Rather Be the Devil Book Review

Rather Be the Devil Book Review

Title: Rather Be the Devil
Author: Ian Rankin
Published: January 31, 2017, Little, Brown and Company
No. of Pages: 320
Cover Price: $27.00 Hardcover, $13.99 Kindle

Iconic Inspector John Rebus has retired, and isn’t happy; he’s had to give up most of his vices (smoking, drinking, etc.), and wants something to do. Although he’s now a private investigator, he finds himself deeply involved in solving a 40 year old cold case in the 21st installment of Ian Rankin’s bestselling Rebus series, Rather be the Devil. Malcolm Fox, who was previously in internal affairs and Siobhan Clarke his former partner and friend, are his inside track to information inside the department. The cold case involves the murder of a wealthy socialite who was found dead in a swank hotel on the same night a rock star and his associates were also staying there. Rebus is working to go back 40 years and interview those who were at the Edinburgh hotel or were associated with the dead woman. As he investigates, Rebus gets involved in some modern crimes that may or may not be related, and puts himself and his associates in danger and at odds with an evil crime boss.

Rebus fans will definitely like the fact that he and Fox are working together, since previously Malcolm was the star of another series. The characters work well together, and it adds to the novel. It goes without saying that Clarke is an asset, and the trio make good, believable sleuths. Rebus is his own man, and while not particularly likeable since he is gruff and set in his ways, gets the job done.

One of the best things about the series and this book is the Scottish setting which takes the novel to a different level. The Scottish backdrop is fascinating, and makes readers want to visit, even though the actual characters are fictional. Rankin has an uncanny ability to keep a story moving and keep readers on the edge, and in Rather be the Devil he outdoes himself.

There is good reason that Rankin is one of the world’s top bestselling authors, and readers of this novel will not be disappointed. It is highly recommended for thriller aficionados, who will want to read all of the books in the series.

Special thanks to NetGalley for supplying a review copy of this book.

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