Its 25 years since John Rebus appeared on the scene, and 5 years since he retired. But 2012 sees his return in Standing in Another Man’s Grave. Not only is Rebus as stubborn and anarchic as ever, but he finds himself in trouble with Rankin's latest creation, Malcolm Fox of Edinburgh's internal affairs unit. Added to which, Rebus may be about to derail the career of his ex-colleague Siobhan Clarke, while himself being permanently derailed by mob boss and old adversary Big Ger Cafferty. But all Rebus wants to do is discover the truth about a series of seemingly unconnected disappearances stretching back to the millennium.
The problem being, no one else wants to go there - and that includes Rebus's fellow officers. Not that any of that is going to stop Rebus. Not even when his own life and the careers of those around him are on the line.
James MacPherson played DCI Jardine in Taggart for 16 years, and has acted on stage in plays as diverse as The Taming of the Shrew and ART by Yasmina Reza. He has presented a regular books programme for Radio Scotland - for which he has interviewed Ian Rankin. He won a Spoken Word Gold Award for his reading ofStrip Jack, a Crimefest Audible UK Sounds of Crime Award for Doors Open and has narrated all the Ian Rankin Rebus books. James lives in Glasgow.
©2012 John Rebus Ltd (P)2012 Orion Publishing Group
trying to see the world with my ears
Any avid Rankin reader must wonder what would happen in a universe where Rebus and Fox coexist. Rankin manages what most writers attempting similar cross-overs don't do well: he permits them to meet in a credible way. However intriguing that is, it's a minor part of the story. They cross paths in a typical Rebus case.
I had missed the announcement that a new Rebus was in press, so this appearance on Audible delighted me and set up great expectations, especially after the classic Exit Music. While Standing…Grave is a welcome, credible and solid return for Rebus, the novel doesn't rank as one the best on the series. But Rebus is back, still ageing in real time and dealing with his demons. And it sounds like he's here to stay for further detection of crime and complacency. If this is a first Rebus novel for you, start with an earlier one to better appreciate ongoing elements like debate on Scottish nationalism and complicated relationships with Siobhan Clarke, Big Ger Cafferty, authority figures and mortality.
Happily, happily, "in this geographical region", this time we get narrator James Mcpherson for an unabridged Rebus. If your ear isn't used to a Scottish burr, take some time to adjust because he seems to me the perfect voice for Rebus - not an intellectual detective, but a clever, wiley, gritty, witty one.
Rebus is not the kind of protagonist I usually like, but Rankin creates him and his Edinburgh with some kind of addictive writer's magic. McCall Smith does Dr Jekyll; Rankin, Mr Hyde (on the road to redemption).
it was a great story, well told and well narrated. i always enjoy the depth of the character that Rankin puts together and the dialog between them is exceptional
No but it didn't need to
I had to drive 1500km in 3 days in the Australian outback so it was great company. It got me from Charleville to Cunnamulla going a long way round.
It did the job nicely thank you.
Love having someone read me a story. Fires in the hearth, rain on the roof, sunny days and surf. Good friends, good food and J S Bach.
James Macpherson is reading an unabridged Rankin. Yes!
Rebus is back with us. Yes!
The unsolved units are not new and have been employed by lots of other crime writers.
Same old Same old. No!
While the Unsolved Unit forms a backdrop for this story, what stands out is how retirement has altered Rebus's lifestyle.
Could this be a mature Rebus? A more self reflecting Rebus? Has he lost his twinkle? And, are his relationships with Big Cafferty and Siobhan Clarke altered?
Can we hope for more Rebus from Rankin and Macpherson?
What really stands out in this latest Rebus novel is the variety of characters among the detectives and the criminals. A common theme in both groups is the old guard being replaced by the new. But Ian Rankin doesn't waste his words or your time overdoing the personal details; he gets on with telling an intriguing story. Unlike lesser writers, he doesn't contrive a cliffhanger at the end of every chapter, but there are enough twists and turns to keep you baffled. I've only read one of the previous Rebus novels, so don't worry if this is your first encounter with Inspector Rebus. You don't need to read all the other sfirst, but I guarantee you'll want to read more of them once you've tried this one. The Scottish accent took a little getting used to, but it was appropriate. So bear with it, and it will repay your effort.
Nor as action oriented as in his younger days, but wile and wit are still there. Hoping for more...still one of my favorites.
Thoroughly enjoyed this reading. The pace was perfect and the story entertaining. Off to source another similar title right away!
If this book were Christmas hamper it would be 95% packaging and 5% content. The author seems mostly focused on what people are 1. Eating 2. Drinking 3. Thinking to themselves. None of which has anything to do with the plot. It takes far too long to get to the end and when you do it is a big disappoint. Sorry Ian: you must do better next time.
"Great - In Parts!"
Great to see Rebus back. Was really looking forward to this one. Didn't quite live up to my expectations. Same old cantankerous Rebus and the author has great fun with the character as usual. Great plot too but, for me, the key connections identifying the baddie were less than convincing and spoiled the storyline a little.
The plot was as good and as downbeat, as whisky-soaked and tobacco-stained as any Ian Rankin but as soon as I started listening I remembered this narrator's irritating habit of pausing after he said 'Rebus' which he seemed to do every single time and after a while this started getting in the way of the plot which was a shame because otherwise his accents and reading was good.
Rebus is from Fife and the series is very much East of Scotland focused. To have a former star of Taggart read and interpret this book in a West of Scotland accent does not work. The readers style is slow and boring, I only suffered a couple of chapters and decided just to read the book. As an ex L & B Police Officer, I have some insight and hear Rebus in a different Scots dialogue.
"Lots of Rebus, Fox cameo only"
Great story but I was slightly disappointed by the ending - possibly because for once I saw it coming. I love Rebus and I love Fox, but their head-to-head in this didn't inspire me - it seemed no more than a cameo. Love James McPherson and eagerly await the next Ian Rankin. Please Audible UK can we have the entire backlist.
"Nice to see Rebus back"
Yes - BUT sadly not with James MacPherson narrating. I enjoy MacPherson's acting but he should really stick with that. His staccato delivery leading to interruptions in mid-sentence and even at times in 'mid-word' is infuriating and I found myself finishing his sentences for him.....
I was just about to pre-order the latest Rankin till I saw that MacPherson was in the driving seat again - no thanks!
"Not the best from Ian Rankin"
As a fan of inspector Rebus I love these books by Ian Rankin but this is not the best. Pleasant to listen to if you are a Rebus and Rankin fan but not the best story line this time
"Another great Rebus story"
I really enjoyed this, the characters come to life and feel like real people you'd want to meet (well maybe not all of them). It makes me want to visit the area too which sounds lovely. I was slightly disappointed with the conclusion. It felt a bit brief after the build up, but I'm the sort of person that likes loose ends all tidied away rather that being left wondering about some of the details. This story also brings in Malcolm Fox (Complaints) face to face with Rebus which really highlighted their differences. A good read/listen and hope there. Will be more Rebus to come.
"How does he get away with it?"
I love seeing how Rebus' mind works and how he gets his killer in end. Joining the dots between all the murders and those that aren't truly murders is his speciality. His quirky relationships with friends, for and family are also back in this one, making you physically shake your head with frustration at him at times. A great story with a tender plot that sees Rebus cover a lot of Scottish mileage!
Over the years I have read all of the Ian Rankin books and have enjoyed them greatly. Being a big fan of Rebus I looked forward to his return unfortunately this story doesnt grip like the previous Rebus stories
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