Friday, January 2, 2009
Exit Music by Ian Rankin
Exit Music is Ian Rankin's latest in his Inspector Rebus series and is the eighteenth book about this policeman. It is perhaps the last, as the book follows Rebus in his last week of work before his retirement. Set in Edinburgh, Rebus is somewhat of a maverick, his foibles tolerated due to his murder clearance rate.
A mugging has resulted in the death of a man. The victim turns out to be a Russian poet, living in Edinburgh for a few months. As Rebus and his longtime partner, Siobhan Clarke, investigate, ties to politicians, businessmen, and one of the city's well-known gangsters start to emerge. The fact that this is Rebus' last case means that new detectives are drawn into the investigation and start to form ties with the rest of the police force assigned to the investigation.
A second murder occurs, that of the sound engineer who recorded the poet's public readings. All of the businessmen and politicians seem to still be involved in this newer case. Then the gangster, a longtime enemy of Rebus', is attacked and left in a coma. Rebus is suspected and those in the police force who have seen him as a thorn in their side, are glad to try to charge him with the crime. He is suspended, yet solves the case which ends with a surprising twist.
Fans of Rankin's work will enjoy this latest novel in the series, although with bittersweet regrets that the series seems to be ending. The novel not only delivers an intricate mystery, but reveals the atmosphere of Edinburgh and the inner workings of the police there. This book is recommended for mystery lovers.