3 October 2017

Review: RATHER BE THE DEVIL, Ian Rankin

  • this edition published 2016 by Orion books
  • ISBN 978-1-4091-5941-4
  • 310 pages
  • #21 in the Rebus series
Synopsis (back cover: author website)

Some cases never leave you.

For John Rebus, forty years may have passed, but the death of beautiful, promiscuous Maria Turquand still preys on his mind. Murdered in her hotel room on the night a famous rock star and his entourage were staying there, Maria’s killer has never been found.

Meanwhile, the dark heart of Edinburgh remains up for grabs. A young pretender, Darryl Christie, may have staked his claim, but a vicious attack leaves him weakened and vulnerable, and an inquiry into a major money laundering scheme threatens his position. Has old-time crime boss Big Ger Cafferty really given up the ghost, or is he biding his time until Edinburgh is once more ripe for the picking?

In a tale of twisted power, deep-rooted corruption and bitter rivalries, Rather Be the Devil showcases Rankin and Rebus at their unstoppable best.

My Take

This novel, #21 in the Rebus series, brings together John Rebus, Malcolm Fox, and Siobhan Clarke, and old arch-enemy Big Ger Cafferty. Rebus retired back in EXIT MUSIC, but he has knowledge that is invaluable to the police. Fox and Rebus, once rivals, have now decided that they can work together if need be. Rebus of course does not have a police badge but is not above using Fox's business card if it furthers his cause.

Rebus has never forgotten the unsolved murder of Maria Turquand forty years before, the main suspects in the murder are all still alive, and it is a case that Rebus would love to solve.

Rebus is not in the best of health, has even given up smoking, and is drinking light beer, encouraged by his current girl friend who also conducts police autopsies.

The past meets the present when a young gangster modelling himself on Big Ger Cafferty is mugged in his driveway, and then when a banker is abducted.

I found the plots a bit twisted and convoluted, hence the slightly lower rating, but still a good read.

My rating: 4.5

I've also read
THE COMPLAINTS
DOORS OPEN
HIDE & SEEK
4.4, BEGGARS BANQUET
4.4, WITCH HUNT - writing as Jack Harvey
4.5, THE FALLS
4.7, THE IMPOSSIBLE DEAD
5.0, EXIT MUSIC
4.8, STANDING IN ANOTHER MAN'S GRAVE
4.7, SAINTS OF THE SHADOW BIBLE

1 comment:

Philip Butera said...

SleuthFest 2018

Dear Kerrie Smith,

Would you include information about SleuthFest for your readers on your blog?

SleuthFest is a writers’ conference sponsored annually by the Florida Chapter of Mystery Writers of America. 2018 will be its 24nd year.

2018’s Keynote is Andrew Gross, the Forensic Guest of Honor is Katherine Ramsland, Ph.D. The Guest Authors are James R. Benn, Hallie Ephron, Kristy Montee (PJ Parrish), and Hank Phillippi Ryan.

All the Guests of Honor will be giving intensive workshops and participating in panels and other sessions.

While SleuthFest’s emphasis is on writing mystery/thrillers/suspense, over the years, it has become one of the best conferences for writers of all genres. There are four tracks of workshops, presentations, and panels in writing craft, business & marketing, and forensics.

Other features are the annual Freddie Awards for Writing. There are cocktail parties, a raffle, informal mingling and pitch sessions with top agents and editors.

For many writers, SleuthFest is where they met their agent or editor. Unique to SleuthFest is the Strategy Sessions with professionals. Attendees can arrange for one-on-one time to ask about issues pertaining to their manuscript.

SleuthFest 2018 will take place March 1-4 at the Embassy Suites by Hilton in Boca Raton, Florida. More information can be found on the website at www.sleuthfest.com, or contact Victoria Landis & Michael Joy, our Co-Chairs, at Sleuthfestinfo@gmail.com.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,
Philip Butera
SleuthFest Publicity Co-Ordinator
561 445 7784

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