Mystery Book Reviews

Book Review: Exit Music

By Sandy Amazeen Oct 3, 2008, 5:29 GMT

Book Review: Exit Music

It\'s late in the fall in Edinburgh and late in the career of Detective Inspector John Rebus. As he is simply trying to tie up some loose ends before his retirement, a new case lands on his desk: a dissident Russian poet has been murdered in what looks like a mugging gone wrong. Rebus discovers that an elite delegation of Russian businessmen is in town, looking to expand its interests. ...more

Facing mandatory retirement, Detective Inspector John Rebus has a mere ten days to wrap up a number of loose ends before leaving the department forever. Rebus doesn’t relish the thought of retired life although his supervisors look forward to the prospect with barely contained glee. It won’t be long before they no longer have to deal with his unorthodox style. As Rebus, assisted by Detective Sergeant Siobhan Clarke, his capable protégée begin investigating the beating death of a dissident Russian poet Alexander Todorov, they come to realize the apparently random act of violence has deeper, more sinister roots.

Todorov was an outspoken critic of the new breed of Russian executives who appeared more interested in furthering their materialistic desires then taking care of their fellow countrymen. With a series of big business deals and backroom wheeling/dealings, these executives are deeply involved in Edinburgh’s underbelly. As the investigation continues, Rebus discovers involvement by his arch nemesis Big Ger Cafferty and it would be a crowning achievement to bring this ubervillain to justice. With subplots twinning through all Edinburgh, naturally, Rebus is officially pulled from the case but that has never stopped him before and it certainly won’t do so now.

Rankin’s compelling, fully realized characters carry this unevenly paced, circuitous tale as Rebus copes with the frustrations of forced retirement and Clarke attempts to establish a good accounting for herself, independent of Rebus. Overly detailed conversations serve to slow the story more then augment it but having said that, this is still a satisfying conclusion(?) to a fine series.



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