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Set In Darkness

Narrated by: James Macpherson
Series: Inspector Rebus, Book 11
Length: 14 hrs and 16 mins
4 out of 5 stars (44 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Edinburgh is about to become the home of the first Scottish parliament in 300 years. As political passions run high, DI John Rebus is charged with liaison, thanks to the new parliament being resident in Queensbury House, bang in the middle of his patch. But Queensbury House has its own, dark past.

Legend has it that a young man was roasted there on a spit by a madman. When the fireplace where the youth died is uncovered another more recent murder victim is found. Days later, in the gardens outside, there is another body and Rebus is under pressure to find instant answers.

As the case proceeds, the Inspector finds himself face to face with one of Edinburgh's most notorious criminals...

©2010 Ian Rankin (P)2011 Orion Publishing Group, Ltd

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Good Story

A great story but rather over-performed by the reader. Rebus's body must be suffering: drink, cigarettes and a number of severe beatings.

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  • Carol
  • 01-27-17

Definitely James Macpherson

Not sure what version other reviewers listened to, but it's definitely James Macpherson reading in the download I received, and he does an excellent job as usual.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Evolutionary Artefact
  • 08-23-12

Far too much 'rare-lish' from the reader

I have greatly enjoyed other Ian Rankin/Jack Harvey books from Audible - notably The Complaints - as well as other Rebus books I've read in print form. However, I am struggling to stay with this one as the narration is completely over the top: as if the reader is doing a pastiche of a fruity old Scottish actor auditioning for the part of a fruity old Scottish actor. An already dense plot patchwork and a large-ish cast of characters require minimal embellishment in the narration. Rebus's mean streets need a lot less relish.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Judith
  • 11-10-12

Good story, shame about the reading.

This audio-book made me realise just how much difference the reader makes to what one thinks of a book. This narrator was the wrong choice. If he is Scottish, I am surprised, as his accent[s] were never convincing and I have to say that I was stunned at how many inhabitants of Edinburgh had accents from various parts of England. There were also too many areas where the narrator tripped up over where to stress a sentence and it was a struggle to make sense of what he was saying.

I don't know how much this influenced my appreciation of the book. I always enjoy Rebus, but am not sure that this was one of the best I have listened to. The Grieve family did not altogether convince me and I felt that there were unexplored back-stories [maybe they come together in a future book ...]. I also struggle with Cafferty - he didn't come across as sufficiently menacing and I don't know how much that was down to the way the book was read, or how Ian Rankin wrote it. But, in either case, whatever possessed Rebus to continually make himself vulnerable to him? I also thought that the process of identifying the murderer didn't quite work.

I like the setting in real time, the discussions around the birth of the Scottish Parliament and the harking back to previous periods in Scottish politics. Also the development of Siobhan. But I wasn't sure how convinced I was by the character of fellow-cop Linford. There is a good cast of supporting characters and, as ever, the city has a part all of its own.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-31-19

Looses Ends

I felt the book was very good and the delivery was excellent as with the rest of the Rebus series but I just felt the book left too many loose ends unexplained which is a little frustrating for a crime novel. Most things were explained, just a few minor details but I would not let that put you off. It is still yet another great novel in the Rebus series.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-30-19

Rankin is an excellent writer and this is another good example

I read most of Rankin’s Rebus books in paper form some time ago but I am now rediscovering them in audio form, enhanced by James Macpherson’s great narrations.

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  • Charlie T.
  • 09-13-18

Lovely listen lousy plot

This is a great listen with a superb narration and excellent description of people and places. But the plot is rubbish and there is no satisfactory resolution of the tangled web.

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  • LessButBetter
  • 12-15-17

Disappointing ending

I was gripped throughout but disappointed by the ending. Perhaps because I like the good guys to tie up all the loose ends!

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  • Don
  • 03-11-16

More a Mystery than Thriller

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I really liked this Rebus novel. I am going though the series form the beginning and this is my favourite so far, not as much action but a real challenge for the characters.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Siobhan really comes through in this book and shines. Hopefully she becomes a more integral part of the series going forward as she is a good foil to Rebus.

Have you listened to any of James Macpherson’s other performances? How does this one compare?

Just through this series and I love his performance. The Scottish accent is great and easy to follow characters.

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

The scenes with Cafferty were most intriguing

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  • MAT
  • 12-15-15

Read the book!...

.... then you won't have to listen to this narrator. It isn't James McPherson as listed. It is Samuel Gillies, specialist in drawling and plummy vowels. He gives Siobhan Clarke a Yorkshire accent. I couldn't listen beyond the first few chapters.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Tessa
  • 11-18-13

Terrible Narration!

Would you consider the audio edition of Set In Darkness to be better than the print version?

No, as the story is great, but the narration is awful.

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

The narration was over the top so had to be listened to in small measures. I would have expected Ian Rankin of all people to be against the use of this narrator.

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  • Katherine Hubbard
  • 01-02-19

Wonderful listening

A great story and beautifully performed. Ian Rankin and James Macpherson deliver a riveting tale.

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  • Sue
  • 06-25-18

Another classic Rebus

A great read. Equally enjoyable for the seasoned Rebus fan or the newcomer alike. The novel is populated with well drawn characters, some likable and some not, but all very believable and realistic. It is always sad to get to the end of one of Ian Rankin's novels. One gets to find out who dunnit but also has to bid the characters farewell.