundings.
"Someone's done a job on him," Rebus eventually commented. He turned towards the younger constable. "What's your name, son?"
"Goodyear, sir ... Todd Goodyear."
"Mum's maiden name, sir," Goodyear explained.
"Ever heard of Jack Palance, Todd?"
"Wasn't he in Shane?"
"You're wasted in uniform."
Goodyear's colleague chuckled. "Give young Todd here half a chance, and it's you he'll be grilling rather than any suspects."
"How's that?" Clarke asked.
The constable - at least fifteen years older than his partner and maybe three times the girth - nodded towards Goodyear. "I'm not good enough for Todd," he explained. "Got his eyes set on CID."
Goodyear ignored this. He had his notebook in his hand. "Want us to start taking details?" he asked. Rebus looked towards the pavement. A middle-aged couple were seated curbside, holding hands. Then there was the teenage girl, arms wrapped around herself as she shivered against a wall. Beyond her the crowd of onlookers was starting to shuffle forward again, warnings forgotten.
"Best thing you can do," Rebus offered, "is hold that lot back till we can secure the scene. Doctor should be here in a couple of minutes."
"He's not got a pulse," Goodyear said. "I checked."
Rebus glowered at him.
"Told you they wouldn't like it," Goodyear's partner said with another chuckle.
"Contaminates the locus," Clarke told the young constable, showing him her gloved hands and overshoes. He looked embarrassed.
"Doctor still has to confirm death," Rebus added. "Meantime, you can start persuading that rabble to get themselves home."
"Glorified bouncers, that's us," the older cop told his partner as they moved off.
"Which would make this the VIP enclosure," Clarke said quietly. She was checking the corpse again. "He's well enough dressed, probably not homeless."
"Want to look for ID?"
She took a couple of steps forward and crouched beside the body, pressing a gloved hand against the man's trouser and jacket pockets. "Can't feel anything," she said.
"Not even sympathy?"
She glanced up at Rebus. "Does the suit of armor come off when you collect the gold watch?"
Rebus managed to mouth the word "ouch." Reason they'd been staying late at the office so often -ebus only ten days from retirement, wanting loose ends tied.
"A mugging gone wrong?" Clarke suggested into the silence.
Rebus just shrugged, meaning he didn't think so. He asked Clarke to shine the torch down the body: black leather jacket, an open-necked patterned shirt that had probably started out blue, faded denims held up with a black leather belt, black suede shoes. As far as Rebus could tell, the man's face was lined, the hair graying. Early fifties? Around five feet nine or ten. No jewelry, no wristwatch. Bringing Rebus's personal body count to ... what? Maybe thirty or forty over the course of his three-decades-plus on the force. Another ten days, and this poor wretch would have been somebody else's problem - and still could be. For weeks now he'd been feeling Siobhan Clarke's tension: part of her, maybe the best part of her, wanted Rebus gone. It was the only way she could start to prove herself. Her eyes were on him now, as if she knew what he was thinking. He offered a sly smile.
"I'm not dead yet," he said, as the Scene of Crime van slowed to a halt on the roadway.
The duty doctor had duly declared death. The SOCOs had taped off Raeburn Wynd at top and bottom. Lights had been erected, a sheet pinned up so that onlookers no longer had a view of anything except the shadows on the other side. Rebus and Clarke were suited up in the same white hooded disposable overalls as the SOCOs. A camera team had just arrived, and the mortuary van was standing by. Beakers of tea had materialized from somewhere, wisps of steam rising from them. In the distance: sirens headed elsewhere; drunken yelps from nearby Princes Street; maybe even the hooting of an owl from the churchyard. Preliminary statements had been taken from the teenage girl and the middle-aged couple, and Rebus was flicking through these, flanked by the two constables, the elder of whom, he now knew, was called Bill Dyson.
"Rumor is," Dyson said, "you've finally got your jotters."
"Weekend after next," Rebus confirmed. "Can't be too far away yourself."
"Seven months and counting. Nice wee taxi job lined up for afterwards. Don't know how Todd will cope without me."
"I'll try to maintain my composure," Goodyear drawled.
"That's one thing you're good at," Dyson was saying, as Rebus went back to his reading. The girl who had found the body was called Nancy Sievewright. She was seventeen and on her way home from a friend's house. The friend lived in Great Stuart Street and Nancy in Blair Street, just off the Cowgate. She had already left school and was unemployed, though hoping to get into college some day to study as a dental assistant. Goodyear had done the interview, and Rebus was impressed: neat handwriting and plenty of detail. Turning to Dyson's notebook was like turning from hope to despair - a mess of hastily scrawled hieroglyphs. Those seven months couldn't pass quickly enough for PC Bill Dyson. Through guesswork, Rebus reckoned the middle-aged couple were Roger and Elizabeth Anderson and that they lived in Frogston Road West, on the southern edge of the city. There was a phone number, but no hint of their ages or occupations. Instead, Rebus could make out the words "just passing" and "called it in." He handed the notebooks back without comment. All three would be interviewed again later. Rebus checked his watch, wondering when the pathologist would arrive. Not much else to be done in the meantime.
"Tell them they can go."
"Girl's still a bit shaky," Goodyear said. "Reckon we should drop her home?"
Rebus nodded and turned his attention to Dyson. "How about the other two?"
"Their car's parked in the Grassmarket."
"Spot of late-night shopping?"
Dyson shook his head. "Carol concert at St. Cuthbert's."
"A conversation we could have saved ourselves," Rebus told him, "if you'd bothered to write any of it down." As his eyes drilled into the constable's, he could sense the question Dyson wanted to ask: What would be the bloody point of that? Luckily, the old-timer knew better than to utter anything of the kind out loud ... not until the other old-timer was well out of earshot.
Rebus caught up with Clarke at the Scene of Crime van, where she was quizzing the team leader. His name was Thomas Banks - "Tam" to those who knew him. He gave a nod of greeting and asked if his name was on the guest list for Rebus's retirement do.
"How come you're all so keen to witness my demise?"
"Don't be surprised," Tam said, "if the suits from HQ come with stakes and mallets, just to be on the safe side." He winked towards Clarke. "Siobhan here tells me you've wangled it so your last shift's a Saturday. Is that so we're all at home watching telly while you take the long walk?"
"Just the way it fell, Tam," Rebus assured him. "Any tea going?"
"You turned your nose up at it," Tam chided him.
"That was half an hour ago."
"No second chances here, John."
"I was asking," Clarke interrupted, "if Tam's team had anything for us."
"I'm guessing he said to be patient."
"That's about the size of it," Tam confirmed, checking a text message on his mobile phone. "Stabbing outside a pub at Haymarket," he informed them.
"Busy night," Clarke offered. Then, to Rebus: "Doctor reckons our man was bludgeoned and maybe even kicked to death. He's betting blunt force trauma at the autopsy."
"He's not going to get any odds from me," Rebus told her.
"Nor me," Tam added, rubbing a finger across the bridge of his nose. He turned to Rebus: "Know who that young copper was?" He nodded towards the patrol car. Todd Goodyear was helping Nancy Sievewright into the back seat, Bill Dyson drumming his fingers against the steering wheel.
"Never seen him before," Rebus admitted.
"You maybe knew his granddad, though ..." Tam left it at that, wanting Rebus to do the work. It didn't take long.
"Not Harry Goodyear?"
Tam was nodding in confirmation, leaving Clarke to ask who Harry Goodyear was. "Ancient history," Rebus informed her.
Which, typically, left her none the wiser.
Excerpted from Exit Music by Ian Rankin Copyright © 2007 by John Rebus Limited. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is #17, and possibly the final, in the police procedural series featuring Detective Inspector Jon Rebus and his partner Detective Sergeant Siobhan Clarke. The crime initially involves the murder of a Russian expatriate poet, who has taken up residence in Edinburgh, Scotland. The investigation expands to include another related murder and an attack on a local crime boss, Big Ger Cafferty. Street criminals as well as high standing financial and government leaders are equal suspects in this fast moving novel. The trail winds masterfully through a wonderfully detailed cast of characters who have motive and opportunity. This is reportedly Rebus's last case before he retires and his need to clear the details not only of this case, but of some long standing cases linked to a suspect in the current murder,border on obsession. DI Rebus is certainly worth another go round.
Rebus, of course, means a puzzle and the Scottish hero is an enigma. DI Rebus is on the edge of retirement as the novel opens. The case brings old friends and enemies across his path. I won't recap the plot except to say the finale leaves us guessing if the series is ending. Ian Rankin is a Scottish Hammett and writes probably the best cop stories from across the water. (Someone should put out a soundtrack of the music Rebus listens to. He has some of the most interesting musical tastes of any protaganist in detective fiction.)
This is the first Inspector John Rebus mystery that I have read. "Exit Music" by Ian Rankin is supposedly the last story to involve the inspector. Rebus is retiring from the Edinburgh police force, but must deal with the death of a Russian poet, politics, new policemen, an old rival, another murder and his retirement. Not knowing the character, it was hard for me to appreciate some of what was going on, but the mystery aspect is quite suspenseful and entertaining.
You just can't get any better than Rebus. Waited to read the last one till I knew he would return. Rebus is a well developed, believable, very imperfect character; you root for him even when he's at his antisocial worst. You want to call him and ask him over for a drink to listen to some of your favorite tunes. Plots are as fabulous as the genre requires. Rankin's writing is very engaging and smooth.
Nearing retirement, Detective Inspector John Rebus is savoring his last days and readying himself for the change. Edinburgh may become a different place once he loses the protection of his shield; old enemies and hurts have threatened to resurface. Rebus starts to prepare, ties up loose ends, and plans how to fill his days. Then ten days until Rebus's retirement, Rebus and Detective Sargent Siobhan Clarke suddenly land a brutal murder case. The victim is a dissident Russian poet. Though it looks like an mugging gone wrong, Rebus suspects that the death is somehow linked to the elite delegation of Russian businessmen that are looking to invest in Scotland. The murder raises questions and as Rebus digs further, he finds links to an old enemy. But there's growing pressure from local power brokers and politicians to solve the case quickly and quietly. How much can Rebus accomplish before his time is up? Review: Legendary Detective Inspector John Rebus is as difficult, prickly, and engaging as ever. Observant, persistent, and unafraid to overstep, Rebus takes us all over Edinburgh as he uncovers hidden relationships and pieces together the events of that fateful night. Working with the soon-to-be promoted DS Clarke and her new mentee Todd Goodyear, Rebus uses all tools and tricks, calls in favors, and takes us on a thrilling adventure. Engrossing and carefully crafted, Exit Music is a terrific final novel to a legendary series. It's hard to believe that DI John Rebus has retired for good. Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; First US Edition edition (December 2009), 530 pages. Review copy provided by the publisher.
Even though the storyline occasionally dragged, I was sorry to see the book end. I hope Rebus in Retirement gets a look.
For the first time he can remember Edinburgh Police Inspector John Rebus is worried about the future. In ten days, the long time cop is turning sixty, which means mandatory retirement although he does not feel ready to leave the force.------------- Still, Rebus plans to finish his last cases although he only has ten working days left. His prime investigation is the murder of Russian poet Alexander Todorov in which he and his associate Detective Sergeant Siobhan Clarke find no motive, but a horde of odd conspiracies bantered about that include Russian businessmen, Scottish bankers and local politicians rallying behind an independent Scotland. The case turns even more bizarre when a second homicide occurs the victim taped a recital of Todorov reading his work. Increasingly the inquiry points towards Edinburgh crime boss ¿Big Ger¿ Cafferty, but finding proof to pin two murders on the mobster in under ten days seem impossible.---------------- The investigation takes a back seat to Rebus¿ final police case before going into forced retirement. Thus, as good as the previous entries are, this may be the most personal as the emotions are high as fans wonder what will their hero do. EXIT MUSIC is an excellent complicated police procedural as the great John Rebus works what is his apparent last police case.------------ Harriet Klausner
For the first time he can remember Edinburgh Police Inspector John Rebus is worried about the future. In ten days, the long time cop is turning sixty, which means mandatory retirement although he does not feel ready to leave the force.---------- Still, Rebus plans to finish his last cases although he only has ten working days left. His prime investigation is the murder of Russian poet Alexander Todorov in which he and his associate Detective Sergeant Siobhan Clarke find no motive, but a horde of odd conspiracies bantered about that include Russian businessmen, Scottish bankers and local politicians rallying behind an independent Scotland. The case turns even more bizarre when a second homicide occurs the victim taped a recital of Todorov reading his work. Increasingly the inquiry points towards Edinburgh crime boss ¿Big Ger¿ Cafferty, but finding proof to pin two murders on the mobster in under ten days seem impossible.------------ The investigation takes a back seat to Rebus¿ final police case before going into forced retirement. Thus, as good as the previous entries are, this may be the most personal as the emotions are high as fans wonder what will their hero do. EXIT MUSIC is an excellent complicated police procedural as the great John Rebus works what is his apparent last police case.---------- Harriet Klausner
The time I took to read it says everything (1 day)! Its hard to believe this is it and the fact that Rebus' exit is open-ended leaves the possibility he might yet return from retirement. The quality of the plot, dialogue, characterisation and sense of place are as good as ever and will be sorely missed by Rebus fans everywhere. However, I did rather surprise myself by spotting one of the final (minor) plot twists which perhaps was signalled rather more obviously than usual. Highly recommended.
A superb 'exit' for Inspector Rebus when Russian diplomats and poet come to Edinburgh. With the brutal murder of the Russian poet and a seemingly unrelated death of a sound recordist Rebus is hard put to get to the bottom of the crime before his retirement. His protege Siobhan Clark is head of the investigation and looks to be on track to become Rebus' successor.Murder, power and money are at the heart of this tale with the dreaded retirement of John Rebus lurking in the background. I hope this is not the 'end' of Rebus adventures, but if it is - how could Mr Rankin end it like that? Aargh!
Russian businessmen are in town with their wallets out and in their wake a Russian dissident poet is murdered and then our beloved rule-bending DI Rebus manages to get himself suspended a mere three days before his retirement. Doesn't stop him from directing the murder investigation, though - it wouldn't be Rebus if it did. I'm not happy that this is the last book in the Rebus series, but he does go out with a bang, which makes me happy. I've got all the parts I adore about the series in this last installment: fantastic dialogue, great characters, and lots of Edinburgh geography, all tinted with a little bit of Rebus' arch-nemesis, "Big Ger" Cafferty. I can only hope that Rankin comes up with a great way to bring Rebus back at some point in time, but if he doesn't, it's still been a really amazing ride!
With all the crime dramas on TV these days, it's easy to think that cases can be solved in one hour. Exit Music, however, gives us a more realistic view of the time and effort involved in crime-solving. Detective Inspector John Rebus, the star of the novel, is perfectly painted as the veteran detective days from retirement. In addition to the crime, we witness Rebus' misgivings about leaving the force. The injection of this personal unease is humanizing and endearing.This book stands independently of Rebus' previous adventures, which I appreciate as I've never read the other Rebus books. Exit Music is the supposed swan song for Rankin's popular detective, but, without wanting to give anything away, I have a sneaking suspicion that readers will be seeing him again. Perhaps it is just semantics on Rankin's part. After all, it is the last appearance of Detective Inspector John Rebus...future books would see him as a civilian like the rest of us.
This is the latest and last Rebus novel. Well, it¿s the latest. I wouldn¿t bet on it being the last.It¿s good. Really good. It has a decent plot but it doesn¿t need one because, like all great detective fiction it¿s all about the people, the places, the petty procedure, the pantomime of crime. But mainly the people. I like and care about Rebus. And for me he now has a face and voice and it¿s Ken Stott¿s from the television serialisation, which isn¿t a million miles away from whatever I had in mind from reading the earlier books BT (before television). The principal boy (Siobhan Clarke) is attractive and likeable, the comedy relief (Hawes and Tibbet and Davidson) are funny and likeable and even the big, scary pantomime villain (Big Ger Cafferty) is likeable. Ian Rankin sticks within the genre¿s rules and delivers to promise. It¿s the sort of book I want to forget about so I can have the pleasure of reading again.
I seem to be reading a lot of European police procedurals - British cops, Irish cops, and now Scottish cops. I'm becoming a mini-expert in how cops in the British Isles investigate things and in all the nuances of their acronyms. I'm sure I really only know enough to be dangerous, but it's cool to read all the different ways people have to get to the same goal.This book represents the exit of John Rebus, an irascible Scottish cop, who has been featured in 16 other books by Ian Rankin. Rankin writes irascible well and the plot here is fun, if bittersweet. I'm thinking at this point that I need to go back to the beginning and read them all through in order, this isn't the best entry into the series. Having said that, it was a fun book to read and if you like P.D. James (and who doesn't), you'll like these. I wonder what his next series will be like?
While I enjoyed reading this last episode of the Inspector Rebus books, I can¿t say I¿d see any reason for anyone to read it who has not been following the series, unless you're into crabby, alcoholic, detectives who always solve the crime in spite of their self-sabotaging habits.This 18th book in the series begins with a murder committed just ten days before the mandatory retirement of Edinburgh, Scotland Inspector John Rebus, after thirty-some years on the force. At age sixty, he is the longest-serving officer in the Criminal Investigations Department (CID), and manages to accomplish quite a bit in spite of spending a great deal of time drinking. His young colleague Siobhan Clarke will miss his insights when he retires, but not his irascibility or incorrigibly provocative behavior.It begins to appear that the murder of the Russian poet at the book¿s outset is related to the presence of prosperious Russian big-wigs in the city who have ties to Scottish nationalists in Parliament and to rich bankers in Edinburgh. Moreover, somehow Morris Gerald ¿Big Ger¿ Cafferty, a notorious Edinburgh crime boss and Rebus¿s nemesis, is also involved somehow. Rebus has spent most of his career trying to rein in Big Ger, and he senses the possibility that now, at the eleventh hour, he¿ll get his chance.Discussion: The prospect of retirement doesn¿t go down easily for Rebus. He wonders what he will do: the force has been his life for three decades. He can¿t imagine what his life will be without it. His thoughts are morbid and depressing. He muses a lot on the way the city seems to be run by a combination of the underworld and the ¿overworld¿ (rich movers and shakers, ¿with their games of golf and their `quiet words,¿ their stitch-ups and handshakes, palm-greasing and scratching of backs¿). At his retirement party, Siobhan gives Rebus an iPod loaded with music ¿ ¿exit music¿ - but Rebus can¿t let go, and when he does, at the end, it¿s literally by kicking and screaming.Evaluation: Rebus isn¿t the most likeable detective: he¿s nasty, cheap, a know-it-all, and usually drunk or on his way to being so. He selfishly uses the few people he accepts as friends, and pushes away all others. He gets away with it in the storyline because he almost always solves his cases, and as far as his appeal to readers, I have read that it seems to be based on sympathy with his instinctive negative reaction to authority and obsequiousness. I would have to add that Rankin does a great job of portraying a man like Rebus, and good characterization certainly has appeal. Nevertheless, I¿m not unhappy to see him go, and would like to see Siobhan take over a new series, but I suspect we aren't done with Rebus yet!
It seems that Detective Inspector John Rebus, the very popular protagonist of some 20 books by Rankin, is about to retire from the Edinburgh police department in just a little over a week. But he will not be sitting on his laurels in these last days. No, he and his partner, Detective Sergeant Siobhan Clarke, are called to a crime scene of a man beaten to death in a small street, a man who turns out to be a rather well known Russian poet. Before you know it, Rebus finds himself in the midst of an investigation that includes Russian businessmen, Scottish independence, crime bosses, Scottish bankers, politicians, and drugs. As if that is not enough for one book, things get even more complicated when a second murder takes place, a man tied into the first investigation. To top it all off, one of Rebus's nemesis, the local crime boss Big Ger Cafferty, a man Rebus would love to take down before he retires, may be tied into the whole thing as well. It is going to be a very busy week for Rebus.As I said, this is the the latest of many books in the Rebus series, and I have not read any of the previous books in the series. But happily, it is not necessary to have done so to enjoy this one. Now I will admit, not being familiar with the characters or the setting, it took a little while to get into the swing of the book. And even once you get into the book, I will warn you that it is complicated tale and it takes a bit of effort to keep the ins and outs of the various aspects of the plot all straight. But it is well worth the effort.Rebus is a wonderful character, one that I will most certainly have to go back to the previous books to get to know better. He is a bit of a trouble maker in the force and many in power will not be unhappy to see him gone. He is a loner, enjoys his drink, has an interesting taste in music and a personal life we only get a hint of in this book. Now, there is some question whether Rankin will really retire him totally and the ending leaves open a few possibilities to see him in the future. But if he does, that leaves behind the also quite good character of Siobhan Clarke, someone who, one way or another, I hope we see again in the future as well as a few aspects of this story that could be wrapped up. A very well written, if rather complex, police procedural, with some excellent characters, an interesting setting, strongly recommended for fans of police mysteries.
I have a friend that has been urging me to read Ian Rankin for several years now. I've meant to get to this series, and when I had a chance to review this book I jumped on it, even if I had to start at the end.I can see why my friend recommends the series so highly. There were a variety of interesting characters, the mystery was well plotted, and the writing was high quality.On the other hand, I think I was missing some richness because I hadn't read any of the early books. I think having a better understanding of where the characters came from would have made the journey more meaningful.It is a good book on its own, and I recommend it for those that like police procedural mysteries. I'm going to go back and fill in some of the earlier books.
I was very interested in reading this book because I had heard so much about the author and had never read one of his books before, not realizing that would make it difficult to review this as part of a series, so I will review it as a stand-alone. The final in a long-running series, this book was entertaining, the characters full-fledged and mostly long established. Ian Rankin handles his characters well, the interaction is so natural - fun and serious by turns. There is the bull-headed terrier DI John Rebus, 10 days from retirement, fond of old movies and music who likes to test his young assistant on actors and musicians of decades past; DS Siobhan Clarke, his well-trained assistant who proves herself as both faithful and extremely capable; the straight-up newbie Todd Goodyear, and the two DCs assigned to Rebus, Colin Tibbet and Phyllida Hawes. This comprises the core group under DCI Macrae. Excellent police procedural and team play.Rankin's portrayal of the murdered expatriated but acclaimed Russian poet rings true. With a group of Russian businessmen in town, could this be political? Then one murder becomes two, with a slight connection between the victims. With tenuous connections, many red herrings and lies, the case quickly escalates into a masterful puzzle, pitting Rebus and Clarke first against DCI Macrae and later against each other. His old nemesis "Big Ger" Cafferty may or may not be involved. This interplay of characters engenders an almost family feeling, as though the past is a part of the present. It also makes for a fascinating ride and draws the reader into the "family".When the case is taken over by the SCD (SCDEA, Scottish Crime and Drugs Enforcement Agency), and then by DI Derek Starr, I felt the anger along with the rest of the original investigators. With Rebus removed from the case, Clarke proves her mettle and capabilities. I was a little disappointed toward the end, probably mostly on behalf of John Rebus, but also touched. A fit end to a long-standing series. But, fear not, fans of Rankin. He will be with us for a long time yet, and he currently has his latest book "Doors Open" released as of this month. Whether this is a stand-alone or the beginning of another series I was unable to find out but I as a new fan will be looking up some of the earlier Rebus books, and following future books.
This is #17, and possibly the final, in the police procedural series featuring Detective Inspector Jon Rebus and his partner Detective Sergeant Siobhan Clarke. The crime initially involves the murder of a Russian expatriate poet, who has taken up residence in Edinburgh, Scotland. The investigation expands to include another related murder and an attack on a local crime boss. Street criminals as well as high standing financial and government leaders are equal suspects in this fast moving novel. The trail winds masterfully through a wonderfully detailed cast of characters who have motive and opportunity. This is reportedly Rebus's last case before he retires and he is rife to clear the details not only of this case, but of some long standing cases linked to a suspect in the current murder. DI Rebus is certainly worth another go round.
This is another well written Rebus adventure. I liked the treatment of solving the case against Rebus' impending retirement. Then there's still a "gotcha" at the end leaving you scratching your head and saying, "Wait a minute!".
I just finished Exit Music, and enjoyed it very much. I have read several of Ian Rankin's John Rebus mysteries, and will probably buy the rest and read them too. The Scottish setting and well developed personalities of the recurring characters make these books fun to read. Ian Rankin is a good writer who takes the time to paint vivid word pictures, adding to the flavor of reading his books. It wasn't a "can't put it down" book, but I always enjoyed returning to it!
Author keeps me interested in the story with different twists and turns. Doesn't read like your typical American mystery since the setting is in Scotland. I enjoy it so much I'm working on reading the entire series.
Dont have to much fun ☻