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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

Critic Reviews

"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 Ratings

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Story

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  • Story

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

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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

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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.<br/>Love Mr. Rankins books, I'll just make sure I listen to a sample before ordering another.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Beth
  • PENSACOLA, FL, United States
  • 03-03-17

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 3 people found this review helpful

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  • ES
  • Centreville, VA
  • 02-22-17

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 3 people found this review helpful

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Fantastic Performance

A must-listen. A joy. Thanks for the entertainment. Rhebus is a gent of a man.

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Another fine effort by Ian Rankin

I think the Rankin Rebus tales have gotten better and better over the past ten years, and this entry is no exception to that rule. The plot is deliciously complex, and Rankin's collection of characters are all used to fine effect. We can only hope that he can somehow keep cranking them out. Alas, Rebus's declining health is a real concern! As always, James McPherson reads with charm and intelligence. I doubt that anyone could provide a better performance.

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Master Crime Writer

Great story once again from Ian Rankin. Can't wait for next book. Big Ger's back!

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Great story, great performance

The characters become very real as the story develops, and the performance makes that even better.

The unlikely connections among 3 different investigations make the whole mystery quite fun throughout.

As a longtime John Martyn fan, the songs mentioned in the narration pop into my head, a hallucinatory sound track accompanying the story like cool jazz would in an American noir detective story.

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feedback

typical good read by Ian Rankin
. looking fwd to his next novel. ciao xcc