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I have just completed Exit Music which is the last in the series. I have mixed feelings about it, since I started the series with book one and read them in order. I knew that they would come to an end but I'm somewhat sad about that.

 

The ending of Exit Music - to me - was disappointing since it ended on a cliff hanger which leaves the possibility of another book, should Rankin change his mind. Although I don't want the series to end, at the same time Rankin made his decision to retire Rebus, which he did in the book, and stated that Exit Music would be the last Rebus book.

 

That said, I enjoyed Exit Music, especially finding out the reason for the title which came near the end, in the same way that I enjoyed all of the others, and sorry to see the end of not only this book but the series. Not sure I'd be that interested in Rankin's other work, though.

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Hi All,

 

I really want to read a rebus on the recommendation of my boss - I don't want to look like I'm sucking up by asking which one she'd recommend as a good starting point.

 

if you read Ian Rankin could you suggest a good one from the collection?

 

Mucho Thanks in advance

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My first Rebus was "Dead Souls", which is the 10th in the series and was good enough for me to want to read more.

With most detective series, I'd usually suggest starting at the beginning (in this case with "Knots & Crosses") but Rankin himself has admitted he felt he didn't properly hit his stride until around the fifth novel "The Black Book". There's not as strong a story arc with Rebus as there is with some other crime series, but Rankin does age him as the series progresses and therefore there is some value in reading Rebus from book one.

 

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i'll have to re-read Black and Blue.

 

The Rebus that most interesed me was the first one. Apparently at that stage Rankin hadn't imagined he was writing genre-style crime. What this idea came to mean to him interests me as a writer as well as a reader. I'd start there :)

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It made sense just to merge these two threads.

 

After I read Knots and Crosses I wasn't overly enthusiastic about the Rankin/Rebus books, in fact, I haven't read further, but all this praise for Black and Blue makes me think I should try that.

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I read Knots and Crosses first, didn't care for it overmuch, then jumped forward and read Black and Blue [...]
After I read Knots and Crosses I wasn't overly enthusiastic about the Rankin/Rebus books [...]
We're obviously kindred spirits, Hazel.

;)

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I think I started with Black & Blue, taking advice from something on the internet somewhere. On reflection, I wish I'd started at the beginning as I ended up reading all of the Rebus books from B&B onwards. Each book stands on its own, but there are characters and storylines that run through which will be better appreciated if you know the back story.

 

You should be able to pick most of the books up cheap in 2nd hand shops or online.

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A bit off-topic, but Rankin's first non-Rebus book is out now in paperback - Doors Open:

 

For the right man, all doors are open... Mike Mackenzie is a self-made man with too much time on his hands and a bit of the devil in his soul. He is looking for something to liven up the days and perhaps give new meaning to his existence. A chance encounter at an art auction offers him the opportunity to do just that as he settles on a plot to commit a 'perfect crime'. He intends to rip-off one of the most high-profile targets in the capital - the National Gallery of Scotland. So, together with two close friends from the art world, he devises a plan to a lift some of the most valuable artwork around. But of course, the real trick is to rob the place for all its worth whilst persuading the world that no crime was ever committed. But soon after he enters the dark waters of the criminal underworld he realises that it's very easy to drown...

 

I've only read Knots and Crosses but am interested in reading more Rankin. Think this might be included on a future holiday reading list.

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I think I said it way back when, but I agree that Black and Blue was excellent and is well worth a read. I very much enjoyed the development from a real-life case.
:D Don't fight over giving me recommendations! I remember to thank you both if I like it, and presumably both too should I hate it?
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  • 2 months later...

I finished Black & Blue the other night. I must say I liked it more than I did Knots & Crosses. I very much enjoyed Rankin's theory as to what happened to Bible John, though I very much doubt that the real BJ (if he is still alive) would return to Glasgow to see off a young pretender. I didn't find the resolution of the Johnny Bible strand very satisfying, the Tony El strand, yes. I've got to say though Rebus and Rankin just don't really click with me, and while I enjoyed some more Bible John lore, that's all I really enjoyed and I have decided Rankin and Hazel just don't dance.

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I'm listening to Hide and Seek at the moment. It's feels quite dated - with the references to Ford Escorts and having to run to a phone box - but I guess that's to be expected in a way.

 

The black magic theme has been well handled so far, and I hope it stays that way!

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I'm listening to Hide and Seek at the moment.
I've obviously not spent too much time in my car recently as I've only just started listening to disk 6 or 8. I'm finding the whole story quite heavy going - think I need a nice long journey to knock it on the head!
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The 10-pack of Rankins that I bought recently included 5 Rebus books, and I started with the short stories. Difficult to figure out what the passage of time was between them, but the book was published in 1992. It was quite sobering to realise how much had changed in 17 years. One story majored on the fact that one of the characters had a phone in his car.

 

I will read the others in order if I can figure it out, buit certainly won't be buying the missing ones so that I can start at the start.

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