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Rather Be the Devil: Book summary and reviews of Rather Be the Devil by Ian Rankin

Rather Be the Devil

A Rebus Novel

by Ian Rankin

Rather Be the Devil by Ian Rankin X
Rather Be the Devil by Ian Rankin
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  • Published Jan 2017
    320 pages
    Genre: Mysteries

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Book 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 where 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 the 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 forty 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.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. There's lots of juicy interplay between outsider Rebus and his successors, Siobhan Clarke and Malcolm Fox, but best of all, there's the re-emergence of another character on whom the mantle of retirement is sitting awkwardly: Big Ger Cafferty, former crime boss and Rebus' longtime frenemy. The ongoing pas de deux between these two aging antiheroes has been one of the best things in crime fiction for years, but Rankin kicks it up several notches here, with both men facing mortality and screaming in two-part harmony against the dying of the light." - Booklist

"The intertwining plots and relationships will be easier going for readers well-versed in the Rebus rubric, but newcomers will still be able to follow and appreciate the series' finely crafted new entry. If the word "dour" hadn't already been in the English vocabulary, it would have had to be invented for Rankin (Even Dogs in the Wild, 2015, etc.) and his enduring detective. Luckily, the author is as tireless in delivering the goods as his creation is in solving tough cases." - Kirkus

"With its trademark blend of sharp wit and even sharper police work, this entry is yet another example of why Rankin remains in the top echelon of Scottish crime writers." - Publishers Weekly

This information about Rather Be the Devil was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Ian Rankin Author Biography

Born in the Kingdom of Fife in 1960, Ian Rankin graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 1982, and then spent three years writing novels when he was supposed to be working towards a PhD in Scottish Literature.

After university and before his success with his Rebus novels, Ian had a number of jobs including working as a grape-picker, a swineherd, a journalist for a hi-fi magazine, and a taxman. Following his marriage in 1986, he lived briefly in London where he worked at the National Folktale Centre, followed by a short time living in France, before returning to Edinburgh.

Ian's first novel Summer Rites remains in his bottom drawer, but his second novel, The Flood, was published in 1986, while his first Rebus novel, Knots & Crosses, was published in 1987. The Rebus series is now ...

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