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A SONG FOR THE DARK TIMES BY IAN RANKIN

We have gathered all the fantastic reviews our Book Club Members have sent us this month.

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REVIEWS

A Rose

This book is classic 'Tartan Noire', the 23rd in the series of John Rebus thrillers. Two murders, one in Edinburgh and the second in the far North of Scotland, start this dark tale set in 2020 with now-retired detective John Rebus as the common factor. The first death is a rich foreign student the second is Rebus' daughter's husband. Initially unrelated, the investigations gradually become linked via Rebus. He is as sharp as ever, often ahead of the professionals, and his powers are motivated by the family connection. Despite the horrific crimes there is a dry humour in the detective work, for example: 'if this was a Western, the piano player would have stopped.' I was surprised at the little respect paid to the Police by minor characters in the book. Rebus is also condescending to the abilities of the investigating detectives but with one exception, Detective Inspector Siobhan Clarke. He even entrusts her with the care of his dog Brillo. Surely, that indicates Siobhan as Rebus' literary successor.

P Fisher

Thank you so much for sending me this book it was a lovely surprise, just before Christmas. I really enjoyed the story, Ian Rankin is very readable. This was a change to the usual Rebus books as it was set in Edinburgh and the far north of Scotland. Some characters from previous novels were involved but you didn’t need to know a ‘back story’. The story around Camp 1033 showed how history can come back and affect today’s life! I got a sense of the lonely landscape in the north , where the nearest big town was Thurso but also the busyness of Edinburgh with its night life. A good read especially for detective story fans!

Colin Holgate

This is the first book by Ian Rankin I have read, it certainly will not be my last. The prologue well establishes the characters, and the framework for what is to follow. As the plot evolves it seems a disappearance and a murder have no connection. However there are many suspects that seem link the two together. From a sleazy night club owner, a property developer and a Lord of the manor. The reader is taken on a journey with high powered investors in Edinburgh to villagers that have a past to hide in a remote village in the highlands of Scotland. It is not until the final few chapters of the book that who committed the murders, the motive behind them and how they are connected are revealed. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, and cannot wait to read another ‘John Rebus’ thriller.

Joyce Williams

Having red “Rebus Last case” last year, I was intrigued to be sent a new Rebus story. A different Rebus now on the outside trying to get involved with the investigation. His daughters partner is murdered hence Rebus drive to investigate. The book had an excellent plot involving two separate murders. Once started the story drew you in with no obvious killers. Where next for the retired Rebus? An entertaining and satisfying read.

Jenny Martin

Ian Rankin has done it again. Rebus is retired and moving into a ground floor flat because of his COPD, but he drops everything when his daughter’s partner goes missing. He drives to the far north to assist with the search. Meanwhile, in Edinburgh, Siobhan and her team are investigating a murder that appears to be a racist attack. Rebus has also left his faithful dog Brillo for her to look after. In the north the partner’s body is found at an old World War 2 internment camp where he had been researching its history. The two cases seem to become entwined by the local Laird, landowner and investor in a huge development project, in which the first victim is also a potential investor. There are the usual Rankin twists and turns before both murders are solved. The aging Big Ger Cafferty plays a part in an attempt to extend his power the Edinburgh underworld. Is he on his way out? Let’s hope that Rankin can produce at least one more gripping saga for the battle scarred Rebus to solve.

R Dinsmore

First and foremost I have yet to read a book by the said author, so when this arrived on my doorstep I was delighted. Whenever I browse a book the attraction, to me, is usually the title, which initially did not excite me. As I progressed through the book my interest had a tendency to ebb and flow, as an increasing number of characters appeared on the scene with little introduction to the individuals' role in the story. Perhaps what I should have done, as an aide memoir, would have been to compile a list of the characters and their position within the story. However as the plots unfolded my desire to complete the book was enhanced. What I particularly enjoyed was the journeys between Edinburgh and the more northern outcrop of Scotland and the final solving of the various crimes along the way. As a footnote I am still baffled by the book's title!

Philip Graves

A Song for Dark Times brings together all of Ian Rankin's long-established recurring characters in two interconnected cases. Although Rebus is now retired from the police, Rankin continues to find mysteries for him to solve, in this case the disappearance of his estranged daughter's partner in the north of Scotland. Meanwhile Siobhan Clarke and Malcolm Fox are working on a seemingly unrelated murder in Edinburgh. A satisfying and entertaining read.

Jan Woods

I really enjoy murder mystery books and so I had high expectations when I started reading this one. I normally really enjoy Ian Rankin’s books, but sadly I didn’t find this one the page turner I expected it to be. A fairly good and readable book nonetheless.

Christopher Hulston

Ian Rankin has done it again. Another outstanding addition to his Rebus novels. An engaging and compelling read. I just didn't want to put it down. It's a very entertaining murder mystery novel with a great plot, strong complex characters and a twist to the storyline. I found it very intriguing following the two parallel storylines of the two murders and the twists and turns kept me guessing to the end. It was also very interesting to read the in-depth historical information of the main area of the crimes. Would highly recommend this book.