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the Booker Prizes.
Alphabetic list of Rankin books read, with reviews and quotations.
Chronological list of Rankin books.
Favorite so far!
|Title||Follows the Rebus Pattern|
|The Black Book (1993)||No|
|The Complaints (2009)||N/A (A FOX book)|
|Doors Open (2010)||n/a (not a REBUS book)|
|Exit Music (2007)||Yes|
|The Falls (2001)||Yes|
['Fleshmarket Close' in UK] (2004)
|Hide and Seek (1991)||No|
|The Impossible Dead (2011)||N/A (A FOX book)|
Knots and Crosses (1987)
(the first book)
|Let it Bleed (1995)||Yes (except the perp is a spoiled and greedy snob).|
|The Naming of the Dead (2006)||No|
|A Question of Blood (2003)||Yes|
|Resurrection Men (2002)|
|Saints of the Shadow Bible (2014)||Yes-ish|
|Standing in Another Man's Grave (2012)||No! We don't meet the perp till almost the end!|
|Strip Jack (1992)||Yes|
|The Black Book (1993) by Ian Rankin.|
|The Complaints (2009) by Ian Rankin.|
The first FOX book: Malcolm Fox investigates the investigators.
Also see blog of The Impossible Dead.
|Doors Open (2010) by Ian Rankin.|
Rankin abandons Rebus and murder solving for a story of theft, greed, hubris, and menace. This is not a murder mystery but a book about thrills, greed, hubris, and theft. It's okay but none of the characters are as interesting or sympathetic as John Rebus and Siobhan Clarke.
Also see blog of Doors Open.
|Exit Music (2007) by Ian Rankin.|
Also see blog of Exit Music.
What a delightful fast-paced story, with a grumpy Scottish detective in his last fortnight at work, with a supporting and/or hindering cast of Scots, English, and Russian characters to keep the story turning. The politics of Scottish Independence and of the Edinburgh police interleave with two deaths and one near-death.
A poet is murdered:
|"What do poets give to the world? Do they provide jobs, energy, raw materials? No ... merely words. And often well remunerated in the process — certainly lionised above their due. Alexander Todorov had been suckled by the West precisely because he pandered to its need to see Russia as corrupt and corrosive." [p. 335-336]|
Enough 'border' phrases (northern English and southern Scottish) to make the story feel companionable. Includes:
|Binning:||"I'll be binning the crime kit along with everything else." [p. 356]|
|Bolshie:||"You know the English word 'bolshie'? ... but these days bolshie just means awkward or stubborn." [p. 245]|
|Butty [buttered sandwich]:||"Strangest bacon butty I've ever seen" [p. 288]|
|Right as rain:||"I'm not saying I wasn't here — I'm saying he was right as rain when I left him." [p. 276]|
|Rattling on:||"Sorry, Todd, I'm rattling on, aren't I?" [p. 374]|
|Shot off:||"I seem to think he shot off. Nobody hangs around. It would make meaning small talk with each other." [p. 300]|
|Wangle:||"How did you wangle that?" [p. 229]|
|The Falls (2001) by Ian Rankin.|
|Fleshmarket Ally ['Fleshmarket Close' in UK] (2004) by Ian Rankin.|
|Hide and Seek (1990) by Ian Rankin.|
The second REBUS book: a murder of a drug-addict photographer leads John Rebus to a situation when blackmail photos might be of consequence. And Rebus uses diversionary tactics to get behind the scenes.
A little more background on Rebus enriches the story.
Also see blog of Hide and Seek.
|The Impossible Dead (2011) by Ian Rankin.|
The second FOX book: Malcolm Fox continues to investigate the investigators.
Also see blog of The Impossible Dead.
|Knots and Crosses (1987) by Ian Rankin.|
The first REBUS book: a series of murders in Edinburgh all lead to Detective John Rebus; as always, Rebus is part of the problem as well as part of the solution to garrotings.
This book is particularly welcome in providing considerable background on Rebus' time in the army and the training for the SAS. As such, the best one to start with if you plan to get involved with this series.
Also see blog of Knots and Crosses.
|Let it Bleed (1995) by Ian Rankin.|
|The Naming of the Dead (2006) by Ian Rankin.|
A fascinating and wide-ranging story, that involves many over-world and under-world people, and many issues of family loyalty and friendship and love.
The connection to current politics (particularly the G8 summit at Glenneagles (Scotland) in July 2005 and the associated London bombings) embed the story in Scottish and British culture.
|A Question of Blood (2003) by Ian Rankin.|
The 14th REBUS book: interesting plot, with a little more regional and class tensions than average. Murder at an upper-crust school interleaves with the murder (or at least disappearance) of a man stalking Rebus' partner, DS Siobhan Clarke. Surely it is only coincidence that Rebus has burned hands and that the believed body of the stalker is burned beyond recognition.
|Resurrection Men (2002) by Ian Rankin.|
The 13th REBUS book: very complicated: almost 50 people are named in the character list at the start of the book. Something of a slog to get through this, which is partly an excuse for giving Rebus' partner, DS Siobhan Clarke, more independence and initiative.
Also see blog of Resurrection Men.
|Saints of the Shadow Bible (2014) by Ian Rankin.|
Also see blog of Saints of the Shadow Bible.
|Standing in Another Man's Grave (2012) by Ian Rankin.|
Great to have Rebus back, working on a cold-case in his endearing 'old-school' style, traveling the length of Scotland, and exercising his irreverent sense of humor and how to get the job done. One of the best.
|Strip Jack (1992) by Ian Rankin.|
Want a leg up on solving a Rebus problem? Here is a pattern that tends to be followed:
In an interview (about 2006) on TV, Ian Rankin said that each of his books is looking for the "big answers" to a question that he (Renkin) feels unable to answer so he lets Rebus struggle with. He includes:
Books on Buddhism. Books on Learning Spanish.
Poetry - Learn How to Write Your Own. Forests of California and Trees of the World.
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