'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.
"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.
"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
Not for a while. Excellent start to know Rebus.
Getting to know Rebus' background
Enjoy all Ian Rankin books and particularly Rebus
"An enjoyable read"
This is my first Ian Rankin and Rebus novel and I really enjoyed it. It is a good punchy novel that moves along at a good pace while still doing a good job of developing and introducing characters.
The reading was excellent and it was a joy to listen to the Scottish accent. I have read a lot of US and Australian crime novels and this was a pleasant change, I look forward to following on with this series.
"Simple storyline, low on surprises. Easy listening"
Yes. I've already bought 4 of these; hopefully the series will become more intriguing and Rebus less a bumbling drunkard. Hopeful...
Not too convincing.
"The first 4 covered !!!"
Having seen an interview with Ian Rankin I decided I'd start from scratch and listen to the whole series. I really enjoyed this book and James Macpherson narrates this and the second book really well. The character is introduced really well and Edinburgh invocatively described. Thoroughly enjoyed
"not very convincing but an easy listen nonetheless"
Many short cuts taken without too much concern for small inconsistencies. Quite a few clichés: the tough-as-nails journalist, the dour Scottish police detective, the beautiful female colleague who falls for him. Much of the emphasis is on the main character's demons, to the extent that the story line almost becomes incidental to the character's psychological portrait. A real feeling of being in Edinburgh. A perfect narrator with a very pleasant Scottish accent.
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