Exit Music

Ian Rankin, Author, James MacPherson, Read by , read by James MacPherson. Hachette Audio $29.98 (0p) ISBN 978-1-60024-454-4

James MacPherson’s home-grown Scottish burr is put to excellent use narrating Rankin’s 17th and possibly best crime novel featuring Det. Insp. John Rebus of the Edinburgh police. At 60, it’s retirement time for Rebus and, as expected, Rankin’s rebellious series hero isn’t going quietly. Not with the murder of a dissident Russian poet to solve and a career-long battle with local crime lord Big Ger Cafferty to close down. MacPherson easily conveys Rebus’s gruff impatience, Cafferty’s deeper, nastier menace and Det. Siobhan Clarke’s brittle coolness. He even manages to lose the burr long enough to get past several Russian-thick accents. Though Rebus’s mention of perusing his unsolved cases in retirement offers some hope of future sleuthing, this reads like a farewell novel. Along with its expected well-crafted procedural elements, Rankin has included several moments of wistfulness and regret, and MacPherson makes the most of every one of them. A Little, Brown hardcover (Reviews, July 7). (Sept.)

Reviewed on: 10/27/2008
Release date: 09/01/2008
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