First look: Rather be the Devil by Ian Rankin

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A new John Rebus book is as welcome as a cool pint of Guinness on St Patrick’s Day. An appropriate date, then, for us to bring you a first look at Ian Rankin’s latest opus – and the cover is even green!

Rather Be the Devil was announced this afternoon by Rankin via the hi-tech means of Twitter and Periscope. We’re not sure the curmudgeonly Rebus would approve. Rankin has once again taken a song title as inspiration – I’d Rather Be The Devil is a track by the late lamented John Martyn from his acclaimed album Solid Air – a release that counts among the author’s all time favourite albums.


Ian Rankin is still putting the finishing touches to the book, but this is the blurb: ‘John Rebus, now a couple of years into his retirement finds himself drawn into a cold case from the 1970s involving a female socialite, found dead in a bedroom in one of Edinburgh’s most luxurious hotels. It’s a crime over 40 years old, but no one was ever found guilty. Now, Rebus has his own reasons to investigate… but it is going to set him against some very dangerous people.’

“There are demons aplenty in this new book, not all of them faced by Rebus. I’ve not finished writing it yet, but I’m sure fans will enjoy being back in the old devil’s company…” said Ian Rankin.

Jon Wood, group publisher at Orion, commented: “Like the finest of whiskies, Ian Rankin – and John Rebus – just keep getting better every year. There is no more entertaining or interesting partnership in crime fiction today. It’s an absolute joy to reveal that they will be both back in our bookshops this year.”

So, it’s a little scotch for you on St Pat’s Day. Mark 3 November as the date for release of this 21st in the Rebus series. Slainte!

Click here to read our interview with Ian Rankin. For more reviews and information about Rebus books, click here.

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