cover image The Beat Goes On: The Complete Rebus Stories

The Beat Goes On: The Complete Rebus Stories

Ian Rankin. Little, Brown, $26 (480p) ISBN 978-0-316-29683-0

The 31 rewarding stories in Edgar-winner Rankin’s complete John Rebus collection span the Scottish detective’s entire career, from his early days as a policeman learning the ropes right up to the time of his quasi-retirement. The best entries, such as “A Good Hanging,” which involves a murder disguised as a suicide during the Edinburgh fringe festival, feel like short novels. “Auld Lang Syne,” a superb tale set during a riotous New Year’s celebration, has a well-observed, even literary feel, while others offer traditional cases, such as “The Trap,” in which Rebus uncovers the truth about an aging husband’s deadly fall. Some Rebus fans will be familiar with many of the selections, which have been collected previously, but six have never been published in book form and two are written just for this volume. At short form, the hard-drinking, chain-smoking, no-respect-for-authority Rebus, the star of 20 novels, remains a compelling character, and this thick tome is a welcome addition to the Rankin canon. [em](Aug.) [/em]