Saturday, June 23, 2018

Saturdays With Kaye: Rather Be the Devil by Ian Rankin

Rather Be the Devil by Ian Rankin

In lovely continental fashion, this book spins a complicated plot and contains a host of characters, set in Scotland. If I counted correctly, this is the 24th Rebus novel. No, it’s not A rebus, it features a character, John Rebus who, after all those books, is now retired. Or he’s supposed to be. You can’t keep a good detective down, though.

He’s trying to keep busy, puttering around with old unsolved cases. However, when he starts digging into one involving a famous rock star and the murder of a beautiful woman, something strange happens. Detective Inspector Siobhan Clarke catches a murder that rings a bell connected with this old case for Rebus. Another old friend, DI Malcolm Fox has been transferred to Gartcosh, causing ill feelings when he’s sent to Edinburgh to help out. Neither of the three want to work with each other. An elaborate money-laundering trail leads through a betting parlor connected with people familiar to Rebus. Meanwhile, Rebus is hiding his physical condition from everyone, spitting up blood from his COPD on the sly. The awkward team works beatings and dead bodies to arrive at a conclusion of sorts.

This is a darkish read with a high body count. Readers familiar with the characters will welcome them back and love this book.

Reviewed by Kaye George, author of Requiem in Red, for Suspense Magazine

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