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Rather Be the Devil Audiobook

Rather Be the Devil

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Publisher's Summary

Rebus investigates a cold case that just turned red hot.

As he settles into an uneasy retirement, Rebus has given up his favorite vices. There's just one habit he can't shake: He can't let go of an unsolved case. It's the only pastime he has left, and up until now it's the only one that wasn't threatening to kill him. But when Rebus starts reexamining the facts behind the long-ago murder of a glamorous woman at a luxurious hotel - on the same night a famous rock star and his entourage were also staying there - the past comes roaring back to life with a vengeance.

And as soon as Rebus starts asking questions about the long forgotten crime, a fresh body materializes. His inquiries reunite him with his old pals - Siobhan Clarke and Malcolm Fox - as they attempt to uncover the financial chicanery behind the savage beating of an upstart gangster, a crime that suggests the notorious old school crime boss Big Ger Cafferty has taken to retirement as poorly as Rebus himself.

As he connects the mysteries of the past to those of the present, Rebus learns - the hard way - that he's not the only one with an insatiable curiosity about what happened in that hotel room 40 years ago and that someone will stop at nothing to ensure that the crime remains ancient history.

A twisted tale of power, corruption, and bitter rivalries in the dark heart of Edinburgh, Rather Be the Devil showcases Rankin and Rebus at their unstoppable best.

©2016 Ian Rankin (P)2016 Hachette Audio

What the Critics Say

"It is sensational...this story truly sings." (Vick Mickunas, Dayton Daily News)

"Rankin's procedurals are strong, well-constructed, page-turning mysteries, and his latest is no exception." (San Francisco Chronicle)

"As always, Rankin delivers some fascinating procedural details, but the heart of the book - and its main appeal to crime-fiction readers - lies in the evolving personal relationships between the three cops and one bad guy. The switching of roles between Rebus and Clark continues to intrigue, but even better is the transformation of Fox from a behind-the-scenes guy...into a real cop working the mean streets." (Booklist)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (216 )
5 star
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Overall
4.3 (191 )
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Story
4.4 (194 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
 (13)
2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Midwesterner 02-11-17

    An American Midwesterner

    HELPFUL VOTES
    33
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    "New Rebus release was a nice surprise!"

    Back to the basics. Still lots of fight left in our two favorite old enemies. !!! Loved !

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    TerriK 03-11-17
    TerriK 03-11-17
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Narrator"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Rather Be the Devil to be better than the print version?

    I haven't read the print version


    What did you like best about this story?

    I always love the diversity of characters in his books


    What didn’t you like about James Macpherson’s performance?

    His accent is so heavy that it distracted me from the actual story. The tone of his voice always sounded rather tongue in cheek, even at inappropriate times.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Sorry I was unable to finish this book.


    Any additional comments?

    I just think that narrator should be aware that there are many listeners who will be unable to understand his accent.
    Love Mr. Rankins books, I'll just make sure I listen to a sample before ordering another.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Beth PENSACOLA, FL, United States 03-03-17
    Beth PENSACOLA, FL, United States 03-03-17 Member Since 2015

    Retired English teacher and former hospital-based public relations specialist. Married 5 decades with 4 children and 7 grandchildren.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Accent Difficult to Understand"

    I usually don't have problems with accents from different parts of England and Ireland, but this one would need a translator for the performance. Didn't get beyond 10 minutes.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ES Centreville, VA 02-22-17
    ES Centreville, VA 02-22-17 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "difficult accent"
    Any additional comments?

    I have enjoyed reading several of the Rebus novels. However the Scot accent of the narrator forces the listener to concentrate on deciphering words and missing comprehension of the story,

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    04-15-17
    04-15-17 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    "4 stars"

    Great narrator. Captivating storyline and in parts quite humorous. I enjoyed this audiobook very much. Couldn't find any holes in the plot, always a good sign.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    RGB SC, USA 04-04-17
    RGB SC, USA 04-04-17 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    "Unlistenable"
    Would you try another book from Ian Rankin and/or James Macpherson?

    This is probably a great book, but I will now listen to a sample before purchasing. The narrator's Scottish accent is so heavy that I cannot follow the story.
    I read while commuting on the highway and this just does not work for me.


    Did James Macpherson do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    I think he does a fine job- this is not meant to malign Mr. Macpherson, I just can't understand him.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    Probably a good story.


    Any additional comments?

    Wish I had not wasted a credit, but have learned a lesson.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mimi Arcata, CA, United States 03-18-17
    Mimi Arcata, CA, United States 03-18-17 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    "Unintelligible!"

    Unfortunately, I could not understand the narrators Scottish accent. I have read
    Rankin and like him. Maybe an American speaker would be easier for me to understand. I take half the blame. I like Scotland and its people.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Meg E Dobson United States 02-27-17
    Meg E Dobson United States 02-27-17 Member Since 2014

    Avatar by The Domestic Goddess at allavatars

    HELPFUL VOTES
    73
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    "Multiple Characters Makes for Narrator Challenge"

    This narrator's voice has always been a challenge, but in this novel he's been stretched beyond his abilities I fear. Before it was a delightful color touch to a Scotland based series.

    In this case, I turned the narrative speed to 50% and I still struggled This was especially true as we weaved between multiple scenes with varying characters involved. Only in scenes with Clark, Rebus, and Cafferty did I immediately know who was in the room with me. It was terribly disconcerting. I had to flounder for minutes to figure it out. Is this the resder's or the author's fault?

    I determined it was the lack of character voices chosen (or not chosen) by the narrator to distinguish them from each other. They sounded so much alike at each scene beginning.

    Rankin left several threads unanswered but that is the author's right and I am okay with that.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cat L. 03-25-17
    Cat L. 03-25-17
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Disappointing. Rankin phoning it in."
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Somebody who hasn't read all the Rebus books. I'm tired of Big Ger and Darryl Christie. And I really dislike Malcolm Fox. He's a complete dud of a character.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Ian Rankin again?

    I've been reading Rebus since day one of the series, which goes back a ways, so most likely I'll give any more outings a chance. BUT I will read them, not listen to them. This narrator simply doesn't have the voice talent to do audio books with more than three characters.


    How could the performance have been better?

    This narrator isn't a voice artist. He has a lovely voice, and a lovely accent, but when it comes to making different characters sound distinct from one another, he just can't do it. A dialogue between Rebus and Fox is confusing as hell because he reads it all in the same voice. And every "big guy" or "bad guy" sounds exactly like Cafferty. Really disappointing.


    What character would you cut from Rather Be the Devil?

    Oh my god, let's have a break from Cafferty and Christie both. PLEASE. And for that matter, I never warmed to Malcolm Fox - he's dull. So the trio of Clark, Fox and Rebus just does nothing for me. Boring.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pat 03-12-17
    Pat 03-12-17
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Layered"

    This was not a simple book. Lots of subplots to follow. I've read plenty of Rankin's books, and always enjoy them. This probably wasn't my favorite, but it was very entertaining, and I'll be able to listen to it again in a few months and pick up details I missed the first time around.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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