Exit Music by Ian Rankin

‘Exit Music’ is the 17th if Ian Rankin’s Rebus novels and is the final novel before DI John Rebus retires from the police force. I was wondering if Ian Rankin would kill off Rebus, but at the end he remains lurking in the background like a bad smell. I’m sure that he won’t be able to leave Edinburgh crime behind.

Rebus has 10 days left till retirement and he is working with DS Siobhan Clarke to tie up loose ends – trying to interest her in some of his cold cases. He would also like Siobhan to continue pursuing his long term nemesis – ‘Big Ger’ Cafferty.

Then, Todarov, a well-known Russian poet who has lived in Edinburgh for many years, is killed. It looks like a mugging that has gone too far. But as Rebus and Siobhan start to investigate they discover that he was a dissident and there just happens to be a group of high-level Russian business delegates in town.

The Russians look a bit shady, even meeting with ‘Big Ger’ Cafferty who claims to now be completely legitimate. The Russians are also being protected by a number of Scottish politicians who don’t want any business dealings jeopardised.

Then a recording artist who recorded some of Todarov’s poetry readings is killed in a suspicious house fire.

Rebus and Siobhan immediately link the two deaths but Rebus once again gets himself in trouble, getting himself suspended and leaving Siobhan in charge. But, this doesn’t stop him from continuing with the investigation.

As Rebus finally starts to unravel the cases, he has his final showdown with ‘Big Ger’ Cafferty.


What a brilliant finish to a brilliant series. The ending was left very much up in the air so that I’m still champing at the bit to find out what happens with Rebus and Cafferty. I believe that Rebus makes some appearances in the Malcolm Fox series, so I may still get to find out.

After a little break, I’ll be moving on to the first Malcolm Fox book – ‘The Complaints’.


Book Published 2007


See a full list of books by Ian Rankin

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Filed under Book Reviews, Crime, Detective, Rankin, Ian, Series Fiction, Thriller

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