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Standing in Another Man's Grave (A Rebus Novel) Paperback – 6 Jun 2013

4.5 out of 5 stars 1,179 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Orion (6 Jun. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1409109402
  • ISBN-13: 978-1409109402
  • Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 2.8 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,179 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,369 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


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

Needless to say, Rankin soon - once again - has the bit between his teeth. Rankin, as ever, does this better than most (GOOD BOOK GUIDE)

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

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. (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. (IRISH TIMES)

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

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

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

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

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

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)

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)

Auld acquaintance is gleefully renewed when Rankin brings cantankerous John Rebus out of retirement in a civilian role for an Edinburgh cold case team - *9 (RUTLAND TIMES)

Thrilling, funny and intelligent, this is crime fiction at its best (CATHOLIC HERALD)

Rebus - and Rankin - are both on top form in this enjoyable detective novel (SUNDAY BUSINESS POST MAGAZINE)

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)

An impeccably crafted whodunnit (John Dugdale SUNDAY 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)

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)

A seasonal treat for crime fiction fans (CHOICE)

Rankin's malcontent still makes for an irresistably morose companion (i)

Book Description

The superb No.1 bestseller from 'Britain's best crime novelist' EXPRESS

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By FictionFan TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 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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Format: Hardcover
"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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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
There are many in Lothian and Borders Police thankful for the retirement of John Rebus. They are less happy that he is now working in a civilian capacity in the cold case unit, particularly given his tendency to spend evenings drinking with known gangsters like Morris Gerald Cafferty. Tensions bubble to the surface as Rebus begins to notice similarities between the disappearance of an Edinburgh girl, investigated by DI Siobhan Clarke, and a string of other young women who have vanished over the preceding decades. This takes Rebus into the Highlands, a long way from the comfort of Edinburgh and constantly on the verge of being sent back to the cold cases unit or even retired permanently.

There's always a reason to read Rankin. He's such an accomplished writer with caramel prose and a fantastic grasp of pace and structure. I raced to the end of Standing in Another Man's Grave just as I have every other Rebus book I've picked up.

As with every other long running series, there is a tendency for many of the tropes that make the series so familiar to become trite and stale, so it was a smart move to shake things up with the retirement of Rebus. The shift in tone works well in throwing both Rebus and the reader off kilter. Rebus is no longer just working against bureaucratic superiors but often the whole police force, to whom he now seems an outsider. Equally, the juxtaposition of dark and light -Rebus and Cafferty- no longer seems so clear cut now that the line that separated them is erased. Both are retired so whilst both still cling to their own allegiances, it's pretty clear Rebus is no longer an officer of the law and Cafferty is no longer the prince of the Edinburgh underworld.

This does throw up some problems in the novel.
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