'And in Edinburgh of all places. I mean, you never think of that sort of thing happening in Edinburgh, do you...?' 'That sort of thing' is the brutal abduction and murder of two young girls. And now a third is missing, presumably gone to the same sad end. Detective Sergeant John Rebus, smoking and drinking too much, his own young daughter spirited away south by his disenchanted wife, is one of many policemen hunting the killer. And then the messages begin to arrive: knotted string and matchstick crosses - taunting Rebus with pieces of a puzzle only he can solve.
©2008 Ian Rankin (P)2011 Orion Publishing Limited
Narrative makes the world go round.
I've stayed away form Rankin previously because of his reputation for dark tales. While this was certainly not cozy, neither was it gruesome. Interesting character, narrative and atmosphere - almost in a league with PD James. If the other Rebus audiobooks are this engrossing, I'll soon use up my remaining annual credits - and between Rankin and McCall Smith, I'm developing an obsession to visit Edinburgh.
The narration was excellent, and looking ahead, I'm disappointed that Macpherson is not narrating the rest of the series.
This is my first Ian Rankin book, and I enjoyed it enough to immediately buy his next one after I finished it. The story is original and interesting, and the narrator is excellent! He manages to tell the story with a fine Scottish accent that fits the setting of the story very well, and at the same time be clear enough to be easily understandable to me as a non-native English speaker.
"An uncertain beginning"
This is the first of the Rebus novels and a relatively gentle introduction to the character, his flaws, his strengths and many of the themes that run through the whole series. These of course includes the vividly described Edinburgh, a struggle against authority, no little dark humour and the demons set to haunt Rebus across the coming decades.
Although expertly narrated by James Macpherson the story is not the best of Rebus, not the most chilling and possibly lacks a little in the usual length and depth. This is a series and character that grows in integrity and intensity as the series develops. It's a good enough start though and anyone new to the series is well advised to begin their journey into Rebus's mind here rather than with a later novel.
"My first Rebus - and definitely not my last!"
Yes. James MacPherson's excellent narration really brought it to life, and I became really immersed in the story.
Rebus of course! I felt sorry for him, the hard-bitten cop with a messy divorce and haunted by the demons of his past. I was rooting for him all the way through the story.
The part where Michael (his brother) hynotises him and he regresses to his army days - I don't want to say too much and spoil it for people who don't know the story. I listened to that chapter twice!
Yes - I was saddened by the scene with Gordon, I didn't want that to happen. I thought it was an awful moral issue.
Thoroughly enjoyed this and am looking forward to listening to more in the Rebus series. Also liked listening to James MacPherson's voice - I would buy other audio-books read by him.
"Good introduction to Rebus"
With a character driven piece, the key to the Audio book is the narrator, and this one left me really looking forward to more. Very invocative of Edinburgh, and generally an involving and interesting read. Thoroughly enjoyed
"New to Rebus"
I've heard a lot about this Rebus character but never read any of Rankins' books. This is a good introduction and really fleshes out the character and plot. Good interpretation by Macpherson and quality recording. Shall now download book 2!
"great start to the series"
after only recently stumbling across the rebus series, where better to start than the first book. I'm hooked already and I'm on book 7 within a month.
narration is excellent and really completes the package. only negative, the book seems quite short as do the first few rebus books, thankfully 7 and 8 appear longer and I feel I'm getting more for my audible credits.
"Great intro to John Rebus"
interesting enjoyable story line and intro into the Rebus series. looking forward to the next one
"ian Rankin at his best"
The plot got more interesting as it went on.
I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a real down to earth British detective story.
The narration was good however i sometimes didn't realise who was who. Perhaps because it was all Scottish accents.
Overall a thoroughly good read.
Living in Edinburgh and having worked in the Central Library featured in this book, i found the story very close to home. This was my first Ian Rankin book and i have to say i really enjoyed it. I look forward to reading more about John Rebus.
"Not a Strong Story"
Having listened to much grittier books by the likes of Craig Russell and Laura Wilson I was hoping for a lot more from the likes of Mr Rankin.
This is perhaps an opener to the Rebus stories but it certainly didn't grip us. The actual story is a very, very sad second to Rebus' own tale and didn't amount to much at all. James Macpherson is a good narrator but perhaps too singsong for a roughty toughty, down at heel Scottish policeman on a murder team.
I have read other reviews and maybe, just maybe, there is a chance the other books warm up a little but I don't think I am willing to invest our time in them just yet. Thankfully this was a short book for the money, which was quite a surprise to start with, but we can now move on without feeling guilty we didn't give it it's best shot!
One for the return pile I'm afraid.
Not for a while. Excellent start to know Rebus.
Getting to know Rebus' background
Enjoy all Ian Rankin books and particularly Rebus
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