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Publisher's Summary

Some cases never leave you.

For John Rebus, 40 years may have passed, but the death of beautiful, promiscuous Maria Turquand still preys on his mind. She was murdered in her hotel room on the night a famous rock star and his entourage were staying there, and Maria's killer has never been found.

Meanwhile, the dark heart of Edinburgh remains up for grabs. A young pretender, Darryl Christie, may have staked his claim, but a vicious attack leaves him weakened and vulnerable, and an inquiry into a major money laundering scheme threatens his position. Has old-time crime boss Big Ger Cafferty really given up the ghost, or is he biding his time until Edinburgh is once more ripe for the picking?

In a tale of twisted power, deep-rooted corruption and bitter rivalries, Rather Be the Devil showcases Rankin and Rebus at their unstoppable best.

©2016 John Rebus Ltd (P)2016 Orion Publishing Group

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Mr Rankin at his best

Where does Rather Be the Devil rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This is vintage Rebus, nothing has been lost on this one

Who was your favorite character and why?

Rebus, of course

What does James Macpherson bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Understanding the accent

Any additional comments?

Ask Mr. Rankin for more of the same please. I see Cafferty is back so I expect some more in the near future.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Never fails to entertain, Rebus is as good as ever

If you could sum up Rather Be the Devil in three words, what would they be?

Like an old friend

What did you like best about this story?

Character relationships

What does James Macpherson bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Brings out the characters own personalities.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Yes but it would be a spoiler to write about it, although Hank Marvin will suffice.

Any additional comments?

After 20 previous books, with not even a slightly 'iffy' one amongst them, this book shines. Rebus is on form and every bit as good as he's always been, albeit slightly less edgy than his younger days, he still packs a punch! highly recommended! Patrica Cornwell could well learn some lessons about her character's appeal from this!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Very consistent Rankin

Always very consistent, engaging and painfully well written. Worth 5 stars but saving one for in case.n

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Another great Rebus novel

Took me a couple of chapters to warm to the narrator and then the voices he used for some of the well know characters didn't gel with what I thought they would be.

But that is my preferences, great story by Rankin.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Edie
  • Windsor, Ontario Canada
  • 12-03-16

great book

The only complaint i have with this book is thst sometimes i found it very hsrd to determine who was talkingng because the voices of Fox and Rebus are almost indistinguishable.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Simon
  • 11-04-16

No Half Measures Here!

Another few hours spent in the company of James Macpherson's silken Edinburgh tones and Ian Rankin's brilliant characters. An unsolved case from Rebus's past is skilfully interwoven with events happening in the current day to set up another quality installment in one of crime fiction's longest running series.

The delicious interactions between Rebus and yes, he's still there, Big Ger Cafferty are an absolute highlight for me. Two men with enmity boiling under the civilised veneer of their conversations. Each of them having to face up to their own mortality in their own characteristic ways.

It's not completely without its problems though. The leeway that Rankin gives the retired Rebus in his involvement with the police investigations probably does go a bit further past the realms of the believable. I'd say more so than Rankin would normally have allowed himself. If you are like me and love the old curmudgeon and his associates you'll likely let it go but if that kind of thing bothers you then warning flags will raise themselves throughout.

For the rest of us, there's just about life in this old dog yet! Though be prepared for a jolt very early on in the story . . . Rebus with a half in his hand! If you can get over that shock the violence and criminality that follows should be a breeze.

11 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • M. Gosney
  • 11-21-16

A little less conversation, a little more action p

Another good narration James, but a very weak story. It was like listening to a transcript of a never-ending conversation. Very little actually happens.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • simon gower
  • 11-16-16

Love it! Thanks Mr Rankin absolute classic!

Loved this great read, couldn't stop listening, hmm big Ger might just be a lovable rouge, can't help but like him thanks Mr Rankin total class can't wait for the next one !?

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Caroline Adams
  • 11-06-16

Rebus and Cafferty are both back!

What a story! Performance Class A. Hope there's more to follow, PLEASE. Rebus, Clark and Fox are all flawed in different ways but make a brilliant team.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Alexander James Hawley (Hawley Reviews)
  • 08-11-17

There is life in the old dog yet

What made the experience of listening to Rather Be the Devil the most enjoyable?

James Macpherson has always been synonymous with Rebus' audiobooks and without his dulcet tones it would be a different experience.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Rather Be the Devil?

A good book does not have just one memorable moment, but a gripping story and Rather be the Devil is a prime example of this.

Which character – as performed by James Macpherson – was your favourite?

After 21 books the title character would have to be the answer, although the development of Malcolm Fox and Rebus' recent love interest made the story different to others before it.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Most crime books worth their salt are impossible to listen to in one sitting because they are too long. However, the characterisation in the Rebus books did lead me to listening to it late at night, risking falling asleep to finish it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • mollyeyre
  • 04-23-17

Series is getting a bit tired

I feel that this series is waning, I find Rebus's bad behaviour and lies quite tedious. Big Ger too gets away with murder and I find that difficult to believe.

Too many things I didn't enjoy while reading this book - I don't think I'll go for any more Ian Rankin books.

Rebus used to be quite 'pithy' and although he bent his rules a bit it seemed to be excusable - but in this book - he was a blatant liar and I really didn't enjoy it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Stan d'Up
  • 02-13-17

Disappointing

Having pre-ordered, I was really looking forward to this
Having listened, I'm left feeling a bit flat
Not least because of 'retired' Detective Rebus doing more detecting than everyone else

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Will
  • 11-21-16

Not quite classic Rebus.

Where to start? I enjoyed this (I can't envisage ever not enjoying a Rebus novel). However, these more recent works have a more ensemble feel (the inevitable marginalisation of a retired cop from serious investigations) that to me only serves to accentuate the fact that Clarke and Fox, while personable enough, are dull. The story itself is good, with enough twists and turns to satisfy... Though Cafferty taking Edinburgh back is, on reflection, implausible. All in all it's a good Rebus. I'd describe it as (like siobahn's beloved Hibs) mid table. The only worry for me is: where doe Rankin go from here? Personally I'd love to see a prequel. A young DC Rebus climbing the ranks while his marriage crumbles. What say Ian?

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Dee Murray
  • 11-14-16

Rebus is getting old

but he's still got it. Lots of twists and turns, many evil wee rat bags. Fox and Clarke are there too. How do they manage without Rebus?

James MacPherson is his usual brilliant self with many voices (does anyone else think of Scunner Campbell when they hear Big Ger's voice?).

My husband and I both loved it. Quite a few laughs thrown in. Use a credit. You won't be disappointed.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ms GM
  • 11-14-16

Thank you Mr Rankin - loved it!

Would you consider the audio edition of Rather Be the Devil to be better than the print version?

Went straight for the audio

What other book might you compare Rather Be the Devil to, and why?

Incomparable!

What about James Macpherson’s performance did you like?

He brings it to life & maintains the character voices brilliantly. Such a lovely accent

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

It's not what you'd call a moving book. What I love about Ian Rankin is that his portrayal of violence is bearable. Some writers go over the top with blood & gore to the point of making if too unpleasant! I want to be entertained & kept in suspense not made depressed by the horrors of our world - there's enough of that in the daily news. I hope there's another Rebus in you Mr R.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • DeetsC
  • 05-30-17

twists and turns with favourite characters

James MacPherson as narrator does justice to the world of Rebus and Ian Rankin. excellent

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • ozgribbo
  • 06-12-18

A slightly subtler Rebus

Ian Rankin has turned in another exceedingly readable crime novel featuring most of the "usual suspects'. It's not gripping edge of the seat stuff, but it tells a good tale and keeps the interest up until the end. Good to see the characters being developed, especially "Big Ger". The narrator does a good job of putting over a range of Scots accents without being too obvious. A must for Rebus fans.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-08-17

Loved it!

Was a great introduction to audiobooks.
Like all Rankin's novels about Rebus this did not fail to keep you wanting more.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • romina
  • 03-09-17

Fantastic

Another engrossing John Reubus tale with brilliant narration. Kept me hooked all the way and left me not wanting it to end !

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mrs
  • 12-04-16

Rebus still the best

Held tension throughout; pure Rebus; Ian Rankin has not lost his edge; James Macpherson is a great narrator.