Rather Be The Devil by Ian Rankin

ratherbethedevil  Rebus retired, maybe time for the series also…  ***

Being an Ian Rankin fan, I was excited to be in Australia and purchase this book before it was available in the States.  Unfortunately, it was somewhat of a disappointment.

Following John Rebus as he uncovers a mystery is usually worth the read. His conflict with superiors and his odd relationship with the gangster, Big  Ger Cafferty, normally make Rankin’s novels page turners. This one falls short on both counts.

The lack of conflict made the reading tedious and the unraveling of the story was not gripping. The ending seemed rushed after all the pages used to set it up, and I closed the book unsatisfied.

Maybe Rankin should retire this series and start a fresh one.  This one gets three stars.


Even Dogs In The Wild by Ian Rankin



Old dogs, old tricks……    **


The hero, John Rebus is old and retired, the villain, Big Ger Cafferty, is old and on his way out, and unfortunately, Rankin’s writing is old, repetitive, and cliche. Having read all of the Rebus mysteries to date, I was looking forward to another good read. Sadly, I was disappointed.

This book focuses more on Siobhan Clarke and Malcolm Fox, both of whom are not very dynamic characters and were better as sidekicks. The plot has a few twists and turns but relies on worn out story lines to plod through.  Rankin falls into the Michael Connelly trap of spending too much time giving us turn by turn directions as the characters drive from point A to point B.

The previous Rankin novels had a compelling story and kept me turning pages, this one lost me almost from the beginning, but I kept reading thinking it would get better. There were too many characters and nothing about most of them held my interest.

I can only hope this was a dip in the normal great writing of Ian Rankin and he is not following writers like Connelly, Child, and Patterson who will never darken my bookshelf again.

This one gets two stars with a wish on both.