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57 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Goodbye and thanks for the memories
What a fantasic send off for one of the great creations of modern literature.
I have read all the Rebus books in sequence over the years and fans of the series will be delighted to know Ian Rankin has written a a suitable finale.
We join Rebus with one week until his retirement and in a great device the chapters count down the days no surprising the pieces don't...
Published on 9 Oct 2007 by Ian Paterson

versus
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not with a bang but a whimper
I disagree with nearly all the reviewers in that I think this novel is the weakest of the whole Rebus series.

It is a very self conscious novel straying to self congratulation and self indulgence.Too many loose ends and mood music. Mr Rankin is obviously keeping his options open about where we go from here and, given the success, I don't blame him for that...
Published on 7 May 2009 by Officer Dibble


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57 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Goodbye and thanks for the memories, 9 Oct 2007
By 
Ian Paterson "exiledscotsman" (Newcastle Uk) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Exit Music (Hardcover)
What a fantasic send off for one of the great creations of modern literature.
I have read all the Rebus books in sequence over the years and fans of the series will be delighted to know Ian Rankin has written a a suitable finale.
We join Rebus with one week until his retirement and in a great device the chapters count down the days no surprising the pieces don't slide together until the final day of the week.

A murder of a Russian poet in Kings Stable Road gives Rebus one last case to solve soon ties are being made to big business, politicians and the criminal underworld led by Rebus' nemesis Big Ger Cafferty. Is this the last chance saloon for John to finally nail Edinburgh's gangster ?
As has been the case with the last few Rankin books the reader is left guessing right until the final pages who has commited the crimes. I can say that I guessed part of it but I doubt anyone will be able to predict all the conclusions.

The early books in the series were enjoyable but it's been the last half dozen that have really elevated the series the introduction of DS Siobhan Clarke I feel was where it really kicked in giving Rebus a genuine partner to bounce off. This book is no exception with the scenes with them together being the strongest. It's real shame in some ways that Rankin's decision to age Rebus in real time deprives us of further INSPECTOR Rebus books but if you haven't ever read any of the series you are so lucky to have twenty books available to you.

For the rest of us here's looking forward to the first of the DI Clarke stories which if Ian Rankin decides not to write then there really will have been a crime committed.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Rankin's finest, 9 Oct 2007
This review is from: Exit Music (CD) (Audio CD)
James MacPherson is the Frank Sinatra auf audio books! His readings are always superb but this time it is his best yet. He gives an authentic voice to each character and understands the dynamics of the book perfectly. The five CD format is a good abridgement of the book. The story in itself is interesting and well told- better than the last instalment of the Rebus series. Rebus had mellowed in the last books and now he really is back as a complex character and not an entirely likeable one. His old problems with authority are back with a vengeance. Exit Music tells the story of Rebus' last case and his last ten days before retirement.Rankin said in interviews that he was still undecided as to whether Rebus will return or not. The ending of Exit Music is very good as it shows as a very dark side of Rebus' psyche and the true nature of his relationship with Cafferty. From my point of view this is one of Rankin's best.
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58 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 11 Sep 2007
By 
M. V. Clarke (Durham, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Exit Music (Hardcover)
This is a fantastic conclusion to DI Rebus' police career. Rankin's plot is typically rich and complex with subtle twists, interesting characters and a remarkable conclusion. Rebus is in prime form; argumentative, opinionated, awkward, aggressive and ultimately inspired. Pitted against dubious Russian businessmen and politicians as well as his old nemesis Cafferty and various opponents within Gayfield Square Police Station, he investigates, under Clarke's authority, the seemingly related deaths of a dissident Russian poet and a local sound recordist. Rebus' method gets him into trouble with various people on both sides while the final solution only emerges very late on. The rivalry between Rebus and Cafferty is brilliantly done; both men are older and more circumspect but the strange combination of respect and contempt bristles on to a thrilling climax. What a brilliant book; read it now.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Goodbye and Thanks For The Memories, 30 Aug 2008
By 
Ian Paterson "exiledscotsman" (Newcastle Uk) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Exit Music (Paperback)
What a fantasic send off for one of the great creations of modern literature.
I have read all the Rebus books in sequence over the years and fans of the series will be delighted to know Ian Rankin has written a a suitable finale.
We join Rebus with one week until his retirement and in a great device the chapters count down the days no surprising the pieces don't slide together until the final day of the week.

A murder of a Russian poet in Kings Stable Road gives Rebus one last case to solve soon ties are being made to big business, politicians and the criminal underworld led by Rebus' nemesis Big Ger Cafferty. Is this the last chance saloon for John to finally nail Edinburgh's gangster ?
As has been the case with the last few Rankin books the reader is left guessing right until the final pages who has commited the crimes. I can say that I guessed part of it but I doubt anyone will be able to predict all the conclusions.

The early books in the series were enjoyable but it's been the last half dozen that have really elevated the series the introduction of DS Siobhan Clarke I feel was where it really kicked in giving Rebus a genuine partner to bounce off. This book is no exception with the scenes with them together being the strongest. It's real shame in some ways that Rankin's decision to age Rebus in real time deprives us of further INSPECTOR Rebus books but if you haven't ever read any of the series you are so lucky to have twenty books available to you.

For the rest of us here's looking forward to the first of the DI Clarke stories which if Ian Rankin decides not to write then there really will have been a crime committed.
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37 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent End(?) To A Fantastic Series, 7 Sep 2007
By 
G. J. Oxley "Gaz" (Tyne & Wear, England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Exit Music (Hardcover)
I took the day off work, bought this today and read it in 5 hours so I'm still a little breathless over all the events in the novel. Breathless, but exhilarated at the same time.

Like the reviewer below I don't wish to spoil it for anyone so I won't make reference to the plot, but I will say that it's well up to the incredibly high standard set by Ian from 'The Black Book' onwards and is a fitting climax to a great series.

Red herrings, false trails and misdirection abound and Rankin weaves the complex plot strands together but leaves the odd tantalising loose thread to remind us that things don't always end neatly in real life. And one of those loose threads is whether or not a major series character lives...

As always, Rebus manages to get up a nose or two. But that's one of the great things about him: he doesn't kowtow to anyone in his pursuit of justice, and enjoys, even relishes, tangling with the higher authorities for whom he lacks respect (often with good reason).

But is it the end of John Rebus in print? There are suggestions that Ian might bring him back to act as a 'consultant' to Siobahn Clarke in future novels, or even, God forbid, as a central character (a private eye perhaps?) in his own right. He should resist these and let this fine novel stand as a fitting epitaph to one of the very best series in crime fiction.

Along with Reginald Hill's wonderful 'The Death of Dalziel' this is the best British crime novel of the year so far. I really can't imagine any fan being disappointed with it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Generally Good Book, 29 Jun 2008
By 
J. Bowen "Jamie Bowen" (Hampstead London) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Exit Music (Paperback)
This book, like many of the previous books by Ian Rankin, focuses on Detective Inspector John Rebus, an alcoholic policeman who lives and works in Edinburgh. When the series started Rebus was a detective sergent. As the series progresses Rebus gets older (and, like many older people, stroppier and more opinionated). This book focuses on the 10 days before his retirement.

This book sees a Russian poet-cum-exile-cum-emigre seemingly killed in the street in the city center, after a night on the tiles. Rebus, and his sidekick D.S. Siobhan Clark, investigate the circumstances of his death. Was it a mugging gone wrong, or something more serious?

The entirety of the book is spent trying to discover whether or not the character was killed in a mugging. Rankin uses the real life death of Alexander Litvenenko in London as a tool to keep you guessing as long as possible about the real motive in this book. The attempt at balance works for a while, but if you've read mysteries you'll know whether the use of these real life events is relevant after about 70% of the book is read.

The book is probably the most linear thriller that I've read by Rankin in years. It has a clearly defined beginning, middle and end, and has fewer asides about Scotland and the Scottish than I've seen in ages. This makes the central story flow better, but if you like your Rebus books with "colateral colour," you might not enjoy it as much as you enjoy some other books that Rankin has written recently.

In short, if I were made to sum up this book in one sentence, this is a generally book which continues the improvement in the series that we have seen over the last few books in the series. It is much better than The Falls and Resurrection Men.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ian Rankin - Exit Music, 10 Dec 2007
By 
RachelWalker "RachelW" (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Exit Music (Hardcover)
Let's get one thing out of the way: I do not believe for one second that this is the last Rebus novel. I never believed it would be, and my mind isn't changed after finishing it. I would bet my very last penny that in a few years we'll see Rebus again, in some fictional form or another (cold cases, muscling in on Siobhan, whatever). Rankin quite clearly hasn't finished with this character, and he clearly hasn't finished with the city either.

Let's not re-hash too many plot details: suffice to say that a Russian poet living in Edinburgh is found rather nastily dead in a street you "wouldn't want to walk down alone at night" (Rankin's words). Cue some Russian businessmen visiting the city looking for investment opportunities, political machinations concerning independence, the mysterious economy-of-truth being exemplified by the girl who found the body, and the large, looming figure of Morris Gerald Cafferty, drinking quietly in the very hotel bar that the poet had just left...

It would be difficult to understate Rankin's prominent place in the landscape of world crime-fiction. (Or: British crime-fiction, Scottish crime-fiction, Scottish fiction, etc etc.) In the 20 years and 17 books over which we have shadowed Rebus' career in the police, Rankin has evolved from a competent penner of gritty, underdeveloped mysteries (Hide & seek, Strip Jack), into a writer of immensely high calibre, into a writer able to weave together novels which are simultaneously thick with plot and character, laced with subtle themes, and have as their backbone a compelling social interrogation, a tussle between enquiry into and straight, hard portraiture of, a complex city. Individually, the novels present a social snapshot, taken together, they catalogue a changing Edinburgh. Joan Smith once said of Ruth Rendell that anyone wishing to understand the changes in English society would do well to read her novels, and the same is true of Rankin re: Edinburgh. They are almost a perfect example of the argument for crime fiction as literature via social examination (if such an argument needed to be made: I don't think it does. Crime fiction is "literature" for many reasons, in my book.) Not only that, but in terms of crime fiction, Rankin seems to me the modern British standard-bearer (forgetting the Americans who did it decades before) for the alcoholic troubled cop, the loner with an authority problem we have seen so many times since. There are many other examples, but (apart from those two conspicuous Scandinavians Wallander and Hole), Rebus remains firmly the most impressive. He is the most rounded, the most realistic. The hardest to like but the one I ultimately find the most attractive. Most of all I admire his realistic contradictions, they are the things which can seem slapdash, but make us the tangled mental bundles we are. His development as a character, too, has been excellent. An accretion of changes, a slow, imperceptible shift in attitude and behaviours are characteristic of his growth. That development is bathed in a bitter light come Rebus' final, almost desperate sentences on Exit Music's final page.

As an individual novel in the series, Exit Music is not quite among Rankin's grandest achievements (Dead Souls or A Question of Blood, for example), but it's certainly very good, and a very fine novel to end the series on. It's also much better than the too-mired-in-politics Naming of the Dead, which I found rather a disappointment. Here, Rankin keeps a very close eye on the surrounding politics (the question of Scottish independence, exploiting it, the Russian's interest in using it, etc) but they don't overshadow the actual story. He also doesn't forget to provide us with an excellent mystery, either, and while the final solution may seem a little out of left field, it nonetheless satisfies, and Rankin reminds us that the bottom line requirement of his job is the creation of solveable detective puzzles.

Exit Music is written brilliantly, possibly with more subtlety and nuance in the writing than ever before. It may be the ending of a chapter in Rebus's career, but it also shows that Rankin's is in no way over. Hopefully, there is much more great work to come, Rebus or not.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exit But?, 30 Sep 2007
By 
Robert P. Splaine "mrbobsltd" (pattaya) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Exit Music (Hardcover)
What a stonking good read. There's no need to tell anyone about the the
Rankin series, as any avid reader will of heard of him, or even Tv addict.
Exit Music was fast paced, though for once l did have an idea of who did
one of the dunnit's so to speak, but that doesn't take away the thrill of the read.
Rebus is on form, defying McRea all the time, and you wonder how
far can he push him. Siobhan really does stick her neck out for him,
and they worked so really well in Exit Music.funny thing was, you
were constantly looking at the date, and thinking will he solve
the crime in time. Big Ger makes a return, but a lot more mellow.

As of the ending, l am saying nothing..But for all the plans
l had in my head, for what he would do with Reubus, none of them
competed to this ending.
Brilliant, and Thank you Mr R, for another read.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not with a bang but a whimper, 7 May 2009
By 
Officer Dibble (Zummerzet) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Exit Music (Paperback)
I disagree with nearly all the reviewers in that I think this novel is the weakest of the whole Rebus series.

It is a very self conscious novel straying to self congratulation and self indulgence.Too many loose ends and mood music. Mr Rankin is obviously keeping his options open about where we go from here and, given the success, I don't blame him for that. However, the result is Exit Music itself is aimless and listless.

Mr Rankin has written some five star stuff in this series (and all of them are on my bookshelf) but this is uncertain fare. It felt like Big Ger was in for show, Clarke for a possible new series,the strict timeline seemed artificial, even the Edinburgh factor seemed jaded and the story is simply the weakest of the sixteen.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitely one of the best, 6 Nov 2007
By 
Judith (Oxford, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Exit Music (Hardcover)
This must be one of the best Rebus novels, and they have all been great. Rebus is everything he has been throughout the whole series, but this book is tighter than any of the others. Not a word is wasted, and the characters that Rankin has developed really come into their own. The ending is a real surprise, and very moving. Part of me would love Rebus back in some way, but the other part thinks that this would be hard to match, and we should let Rebus go into retirement on a high.
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Exit Music
Exit Music by Ian Rankin (Hardcover - 6 Sep 2007)
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