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Standing in Another Man's Grave [Hardcover]

Ian Rankin
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (911 customer reviews)
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Book Description

8 Nov 2012
It's twenty-five years since John Rebus appeared on the scene, and five years since he retired. But 2012 sees his return in STANDING IN ANOTHER MAN'S GRAVE. Not only is Rebus as stubborn and anarchic as ever, but he finds himself in trouble with Rankin's latest creation, Malcolm Fox of Edinburgh's internal affairs unit. Added to which, Rebus may be about to derail the career of his ex-colleague Siobhan Clarke, while himself being permanently derailed by mob boss and old adversary Big Ger Cafferty. But all Rebus wants to do is discover the truth about a series of seemingly unconnected disappearances stretching back to the millennium. The problem being, no one else wants to go there - and that includes Rebus's fellow officers. Not that any of that is going to stop Rebus. Not even when his own life and the careers of those around him are on the line.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Orion; First Edition edition (8 Nov 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1409144712
  • ISBN-13: 978-1409144717
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 15.2 x 3.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (911 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 19,547 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


Genius... Rankin once again proves himself to be the consummate master of crime. (David Robinson SCOTLAND ON SUNDAY)

Ian Rankin's fiction is as reliable as it is successful, so this installment will thrill his many fans. (LITERARY REVIEW)

Rebus has returned... and it's a treat to welcome him back (TIMES)

An impeccably crafted whodunnit (John Dugdale SUNDAY TIMES)

Rebus is without doubt one of the funniest among the classical fictional detectives, and his 19th case features some fine one-liners... STANDING IN ANOTHER MAN'S GRAVE is Rankin's most interesting book politically... Cheeringly, it seems clear from the final pages that there will be more Rebus books to chart the next stage in Scotland's story (Mark Lawson GUARDIAN)

Rankin draws us into a thematically rich plot that evolves into a meditation on morality and how best to asses a man's worth... Rebus is one of the most popular fictional characters of our generation. (Declan Burke IRISH TIMES)

Now we know retirement has not withered Rebus (Jake Kerridge DAILY TELEGRAPH)

Rebus is back and the result is an outstanding whodunit, a book that should be read by anyone wanting to experience the very best of modern crime fiction. It is high praise indeed to suggest that this is the finest book Ian Rankin has ever written: but in our view it is. (UNDISCOVEREDSCOTLAND.COM)

Rebus hasn't changed; he's as sharp, petty, curmudgeonly and likeable as ever. (IRISH SUNDAY INDEPENDENT 2012-12-02)

Vintage Rankin... [a] thoroughly absorbing, endlessly twisting tale. I was gripped from first page to last - and so will you be. (READER'S DIGEST)

Vintage Rebus (MORNING STAR 2012-11-27)

Gritty and hard-hitting, it's the work of a writer at the very top of his game. (SUNDAY MIRROR 2012-11-04)

The prose is as ferocious as ever; the sense of place matchless; this is British crime-writing of the finest, lasting quality. (Geoffry Wansell DAILY MAIL 2012-11-23)

A seasonal treat for crime fiction fans. (CHOICE 2012-12-06)

Rankin's malcontent still makes for an irresistibly morose companion (i 2012-11-22)

Rankin's dialogue flows so naturally that it's easy to dismiss his subtler gifts; no one captures the bleak grandeur of Scotland, or the mindset of those charged with upholding its law, in quite the same way. (Christopher Fowler FINANCIAL TIMES 2012-11-24)

"For crime novel aficionados, this year's literary sensation is not 50 Shades of whatever or JK Rowling's non-magical foray into adult fiction. No, it is the return of one of the genre's finest characters; and what a welcome return it is. (SUNDAY EXPRESS 2012-11-18)

Rebus is back, in a novel long, meaty and persuasive enough to make up for the years of absence. (Allan Massie SPECTATOR 2012-11-10)

Ian Rankin's now iconic Rebus series provides a better biography of modern Edinburgh over the past 25 years than almost anything else. (Alex Heminsley INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY)

Book Description


The brand-new crime novel from No. 1 bestselling author Ian Rankin.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
113 of 118 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars '...better to be miserable and alive...' 15 Nov 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
What a joy to have my old friend Rebus back and on top form! For the first (and only!) time in my life I feel I have to thank the government for putting up the retirement age, so giving Ian Rankin this opportunity to resurrect my all time favourite policeman. Curmudgeonly as ever, but with dry sense of humour very much intact, ( a woman with multiple piercings who refuses a drink - 'Pity, I wanted to see if you leak...') Rebus is now working in the cold cases unit. But when a young girl goes missing he makes a connection with a previous disappearance and quickly finds a way to shoehorn himself into the current investigation. The case involves several disappearances all linked to the A9 road, so Rebus is forced to leave his Edinburgh comfort zone and travel into the small towns and rural communities of the north. As he points out, he sometimes feels he's never been this far from a pub in his life.

The old characters are here - Siobhan, still unable to do the sensible thing and cut her links with her maverick old mentor; Big Ger Cafferty, like Rebus semi-retired, but still with a finger in every criminal pie. But we also meet up with Malcolm Fox of The Complaints - since Rebus has applied to rejoin the force, Fox has been tasked with checking him out and is convinced that his links with Cafferty are a sign of corruption. It's a neat trick of Rankin's to show us Fox from the other side in this book - to Rebus he's the bad guy and it's very enjoyable to see if the old fox can outrun the new one.

I enjoyed both of the Malcolm Fox books hugely and hope Rankin does more of them, but oh, the pleasure of having Rebus back...I hope the government puts the police retirement age up to eighty! Highly recommended.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Life in the old dog yet 7 Feb 2013
"Standing In Another Man's Grave" marks the return of Rankin's best-loved creation John Rebus. After the slight disappointment of his last appearance in "Exit Music", and a string of non-Rebus titles that don't quite cut it in the same way, Rankin perhaps had something to prove by returning to Rebus, but he's come up trumps with this latest title.

Rebus is now working cold cases, and this sets him on a collision course with a recent MisPer case being worked, in turn allowing the story to bring him into contact with Siobhan Clarke and Malcolm Fox (The Complaints). Interestingly, Rankin captures the essence of changing relationships really well, with the sense that Rebus is considered past it by most people he encounters - even former colleagues who once respected him - and yet he can still get results.

Although the Rebus/Fox encounter has been played up in some publicity material for the novel, in truth Fox has a minor role, although this is enough to make the reader appreciate just how dull he is in comparision with Rebus. The story of a series of missing persons along the stretch of the A9 going back years is done well, although the plot is not perhaps as strong as the characterisations, and there is something of a rushed, convenient ending in the closing chapters that didn't entirely convince - but it certainly keeps the pages turning.

Cleverly, Rankin broadens the canvas of the story here, gving Rebus free rein over much of the wider Scottish landscape, perhaps teeing up further stories where he can operate outside of Edinburgh?
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Sorry, he really must go this time 13 July 2013
By DebbieE
If I hadn't been on holiday reading this book I would have left it unfinished and put it in the box for charity. The story was weak, there didn't appear to me to be any real investigative work going on. What was the point of Malcolm Fox who seemed to be a nasty piece of work but achieved nothing. It was almost as if he was added to pad out the book. Same goes for John's visit to his daughter, that didn't go anywhere. As for his drinking this seemed to be the main focus of the book, he was inebriated in most chapters. Cold cases could have been a very interesting future for Rebus and I am disappointed he has failed.
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100 of 114 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rebus is back and as good as ever 8 Nov 2012
By Bookie TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
It doesn't seem like 25 years since Rebus first hit the pages. In the 5 years since his retirement, I've missed him. The couple of books about The Complaints Division featuring the humourless, disagreeable and teetotal Malcolm Fox have helped to fill the gap, but Standing In Another Man's Grave cleverly squares the circle. Rebus returns and comes across his old adversary Fox.

Rebus comes out of retirement to work cold case files, but as a civilian. He has none of his previous powers as a police officer, but as may be expected, this small constraint doesn't stop him investigating in his own inimitable style. The route of the A9 links disappearances and unusually, Rebus leaves Edinburgh to follow leads all over Scotland. His beloved Saab is still going strong and other familiar characters including Big Ger and Siobhan also feature. The plot is more straightforward than many of the earlier stories and I found it easier to decide who's responsible for the killings. However, that doesn't detract in any way. It's a well judged page turner, the pace builds and lets go a number of times. For me, Mr Rankin nails dialogue. It's real people speaking, whoever they may be. The contrast between Fox and Rebus is stark. Fox remains sterile and disapproving whilst Rebus is almost anarchic, but human and likeable. The musical references are there, but increasingly involve a sense of mortality. Some of the most poignant moments are when Rebus reflects on the death of musicians of a similar age to himself, including John Martyn and Bert Jansch.

The good news is that the way is left open for Rebus to return. The retirement age for Police has been raised and Rebus makes it clear he wants another stint in his old job. For me, Rebus has lost non of his old magic.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars My first Rebus / Fox encounter.
Having read several Rebus and one Fox book, it was interesting to read that the twain actually do meet.

One of the best Rebus books I've read
Published 21 hours ago by bodgit and sons
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read.
I wasn't a Rebus fan but I am now a convert and will be looking for Ian Rankin's earlier Rebus books . Read more
Published 7 days ago by Mrs. L. J. Mitchell
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous
There is no doubt that Rebus for those people who have followed his many experiences and adventures over the years continues to be riviting reading. Read more
Published 7 days ago by alex mcintyre
5.0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT
rebus by rankin is always a winner and this doesnt disappoint, I love it and would recommend this to anyone
Published 8 days ago by mike sutton
3.0 out of 5 stars Not a Fan of Ian Rankin
Another attempt to read an Ian Rankin book, but still not that fond of them. Perhaps a bit too gruesome.
Published 9 days ago by Lynn Ross
4.0 out of 5 stars Good holiday read
Easy book to read on hols. Not one of Ian rankiins best though but will buy his new book when out in paperback
Published 9 days ago by sheena miller
4.0 out of 5 stars Loved it
Standing In Another Man's Grave" signals the return of Rankin's best-loved creation John Rebus. After the disappointment of his last appearance in "Exit Music", Rankin... Read more
Published 11 days ago by E. Orr
4.0 out of 5 stars Rebus
Very good book
Back to the good old John Rebus solving things his way.
Well written.
Good job Mr Rankin
Published 15 days ago by Paul
5.0 out of 5 stars As Good as Ever
Starting a new Rankin/Rebus book is like donning dressing gown and slippers by the Fire. I just feel totally comfortable with the writing style, with the familiar characters and... Read more
Published 16 days ago by John Murray
5.0 out of 5 stars familiar landscape, with a strong plot line
Ian Rankin is an excellent plot writer. That is his strength. His male characters are also well drawn, if sometimes overflowing with testosterone (which I suppose policemen... Read more
Published 17 days ago by Sherpa
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