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A Good Hanging [Mass Market Paperback]

Ian Rankin
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 Jun 1998

Edinburgh is a city steeped in history and tradition, a seat of learning, of elegant living, known as the 'Athens of the North'.

But that isn't all. The city's flip-side is a city of grudges, blackmail, violence, greed and fear - where past and present clash and old wounds fester. In any year Detective Inspector John Rebus can expect gang warfare, murder, assault and battery at the very least.

In this collection he investigates the hanging of a student actor during the Festival, an arson attack on a bird watcher and the witnessing of an apparent miracle...


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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Orion; New edition edition (1 Jun 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0752809431
  • ISBN-13: 978-0752809434
  • Product Dimensions: 17.6 x 11 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 306,770 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Born in the Kingdom of Fife in 1960, Ian Rankin graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 1982, and then spent three years writing novels when he was supposed to be working towards a PhD in Scottish Literature. His first Rebus novel was published in 1987, and the Rebus books are now translated into thirty-six languages and are bestsellers worldwide.

Ian Rankin has been elected a Hawthornden Fellow, and is also a past winner of the Chandler-Fulbright Award. He is the recipient of four Crime Writers' Association Dagger Awards including the prestigious Diamond Dagger in 2005. In 2004, Ian won America's celebrated Edgar Award for Resurrection Men. He has also been shortlisted for the Anthony Award in the USA, won Denmark's Palle Rosenkrantz Prize, the French Grand Prix du Roman Noir and the Deutscher Krimipreis. Ian Rankin is also the recipient of honorary degrees from the universities of Abertay, St Andrews, Edinburgh, Hull and the Open University.

A contributor to BBC2's Newsnight Review, he also presented his own TV series, Ian Rankin's Evil Thoughts. Rankin is a number one bestseller in the UK and has received the OBE for services to literature, opting to receive the prize in his home city of Edinburgh, where he lives with his partner and two sons.

Here are the Inspector Rebus stories in series order:

Knots and Crosses
Hide and Seek
Tooth and Nail
Strip Jack
The Black Book
Mortal Causes
Let it Bleed
Black and Blue
The Hanging Garden
Dead Souls
Set in Darkness
The Falls
Resurrection Men
A Question of Blood
Fleshmarket Close
The Naming of the Dead
Exit Music

Short stories:
A Good Hanging - 12 Inspector Rebus mysteries
Beggars Banquet (non-Rebus short stories)

Here are the Jack Harvey novels in series order:

Witch Hunt
Bleeding Hearts
Blood Hunt

Product Description

Review

Audiobook of the week¿.the main pleasure of these 11 tales lies in the baroque nature of the criminal puzzles the Edinburgh copper has to solve: a student actor hanged on his own gallows; a ghost complete with stigmata; a supposed IRA assassination attempt. Macpherson played DCI Jardine in ITV's Taggart for 16 years, so is at home on this Scottish police beat, which stretches back to Rebus's early years in print (Karen Robinson THE SUNDAY TIMES)

A treat for Rebus fans who like clever mysteries served up professionally and fancy-free; unsolved likewise. It was also an unexpected treat for this reviewer, who does not read much crime, but found herself gripped by Rankin's art as a story-teller. (Melanie Reid THE HERALD)

Rankin is incapable of writing a bad story, and the four here display the usual mix of easy erudition and wit, finished off with compulsory twists. (Alison Rowat THE HERALD) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

Twelve Inspector Rebus mysteries from the award-winning, No.1 bestselling author.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
It was the perfect murder. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Bit-sized Rebus 16 Nov 2008
By L. Davidson VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
"A Good Hanging" is a moderately entertaining collection of short stories about Ian Rankin's Edinburgh based Detective Inspector Rebus. Many of them are like little potted versions of the Rebus novels with the labyrinthine plotting expunged and the denouements shortened. Some of the stories are better than others with my personal favourites being "Not Provan" set against the background of a Hearts football match and "The Gentlemen's Club" ,a tragic tale of illicit lust amongst privileged teenage girls.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bits of the Best -- 12 Aug 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
A collection of short stories is an excellent way to be introduced to an author, and this collection should net Ian Rankin many, many new readers.
Such an edition as this is rather a throw-back to those good-old 'golden' days of the great mystery writers, such as Dame Agatha, Ellery Queen, Rex Stout and many others who regularly wrote short stories along with their full-length novels. Eventually, when a dozen or so of these little gems had accrued in the author's basket, they would be brought out in their own separate volume. Many of these collections are as well known as the authors' full-length novels.
Following this lead, Mr. Rankin displays a sure touch with this batch of shorter stories, all of which feature Detective Inspector John Rebus of the Edinburgh police force. There are other continuing characters as well, who surface here or there, providing a spot of humor or compassion or just camaraderie.
I'd not read anthing by Mr. Rankin before finding this book. That situation is about to be remedied as I go looking for "Knots and Crosses" to begin at the beginning of the Inspector Rebus tales. I would highly recommend a similar path to any other devoted readers of mystery novels, especially those who treasure a setting that's nearly part of the plot, characters with whom one can practically form a friendship, and above all, exellent writing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Authentic but not impressive 17 Oct 2011
Format:Paperback
A decent collection of short stories. Some of these stories really fascinated me, but unfortunately not the majority of them. Those that did certainly did make me want to delve deeper into the story, especially the title story which was my favourite from the collection. All round, the stories were of good quality and did have a certain Scottish authenticity. I didn't find myself loving or loathing Rebus, but he was a very realistic character. The stories were good for a quick read - I'm not sure I'd have liked most o them if they had been full length, though. I'd be interested in reading more of Rankin's works.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Bye Bye Rebus 16 July 2011
Format:Paperback
Sadly I read this as my last Rebus Novel.I awaited its arrival hungry for the chance to steep myself in the Rebus world....for the last time....except that it isn't a Rebus,its a collection of very short Rebus stories.Sadly the short story format denies one the key entry into John's private life and even much in the way of of his hourly/daily working interaction.No Clarke.
The format was a big disappointment
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19 of 24 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Perfect as a first Rankin book and introduction to Rebus, or for a quick fix of excellent stories when you're too busy to spend 10 hours with a Rankin novel that you just can't put down.
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must for all Ian Rankin fans! 30 Sep 2000
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
If you are an Ian Rankin fan who finds it hard to put down his books then this is the one for you. There is a nice mixture of short stories so you can put the book down to do essential chores! As usual the style, delivery and content cannot fail to please.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Taut, Tight Stories, But Little Emotional Heft 1 Dec 2010
By Stephanie De Pue TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
"A Good Hanging," (1992) is a collection of twelve taut, tight short stories, in the Detective Chief Inspector John Rebus series, by the outstanding, award-winning, author Ian Rankin, currently the best-selling author of British mysteries in the United Kingdom. It can, like most of his work, be described as a police procedural, within the tartan noir school, and it is set in Edinburgh, more or less Rankin's home town. Mind you, it surely isn't the tourists' Edinburgh, with its tartan tea rooms and cobbled streets: Rankin takes readers to far meaner streets than any tourists will ever see. Within the book's pages we see many of the city's anonymous middle-class neighborhoods, and its slums. We also meet blackmailers, peeping toms, and a satisfying quotient of murderers.

However, the stories, well-done as they are, do rather lack the author's usual vibrant commentary on the city of Edinburgh, and on Scots weather, food preferences, social habits, etc. that I always so much enjoy. But, mind you, the book is still written with power, wit and energy. The stories also lack the emotional heft that would make them memorable. Only "The Dean Curse," about a retired army man, evidently written as a comment upon Dashiell Hammett's The Dain Curse (Crime Masterworks); and the title story, about a troupe of green young actors in Edinburgh for its famous annual drama festival, actually get any traction. I must also add that these short stories do not show the playful audacious invention of Irvine Welsh's Reheated Cabbage. Perhaps Rankin finds the short detective story format somewhat limiting.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Al great collection of stories
Well written selection of short stories. A good way to read some different ideas from Rankin, featuring Rebus and Edinburgh as usual but riffing on the themes.
Published 3 months ago by Kate O'Brien
4.0 out of 5 stars a good read
very interesting short stories, I always enjoy Ian rankin novels and this was not a disappointment. A fan of this writer.
Published 3 months ago by Chazcooke
5.0 out of 5 stars Rebus
Had not seen tv series. Enjoyed descriptions of Scotland's capital city. Well written stories. May possibly recommend it to friends.
Published 5 months ago by Mrs. D. Gunn
5.0 out of 5 stars As good as usual
Always a good read , very well researched. I am always looking for his books in the catalogue. I was a little put off at rebus on the television as he did not fit in with my idea... Read more
Published 11 months ago by barbara hewetson
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb
If you are an addict of Rebus, as I am, then this is a must. Each short story is a tease towards the next and this volume has been with me constantly since it arrived. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Mr. G. Logan
4.0 out of 5 stars Good story line, well researched.
This story held my interest throughout.
I would recommend this read to anyone who is interested in a good read.
Published 15 months ago by Ian Stevenson
3.0 out of 5 stars Rabbit out of the hat
A Good Hanging is just one of the 12 stories in the book. I felt that the solving by Rebus in each story was to say the least contrived or "magiced" and not deduced from... Read more
Published 16 months ago by Colin E Baker
3.0 out of 5 stars There are better long stories
If you are an Ian Rankin/Rebus fan and haven't got this then when you get it you will enjoy some of the stories. Read more
Published on 16 Oct 2011 by Jeremy Scholes
5.0 out of 5 stars Hung By the Short and Curio
Short stories are usually a format I don't like; they can never delve deep enough into a story to capture my attention. Read more
Published on 13 Jun 2011 by Sam Tyler
4.0 out of 5 stars Rankin's `aving a laugh
In "A Good Hanging", Ian Rankin gives us a collection of short Rebus stories, with his tongue firmly planted in his cheek. Read more
Published on 24 May 2011 by Mr. Ross Maynard
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