THE BEAT GOES ON by Ian Rankin

THE BEAT GOES ON

The Complete Rebus Stories
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Rebus fans, rejoice: here are one novella, two new stories, and 28 reprinted tales about veteran detective John Rebus.

This cross section of Rebus’ career includes a month-by-month account of his detective work, starting with “Playback,” a case that everyone but our hero considers open-and-shut. It’s followed by a tale of a homeless man providing Rebus with a valuable clue in “Being Frank”; a vision of Jesus that helps solve a murder in “Seeing Things”; an assist from Shakespeare in "A Good Hanging”; and the cycle’s final entry, in which an ex-con finds his own kind of peace at the year’s end in “Auld Lang Syne.” Christmas brings its offbeat crimes, too. "No Sanity Claus” shows how useful a holiday outfit can be for a small-time crook. In “St. Nicked,” a Yuletide heist takes an unexpected turn. And Rebus finds himself in a showdown at the Festival of Santas in “Penalty Claus.” In other previously published stories, the detective’s keen ear cracks a case in "Talk Show,” and his skill with crossword puzzles comes to the fore in “Trip Trap.” Rebus, generally a notorious rule flouter, is unusually conscientious in "Facing the Music.” The novella, Death Is Not the End, reunites Rebus with a childhood friend and an old flame. In "The Very Last Drop,” the recently retired Rebus takes on a ghost in a brewery. The first of the two new stories, "The Passenger,” concerns a woman who bought a one-way ticket on a solitary holiday, and the second shows the perennially hard-drinking Rebus running true to form when he’s up against “A Three-Pint Problem.”

Rankin’s (Saints of the Shadow Bible, 2014, etc.) canny cop is as gray and dour as his Edinburgh beat, but he’s in fine form in these clever, occasionally touching, and often wryly funny vignettes.

Pub Date: Aug. 11th, 2015
ISBN: 978-0-316-29683-0
Page count: 240pp
Publisher: Little, Brown
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1st, 2015




Kirkus Interview
Ian Rankin
August 11, 2015

Brilliant, irascible and frequently frustrating to both his friends and his long-suffering bosses, John Rebus has made the dark places of Edinburgh his home for over two decades. The Beat Goes On: The Complete Rebus Stories collects all of Ian Rankin's Rebus short stories for the first time, including two never-before published tales written specifically for this collection. From his beginnings as a young Detective Constable in “Dead and Buried,” right up to his dramatic, but not quite final, retirement in “The Very Last Drop,” Rebus shines in these stories, confirming his status as one of crime fiction's most compelling, brilliant, and unforgettable characters. “Rankin’s canny cop is as gray and dour as his Edinburgh beat, but he’s in fine form in these clever, occasionally touching, and often wryly funny vignettes,” our reviewer writes; we talk to Rankin this week on Kirkus TV. View video >

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