Review: Rather Be the Devil by Ian Rankin (2016)

Ian Rankin – Rather Be the Devil (2016)

Orion, Hardcover, 320 pages

Published: 3rd November 2016 (UK)

ISBN13: 978-1409159407 (cased)

Rather Be the Devil by Ian Rankin (2016)

Rather Be the Devil by Ian Rankin (2016)


Rather Be the Devil is the 21st Rebus Novel.

John Rebus is retired once again and his memories are turning to past events and some cases have never left him.

One of those is brought back to him when Rebus is dining out with Deborah Quant. 40 years earlier, beautiful, promiscuous Maria Turquand died in her hotel room at the Caledonian Hotel on the same night that a famous rock star and his entourage were staying there – her killer has never been found. Rebus asks DI Siobhan Clarke to bring him the cold case files so he can do a bit of digging.

Meanwhile, the dark heart of Edinburgh remains up for grabs after Cafferty stood aside and retired. The young pretender, Darryl Christie, has staked his claim but a vicious attack has left him weakened and vulnerable – a situation that is exacerbated by an inquiry into a major money laundering scheme which he has ties to. Has Rebus’ old-time foe Big Ger Cafferty really retired or is he just biding his time until Edinburgh is once more ripe for the picking?


What is nice is how the Rebus novels now have moved from being primarily a solo series to more of an ensemble piece with Rebus, Siobhan Clarke, Malcolm Fox, Deborah Quant, Cafferty and, of course, Edinburgh each getting their turn in the spotlight during the course of the novel.

Rather Be The Devil is an utterly compelling and gripping read which I read worryingly quickly as you get engrossed in the book by both the characters and the plotlines. The ending does set up the series for future novels very nicely.


I received a free copy of this book from the publishers on NetGalley.

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