Exit Music by Ian Rankin is currently available in the UK and was published September 2007 by Orion and is the 17th entry in the DI John Rebus series set in and around Edinburgh.
In this entry, DI Rebus is one week away from retirement when he catches a case that appears more than just a random mugging gone wrong. Rankin is ending his 20 year-long series with a strong finish. Authors take note: it isn’t always necessary to kill off a major character just to make a change. You can always send him/her into retirement rather than a early grave.
Detective Inspector John Rebus and his protege, Siobhan Clarke arrive on scene and notices what appears to be like a open and shut case: a random attack on a deserted road in the middle of the night. There are no witnesses save a young woman and a middle aged couple who discovered the body. As the detectives investigate the case, they discover that the victim was a poet and a dissident Russian in exile who left the hotel alone after a reading at the Scottish Poetry Library.
Interviewing witnesses and chasing down leads only creates further complications because not everybody is telling the truth. There are just too many coincidences with too many people keeping silent about their association with the victim. Rebus and Clarke end up following a lead that brings them to the Scotland Parliament thereby transforming this case into one with political implications that involves lucrative business deals and the push for Scotland independence. It seems that Scotland is playing host to several Russian investors and there is worry that the mugger case may spook them right out of town if it is perceived as a hate crime.
My thoughts: The story and plotting are pretty solid. As with most police procedural’s some tend to be pretty repetitious and some can be pretty interesting. In Exit Music, it was a bit of both. There were a few surprising plot twists (of one I guessed correctly) and the author manages infuse a nostalgic feel to the story since this is Rebus’s last week on the job. The novel takes place during the course of 9 days after which DI Rebus is retired from duty. In Edinburgh, CID officers retire from duty at age 60. Throughout most of the novel the author hints at what the future has in store for DI Rebus and his partner, Siobhan. One thing is for sure: Rebus definitely won’t be at home just twiddling his thumbs.
I’ve read three books from this series and have enjoyed them. I am not a reader who reads books “in order” so I didn’t feel lost at all, skipping to the end. So, prior knowledge of the characters or story is not necessary. Exit Music is a solidly plotted novel told from a couple of POV, mainly from DS Siobhan Clarke and DI Rebus. Most of the story arcs were tied up nicely save one or two. The novel didn’t rate as an “A” read for me because I could and did put this book down more than once. Overall, I enjoyed DI Rebus last case. Also, I’ve enjoyed Rebus and his bucking of the system along with his chain smoking and drinking ways. My grade, B+. Mystery fans take note that “Exit Music” has not yet been released in the US yet and I was unsuccessful in finding a release date at this time. I do believe that his books are released a year ahead in the UK.
[tags]Ian Rankin, DI Rebus, Exit Music, Reviews, Scotland[/tags]