Thursday, 19 January 2017
Rather be the Devil by Ian Rankin
Rather be the Devil finds Rebus in a relationship with pathologist Deborah Quant and dealing with health issues as a result of a life time of neglect. He keeps the details a secret from those around him and dubs the shadow on his lung 'Hank Williams' while he struggles with giving up the booze and fags. Considering we are talking about fictional characters here I have no business at all being as anxious as I am about where all this will lead and how far away the last Rebus mystery may be...
As a retired Detective Inspector he whiles the time away trawling through the old notes of an unsolved cold case forty years earlier, when a beautiful young socialite was murdered in an upmarket hotel at the same time a famous rock singer and his entourage were staying there.
Meanwhile young-gun criminal boss Darryl Christie is assaulted in his driveway,and Rebus's old colleagues Siobhan Clarke and Malcolm Fox are investigating; albeit in a chilly atmosphere as Fox has been promoted to a job which Siobhan covets, at the prestigious Scottish Crime Campus.
As people of interest are injured or killed, the two cases overlap and Rebus is called in to help in a consulting role.
Ian Rankin's Rebus novels are such a treat; the seedy side of Edinburgh and the familiar renegade character of Rebus who is a lifelong non-conformer. Even the criminal element are well known foes from the past.
In this case familiarity does not breed contempt, because Rankin continues to produce well thought- out plots with a richness of characters and relationships.
Reviewed by Katrina
Catalogue link: Rather be the Devil