cover image A Song for the Dark Times: An Inspector Rebus Novel

A Song for the Dark Times: An Inspector Rebus Novel

Ian Rankin. Little, Brown, $27 (336p) ISBN 978-0-316-47925-7

Edgar winner Rankin’s excellent 23rd outing for John Rebus (after 2019’s In a House of Lies) takes the retired police inspector from Edinburgh to a remote part of northern Scotland, where his daughter Samantha’s partner, Keith Grant, the father of his school-age granddaughter, has vanished. In his search for Keith, Rebus visits a local commune and—of particular interest to Keith—the ruins of a camp built during WWII that held captured German soldiers. An entitled landowner he runs across complicates his quest. Back in Edinburgh, former colleague Siobhan Clarke investigates the murder of Salman bin Mahmoud, a wealthy 23-year-old Saudi. The high-profile case draws in such familiar characters as criminal Morris Gerald Cafferty and Malcolm Fox, the smarmy, ambitious detective introduced in 2009’s The Complaints. As the two plots converge, the various credible, complex backstories coalesce into a highly satisfying and unified whole. This fresh entry boasts the kind of storytelling that made Rankin famous. Agent: Dominick Abel, Dominick Abel Literary. (Oct.)