Rather be the Devil by Ian Rankin

rather be te devilI was first introduced to Ian Rankin novels many years ago when my daughter mentioned that her form teacher’s name was used in his books. That was so many years ago that said daughter is a form teacher herself. Sorry Ian!

Most recently I read Rather be the Devil and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Here. I think the author has blended the characters of Rebus, Siobhan and his newer character, Malcolm Fox with expert skill to create a really cracking read.

In Rather be the Devil, the unification of Police Scotland and the establishment of specialist units is also tackled. Fox has moved to the Serious Crime Unit in Gartcosh making the daily commute from Edinburgh. Siobhan is bitter because he received the posting over her and Rebus continues to act as if nothing has changed.

Rebus, although retired from the force, can’t stop wondering about the death of glamorous socialite Maria Turquand. Her brutal murder, forty years previously was never solved. Rebus won’t rest until her killer is found and both Fox and Siobhan become involved in his quest.

The arch villain, Big Ger Cafferty also makes a welcome return, but his position as Edinburgh premier crime baron is being challenged by young Darryl Christie. When Christie is attacked, Cafferty seems to be the likely assailant. But nothing is ever simple in the world of John Rebus. IanRankin

Rather be the Devil was an excellent read. Well crafted, exciting and I think it is Ian Rankin’s best work for a few years. It is a great read for holidays, books clubs or just because you enjoy reading the undisputed king of tartan noir.

Val Penny


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