A very solid "Rebus" story, confirming Ian Rankin very much back to form after the somewhat disappointing Malcolm Fox books. A well constructed plot, with some interesting new villains emerging - seeds for future stories? - and two well-past-their prime main characters including of course Rebus himself. He's the scruffy character steeped in IPA and cigarettes, in his element in the thick bluish smoke haze of bar rooms in old British pubs. James Macpherson's narration is superb, although some may find the Scottish brogue a little thick - I thought it was 5 stars.
The Scots accent for Rebus that I cannot reproduce in my head if just reading
Top 10, but maybe the mystery itself isn't as developed and tangled as he usually does it, so not a top 5. But the joy of having Rebus back and exploring another stage of his life (retirement) make this definitely worth a credit if you are already a fan.
Much better than Rankin's recent Complaints books; he is on firm ground with his old characters here.
Thankfully, Ian Rankin has brought Rebus back from retirement, to the chagrin of his superiors and Rankin's newer protagonist, Inspector Malcom Fox. Fans of Rebus will not be disappointed. Those new to this series should go back and read/listen to earlier entries first. This audio production was excellent, portraying Rebus as a unique combination of Falstaff, Columbo, and Sam Spade with a Scottish accent.
I was glad to see a new John Rebus tale, but the performance is the worst I've ever encountered. I manage lots of accents and variances of the mother tongue, but the fellow who read the book was frequently unintelligible. I can't really review the story. I have to fight really heard and replay frequently to get the story, but a lot is just lost. I suppose there are people who can understand but it is as if the publisher wanted to put a thumb in your eye to remind you that if you're not a native Scot then you don't deserve an audio rendition you can understand. Please have someone else record this book and monitor the intelligibility of the performers in future.
I have to admit that I'm only a few hours into the book, so my review may be updated if the book changes dramatically. So far it is fine. I'm headed to Scotland in a couple of weeks, and I wanted to prepare myself with a few hours listening to the accent and perhaps getting a whiff of Scottish culture thorough an easy listen. I was a bit concerned given the reviews that suggest the accent of the reader is difficult to understand. It seems quite clear to me - try listening to the dialogue of the movie, "Trainspotting" if you want a real challenge! I can't guarantee you'll love the story, but I wouldn't worry about understanding the narration.
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Lovely addition to the Rebus series. slowly been consuming Ian's work. Sad that I'm catching up.
Good listening experience
John Rebus is nearly to the end of his career as one of the old time cops in Scotland. There's a lot of driving and going to pubs and drinking and going out to smoke, which is fitting for the character and paints a picture of the setting of the story as well as Rebus' life in general, but does slow the progress of the story a bit. However, having been to many of the towns in Scotland that were mentioned, I personally appreciated the travel aspect, and the story did wrap up well. It's not like it was a page-turner, but was good none-the-less. I especially love this narrator. Excellent accent and great with different characters.
I loved the twists of political intrigue in telling of the detective work in cold cases set in Scotland. The narration brought joy to my ears having grown up with Scottish brogue in my home, but I admit that some might find it harder to listen.