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Standing in Another Man's Grave (Inspector John Rebus Series #18)

Standing in Another Man's Grave (Inspector John Rebus Series #18)

4.0 34
by Ian Rankin

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It's every parent's nightmare: a fifteen-year old girl has disappeared. She was last seen hitch-hiking along a scenic highway in rural Scotland, and the only other clue is a photograph sent from her phone. Two detectives, one of them retired, are working the case when they learn that there may be other victims out there, stretching back a decade and more. The


It's every parent's nightmare: a fifteen-year old girl has disappeared. She was last seen hitch-hiking along a scenic highway in rural Scotland, and the only other clue is a photograph sent from her phone. Two detectives, one of them retired, are working the case when they learn that there may be other victims out there, stretching back a decade and more. The road itself may provide them with answers, but a complicated case is only made worse by interference from conflicting witnesses, the police department's own Internal Affairs division—and the ominous attentions of the missing girl's gangster stepfather.

On the twentieth anniversary of Ian Rankin's first American publication comes a novel that proves why he is one of crime fiction's most enduring and bestselling authors, a riveting story of sin, redemption, and revenge.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Rankin's iconic Edinburgh copper, John Rebus, who retired in 2007's Exit Music, is now a civilian reviewing old police files in this satisfying crime thriller, which also includes Rankin's new series lead, Malcolm Fox (The Impossible Dead). Rebus butts heads with Fox, an investigator in Complaints, who loathes "old style" cops like Rebus who may have bent the rules to get results. When Nina Hazlitt shows up at Rebus's office, she tells him about her missing daughter, Sally, who disappeared on the A9 roadway in 1999. Though Rebus is initially skeptical, Hazlitt's persistence slowly pays off. Rebus starts taking seriously her theories that the subsequent disappearances of other young women along the A9 are connected, and a task force is formed, including Det. Insp. Siobhan Clarke, Rebus's protégée. The police comb through old case files, and Rebus logs many a mile in his battered Saab, driving the length of the A9 through Scotland, on the hunt for the killer. Rankin's ear for dialogue and sense of place is as keen as ever, complementing his twisted plot. Rebus fans will be pleased to find him as cantankerous as ever, smoking and drinking as if time in the policing world has stood still. (Jan.)
Library Journal
Some people retire gracefully. John Rebus is not some people. It turns out that after leaving the Lothian and Borders Police (in 2007’s Exit Music), bad penny Rebus has returned to the fold as a civilian employee of a cold case unit. Presumably never having seen New Tricks on the telly and so being unaware of how to act properly in those circumstances, Rebus can only resort to his bag of old tricks: getting up the nose of his superiors, meeting regularly with crime kingpin “Big Ger” Cafferty, drinking more than he should, mentoring Siobhan Clarke, much to her professional detriment—and solving crimes. Armed with only a laminated guest pass and an industrial-strength dose of tartan chutzpah, Rebus, when he gets wind of a possible serial killer operating along the A9, the roadway snaking through the desolate landscape between Perth and Inverness, takes his long-running show on the road.

Verdict Fans of this landmark series, now in its 25th year, will cry “Hosannah!” at Rebus’s triumphal return. That the mandatory retirement age for the police force has been raised and Rebus is thinking of re-upping (if he can pass the physical) bode well for the future. As Arthur Conan Doyle might attest, it’s bloody hard to keep a good detective down. [See Prepub Alert, 7/15/12.]—Bob Lunn, Kansas City, MO(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kirkus Reviews
Five years after his last recorded case (Exit Music, 2008), John Rebus returns, and welcome. Now a civilian trolling through cold cases for the about-to-be-dismantled Serious Crime Review Unit of the Lothian and Borders Police, retired DI John Rebus can still drink Scotland's lochs dry, leave conversations in the middle to go out for a smoke, and raise insubordination to high art. When a call comes through from Nina Hazlitt insisting that there are similarities between two recent disappearances and the unsolved case of her daughter Sally, missing since New Year's Eve 1999, Rebus hesitantly agrees that the A9 route through the Highlands, where the girls were last seen, may warrant a closer look. His decision lands him under the baleful eyes of his former ally Siobhan Clarke and her boss and brings him once more to the attention of Malcolm Fox, his nemesis in Internal Affairs, who'd be only too happy to prove Rebus guilty of something, perhaps planned during his fortnightly pub meetings with pastured criminal kingpin Big Ger Cafferty. The A9 isn't the only clue to surface. There's also a photograph the girls sent to friends over the phone on the day they went missing. Trudging back and forth between Edinburgh and several North Scotland villages, Rebus and Siobhan disconcert various police forces, sidestep voracious media types, concentrate on a wrong suspect or two, and are ordered to step down. Rebus, of course, keeps at it, finally scaring a confession out of a perp by engineering one more abduction with the help of a ruthless teenager on track to be the next Cafferty. Rankin deserves every award he's been given: an Edgar, a Gold Dagger, a Diamond Dagger. Surely there's another one waiting for Rebus' thrilling return to the fold.

Product Details

Little, Brown and Company
Publication date:
Inspector John Rebus Series , #18
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.30(d)

Meet 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.

Brief Biography

Edinburgh, London and France
Date of Birth:
April 28, 1960
Place of Birth:
Cardenden, Scotland
Edinburgh University

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Standing in Another Man's Grave 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 34 reviews.
tedfeit0 More than 1 year ago
Old soldiers may never die and John Rebus hopefully will never fade away. After a couple of years in retirement he’s back as a civilian consultant on cold cases (which seems to be becoming a trend in resurrecting protagonists in crime fiction). In the course of this work he is informed by the mother of a girl who disappeared many years before that her daughter may have been the first in a series of disappearances ( and presumably murders) along a northern highway (serial murders apparently are becoming de rigeur among retired detectives as well). And Rebus is off to the wars, albeit with no official standing. Rebus worms his way into an active investigation with the help of his old sidekick, Siobhan Clarke. And he uses all the old techniques frowned upon by his old nemesis, Malcolm Fox, of the Complaints, including consorting with the likes of gangsters such as Rafferty to gain information. While a massive police force goes about the investigation by the book, of course Rebus goes it alone. It’s good to have Rebus back, and hopefully more is in store because the rules have been changed and he has applied for reinstatement. All he has to do is pass the physical. Can he do so, despite all that hard liquor and cigarettes? And, of course, if successful, Fox is looking forward to Rebus making a colossal mistake on the job to justify his enmity. As with all the previous novels in the series, this one is highly recommended.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Mr. Rankin is one of the best authors since he started writing. Can't wait for the next one. Bringing Malcolm Fox into a John Rebus book worked very well.
elizabeth39 More than 1 year ago
Please bring back Rebus again and again and again. The Rebus' personality is perfect for his ability to cross the line during investigations. In retirement, he has more opportunities to do things his way. This book is perfect for displaying his not always acceptable choices to solve a crime. I will miss picturing Rebus traveling the streets of Edinburgh. Rankin makes me see and feel the atmosphere of the city.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a great, dark, mystery about the underbelly of Edinburgh and the detective who is at the end of his career. Rebus is rebellious to his chain of command. He has brilliant analytical powers and insight. He solves the crime, but never makes points with the top brass. This book is for the person who enjoys the dark mysteries that seem to come from the dismal Northern climes. Rebus is in the category of Jo Nesbo's Harry Hole and Wallender. The character has a deep relationship with alcohol and has strained family relationships.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
John Rebus is the old-school detective who does things his own way, which is not always smiled upon by the his superiors. It is his character that really makes for the story. The plot is not one that I think you can really discover until the author reveals it. It is a bit of a "letdown" to not be able to confirm any suspicions as to who did it. Having said this, I still think it is a good read.
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One of the worse books I've ever read. If I got this book at the library I would of taken it back before finishing it. On that, the ending was awful. Save your money.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Tcasscros More than 1 year ago
I was very happy to find that Rankin had not completely given up on John Rebus. I thought it one of the best in the series. With Rebus' normal grousing and grumbling yet finding ways to get the job done. Thoroughly enjoyable.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
His best Rebus to date!! Very enjoyable ..... sad to finish!!
drayce More than 1 year ago
first time I have read a book by Ian Rankin and I put him up their with James Patterson.
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onecoat More than 1 year ago
A mature Rebus with depth and complexity from an accomplished writer. One of my favourites.
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cy-12_34 More than 1 year ago
I had high expectations for this book since I had never read anything by this author. However, the first 233 pages read more like a Fodor's Guide to Scotland. Every highway and city between Edinburgh and the northern tip was mentioned multiple times (along with every scotch distillery) with no action of any kind. And most of the names were unpronounceable. It took 233 pages before they finally found a body. I did enjoy the character of John Rebus: sarcastic, annoying to authorities, smart mouth, a smoker and drinker. Possibly some of his earlier books are better, but not this one.
youngfilly More than 1 year ago
I just finished this book. A typical Rebus story with the inclusion of Rankin's new series. If you like the Rebus series, you will enjoy this. The plot goes right to the end.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
BDEldridge More than 1 year ago
I have waited in great anticipation to read every book in the Rebus series to date - and this one did not disappoint. Rankin does a magnificent job of guiding the reader through the peaty maze of John Rebus' psyche with a warmth and familiarity that belies the unpredictability of both the plot and our old friend John. The same can be said of Rankin - once again on top of his game, his love of Scotland and music played through the narrative as easily as a bagpiper on a leisurely stroll up the Royal Mile. The only thing that was off-putting about the whole affair was that John Rebus' story is shortly coming to an end. And no offence, Malcolm, but the middle is as high as you could ever reach. In my book :)