Rather Be the Devil (Inspector John Rebus Series #21)

Rather Be the Devil (Inspector John Rebus Series #21)

by Ian Rankin


$6.98 $27.00 Save 74% Current price is $6.98, Original price is $27. You Save 74%. View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Wednesday, December 11


An Instant New York Times Bestseller

Rebus investigates a cold case that just turned red hot.

As he settles into an uneasy retirement, Rebus has given up his favorite vices. There's just one habit he can't shake: he can't let go of an unsolved case. It's the only pastime he has left and up until now, it's the only one that wasn't threatening to kill him. But when Rebus starts reexamining the facts behind the long-ago murder of a glamorous woman at a luxurious hotel - on the same night a famous rock star and his entourage where also staying there - the past comes roaring back to life with a vengeance.

And as soon as Rebus starts asking questions about the long forgotten crime, a fresh body materializes. His inquiries reunite him with his old pals-Siobhan Clarke and Malcolm Fox-as they attempt to uncover the financial chicanery behind the savage beating of an upstart gangster, a crime that suggests the notorious old school crime boss Big Ger Cafferty has taken to retirement as poorly as Rebus himself.

As he connects the mysteries of the past to the those of the present, Rebus learns - the hard way - that he's not the only one with an insatiable curiosity about what happened in that hotel room forty years ago, and that someone will stop at nothing to ensure that the crime remains ancient history.

A twisted tale of power, corruption, and bitter rivalries in the dark heart of Edinburgh, Rather Be the Devil showcases Rankin and Rebus at their unstoppable best.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780594828174
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication date: 01/31/2017
Series: Inspector John Rebus Series , #21
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 354,816
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Ian Rankin is a #1 international bestselling author. Winner of an Edgar Award and the recipient of a Gold Dagger for fiction and the Chandler-Fulbright Award, he lives in Edinburgh, Scotland, with his wife and their two sons.


Edinburgh, London and France

Date of Birth:

April 28, 1960

Place of Birth:

Cardenden, Scotland


Edinburgh University

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Rather Be the Devil 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
tedfeit0 More than 1 year ago
While it is always enjoyable to read a Rebus mystery, “Rather Be the Devil” seems like Ian Rankin strained on this one and the retired detective appears to be just going through the motions in this novel. The apparent resurrection of Big Ger Cafferty, one-time big boss of the Edinburgh crime scene, thought also to be retired, is another example that the series might be a bit long in the tooth. At the start of the book, Rebus becomes intrigued with a cold case in which a vivacious woman married to a leading Scottish banker known to enjoy numerous affairs was found murdered in a hotel room many years before. Meanwhile Malcolm Fox has been promoted resulting in a strained relationship with Siobhan Clarke, who remains behind. But their lives, along with Rebus’, once again are intertwined as they investigate, at first, the savage beating of Cafferty’s former protégé, Darryl Christie, now a force all to himself, and then a money-laundering scheme. As the cases seem to come together, involving past and present, it becomes clearer that rivalry between Big Ger and Darryl is setting the stage for a sequel. Despite these misgivings, the novel is, as has been the entire series, very well-written. Let’s hope the next book will resume the level expected of a Rebus mystery, although the groundwork has been laid in this chapter for his permanent retirement, with hints of lung cancer or tuberculosis. Say it isn’t so, Ian! Recommended.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A LOT of unraveling and so,vying in the last few pages. And the sudden appearance -- and sudden events -- with the Russian was not satsfying.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A fine addition to the Rebus canon. Fans of Rankin’s books should enjoy it, but for newbies go back to the beginning. Watch as the times change from book to book, and year to year, but Rebus mostly doesn’t. In these books that’s a good thing.
glauver More than 1 year ago
Ian Rankin has written a sequel to Even Dogs In The Wild, his last John Rebus novel. Actually, the book is as much about former internal affair cop Malcolm Fox as it is the retired Rebus. They, along with Rebus's former partner Siobhan Clarke, are pulled into the ongoing struggle between mobsters Big Ger Cafferty and Darryl Christie. The plot centers on a long ago unsolved murder of a free spirited woman, the savage beating of Christie, and the recent laundering and disappearance of international funds in Edinburgh. Personally, I feel the addition of Fox has resulted in too many plot lines and that Rebus is offstage too much of the time, but that this is still a gripping crime novel.
auditor2 More than 1 year ago
Having read most all of the Rebus books and watched most of the shows, I was excited about the newest release. And then I read that there would be no more for a while and Mr. Rankin is taking a break. That’s when I cried, “Nooooo”. But still, I couldn’t wait to dig into this one. In the book, John Rebus, as incapable of settling into his retirement as he is of playing by the rules, investigates a cold case from the 1970s involving a gorgeous and wealthy female socialite who was found dead in a bedroom at one of Edinburgh's most luxurious hotels. No one was ever found guilty, but the scandalous circumstances of the murder have kept the town talking for over forty years. But this book was so much more. His inquiries reunite him with his old pals-Siobhan Clarke and Malcolm Fox-as they attempt to uncover the financial chicanery behind the savage beating of an upstart gangster, a crime that suggests the notorious old school crime boss Big Ger Cafferty has taken to retirement as poorly as Rebus himself. As the clues unfolded, it started me to guessing as to what would happen and how the story would unfold to the conclusion. And in the end I got it so wrong. That’s what I especially like about Mr. Rankin’s books. He reveals one clue that leads to another and to another as the story unfolds. And oh by the way, he does solve the cold case along the way. The only disappointment is that we have to wait to know what happens to Fox and his problem. And it sounds as if we may be waiting for a long time. I received this book in exchange for my honest review.
PaulAllard More than 1 year ago
Rebus is getting old in body but still sharp in mind The latest Rebus novel is a convoluted affair bringing together two cases, one dating back several years. Murders, drug trafficking, gambling, kidnapping, money laundering all play their part as Siobhan Clarke, Matthew Fox and Rebus all work together – and separately – to uncover the culprits behind all of these crimes. A good tale well-told, engaging and interesting although I did get a bit lost at times remembering who is who. Well worth a read.