Rather Be the Devil

Little, Brown. Jan. 2017. 400p. ISBN 9780316342575. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780316342551. MYS
Reluctantly retired DI John Rebus may have given up smoking and drinking but proves himself incapable of resisting a crime that has long gone cold. Enjoying dinner at Edinburgh's old Caledonian Hotel, he is reminded that it was the scene of the 1978 murder of socialite Maria Turquand. Able to access the case files via his former colleague DS Siobhan Clarke, Rebus begins to track down connected witnesses, suspects, and coppers. The heat is turned up when Robert Chatham, a former cold case detective, ends up dead soon after talking with Rebus. Meanwhile, returning characters Malcom Fox and Clarke are forced to coordinate cases of assault and money laundering in connection to rising crime boss Darryl Christie. Rebus, Clarke, and Fox find they must work together to try to sort out various cases that are becoming increasingly intertwined. Rankin fans will cheer the return of their favorite characters in this gritty, dark, and page-turning crime novel.
VERDICT This may be the author's (Even Dogs in the Wild) 21st series outing, but the thrill is still fresh. Fans may be more comfortable with the myriad backstories and established characters, but newcomers can still appreciate this entry. For readers who like police procedurals such as Michael Connelly's Harry Bosch series. [See Prepub Alert, 7/25/16.]
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