Rather Be the Devil
Rating: 4 / 5
Multi-award-winning Ian Rankin OBE knows how to spin a captivating yarn, and his most famous character, the more or less retired Scottish detective inspector, John Rebus, is back to splutter and spin his way to glory. Or at least another cup of coffee and forbidden cigarette.
Rebus isn’t the only chap wrestling with retirement in Edinburgh’s seamy underbelly—Big Ger Cafferty may have moved on in name and position, but is he ready to quit the field? And the young criminal pretender to Cafferty’s throne, Darryl Christie—what’s his story? Rankin will get there in his own time, through a leisurely 310-page saga.
In truth, Ian Rankin’s superannuated, broken yet resilient copper may seem far-fetched. For fans, like a pair of slippers or that nocturnal dressing gown, Rebus fits the bill. And more power to the author for that, after so many years of keeping a character credible and loved. If the old trope “Write what you know” was true, Mr Rankin would be a very dangerous man indeed.