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It's late autumn in Edinburgh and late autumn in the career of Detective Inspector John Rebus. As he tries to tie up some loose ends before retirement, a murder case intrudes. A dissident Russian poet has been found dead in what looks like a mugging gone wrong. By apparent coincidence, a high-level delegation of Russian businessmen is in town - and everyone is determined t It's late autumn in Edinburgh and late autumn in the career of Detective Inspector John Rebus. As he tries to tie up some loose ends before retirement, a murder case intrudes. A dissident Russian poet has been found dead in what looks like a mugging gone wrong. By apparent coincidence, a high-level delegation of Russian businessmen is in town - and everyone is determined that the case should be closed quickly and clinically.But the further they dig, the more Rebus and DS Siobhan Clarke become convinced that they are dealing with something more than a random attack - especially after a particularly nasty second killing. Meanwhile, a brutal and premeditated assault on a local gangster sees Rebus in the frame. Has the Inspector taken a step too far in tying up those loose ends? Only a few days shy of the end to his long, inglorious career, will Rebus even make it that far? About The Author: Ian Rankin lives in Edinburgh, Scotland, with his wife and their two sons.


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It's late autumn in Edinburgh and late autumn in the career of Detective Inspector John Rebus. As he tries to tie up some loose ends before retirement, a murder case intrudes. A dissident Russian poet has been found dead in what looks like a mugging gone wrong. By apparent coincidence, a high-level delegation of Russian businessmen is in town - and everyone is determined t It's late autumn in Edinburgh and late autumn in the career of Detective Inspector John Rebus. As he tries to tie up some loose ends before retirement, a murder case intrudes. A dissident Russian poet has been found dead in what looks like a mugging gone wrong. By apparent coincidence, a high-level delegation of Russian businessmen is in town - and everyone is determined that the case should be closed quickly and clinically.But the further they dig, the more Rebus and DS Siobhan Clarke become convinced that they are dealing with something more than a random attack - especially after a particularly nasty second killing. Meanwhile, a brutal and premeditated assault on a local gangster sees Rebus in the frame. Has the Inspector taken a step too far in tying up those loose ends? Only a few days shy of the end to his long, inglorious career, will Rebus even make it that far? About The Author: Ian Rankin lives in Edinburgh, Scotland, with his wife and their two sons.

30 review for Exit Music

  1. 4 out of 5

    Phrynne

    Written as though it was possibly the last in a long and excellent series. Now of course we know it was far from the final book about Rebus, thank goodness! I love Inspector Rebus. He takes no nonsense from anyone, largely prefers to work on his own, or at least with just DS Clarke, and by the age of sixty is growing increasingly cranky with life and everything. He is also very smart and sees connections between events long before anyone else does. In Exit Music Rebus is working his final week bef Written as though it was possibly the last in a long and excellent series. Now of course we know it was far from the final book about Rebus, thank goodness! I love Inspector Rebus. He takes no nonsense from anyone, largely prefers to work on his own, or at least with just DS Clarke, and by the age of sixty is growing increasingly cranky with life and everything. He is also very smart and sees connections between events long before anyone else does. In Exit Music Rebus is working his final week before retirement and only he could manage to get himself suspended from duty in his last few days. Of course he redeems himself at the last moment. I was delighted with myself when I guessed one of the attackers very early in the piece but it might have been because I did not like the character and wanted it to be him! I really enjoyed this book. It was long but it powered along with a series of events and lots of police work. There was a lot of humour too in the relationship and dialogue between Rebus and Siobhan. Moving on now to the next book to see how well Rebus is coping with retirement. I expect the answer to be he is not.

  2. 5 out of 5

    James Thane

    This is the seventeenth and allegedly last book in Ian Rankin's excellent series featuring Edinburgh Inspector John Rebus. Rebus was already nearly sixty years old before his creator was stunned to discover that sixty was the mandatory retirement age for detectives in Scotland. Accordingly, this book finds Rebus in the autumn of the year and of his career as well. Rebus has ten days do go when Alexander Todorov, a Russian poet, is brutally murdered after a reading. To all appearances Todorov was This is the seventeenth and allegedly last book in Ian Rankin's excellent series featuring Edinburgh Inspector John Rebus. Rebus was already nearly sixty years old before his creator was stunned to discover that sixty was the mandatory retirement age for detectives in Scotland. Accordingly, this book finds Rebus in the autumn of the year and of his career as well. Rebus has ten days do go when Alexander Todorov, a Russian poet, is brutally murdered after a reading. To all appearances Todorov was the victim of a run-of-the-mill mugging, but Rebus and his long-time understudy, Siobhan Clarke, discover a number of anomalies that make them wonder if the case is really as simple as it appears. Todorov's murder coincides with the visit of a group of Russian businessmen who are looking to make large investments in Scotland. Naturally, the local politicos, bankers and other bigwigs fear that the killing might unsettle the Russians and discourage their interest, and inevitably the Powers-That-Be want the case buttoned up and swept under the carpet. Those who have followed this series know full well that John Rebus is not a man who usually follows orders with which he does not agree. And so instead of going quietly into that good night, Rebus presses the investigation full-bore, alienating large numbers of Very Important People in the process, including his own superiors. This too, is hardly unheard of for Rebus, and when a second murder occurs, Rebus is certain that the case is more complicated that it appears on the surface. The case then takes a particularly interesting turn with the appearance of Rebus's long-time nemesis, Big Ger Cafferty. This is a very good book with a complex and interesting plot, in what has been an outstanding series. And it's more than a little bittersweet, watching Rebus count down the days to his retirement while he wonders if he can possibly close his last case before he is put out to pasture. I saw Ian Rankin at an event a few months ago, and as any of his fans will imagine, there were a lot of people in the audience pleading with him to somehow bring the character back. Rankin seemed as reluctant to let go of Rebus as his fans were, and so I'm hoping that this will not really be the last book in the series. But if it should be, Exit Music is an excellent valediction for one of the truly great characters in detective fiction.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Rasmus

    I had extremely high expectations prior to reading this book. After all, this is the culmination of a long and amazing series. Perhaps, I would say, the best series of crime novels since Chandler. Maybe even better. This was the last one. DI John Rebus's last days before retirement. It was with a mix of dread and hope, that I picked it up and started reading. I wanted things to end well for Rebus, but I knew it wasn't going to be all rosy and happy either. It just wouldn't be Rebus, if that had b I had extremely high expectations prior to reading this book. After all, this is the culmination of a long and amazing series. Perhaps, I would say, the best series of crime novels since Chandler. Maybe even better. This was the last one. DI John Rebus's last days before retirement. It was with a mix of dread and hope, that I picked it up and started reading. I wanted things to end well for Rebus, but I knew it wasn't going to be all rosy and happy either. It just wouldn't be Rebus, if that had been the case. I won't spoil it here, suffice to say that the ending lived up to every bit of expectation and then some. It would have left me screaming for more, had I not been in a public place at the time of finishing the novel. Just one more page? Please? John Rebus has grown to be a friend of mine. He's not a perfect guy, in fact he's extremely stubborn and sometimes a bit of an ass, but I like him. His sarcasm, his taste in music and his distaste for authority is similar to my own. I was sad to see him retire and would like nothing more than to drop down to the Ox and buy the man a pint and a malt. Alas, he is but a figment of Ian Rankin's imagination, so I'll have to settle for thanking the author instead. So, thank you mr. Rankin, not just for a fantastic series that got better and better through the years, but also for a fitting and deserving end to a distinguished, albeit fictional, career. This is a great novel on several levels. The plot, the characters, the descriptions - all of it is as good as the best of the other books in the same series. But with the added touch of being what it is. The exit music.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Ammar

    What a proper ending to the Rebus saga. Rebus investigates the murder of a dissident Russian poet whose body is found by a car park. There are some Russian businessmen on a business trip in Rebus neck of the wood. He is almost there... ten days to the end of his watch. Can he solve the murder and leave the force in peace and give Siobhan the promotion she needs. Rankin gets more political in this novel and showcases the various political parties and ideas in the Scottish parliament. After a Hiat What a proper ending to the Rebus saga. Rebus investigates the murder of a dissident Russian poet whose body is found by a car park. There are some Russian businessmen on a business trip in Rebus neck of the wood. He is almost there... ten days to the end of his watch. Can he solve the murder and leave the force in peace and give Siobhan the promotion she needs. Rankin gets more political in this novel and showcases the various political parties and ideas in the Scottish parliament. After a Hiatus, Rankin brought back Rebus and the series didn't stop at this book. For all purposes this is the official last book in the inspector Rebus and not in the cold case Rebus which starts with standing in a dead man's grave

  5. 5 out of 5

    Ellen

    Exit Music by Ian Rankin. I was more than sad to learn that this entry may be Rebus' last. Personally, I don't accept that or believe it for a minute! It seems since I first discovered Rebus I haven't been able to stop reading this series. My latest reviews in my Scottish groups and other mystery groups has me almost feeling a need to apologize for submitting one review after another all Rebus. It's actually not since Morse that I've become so attached to an Inspector and a series. His scotch, th Exit Music by Ian Rankin. I was more than sad to learn that this entry may be Rebus' last. Personally, I don't accept that or believe it for a minute! It seems since I first discovered Rebus I haven't been able to stop reading this series. My latest reviews in my Scottish groups and other mystery groups has me almost feeling a need to apologize for submitting one review after another all Rebus. It's actually not since Morse that I've become so attached to an Inspector and a series. His scotch, the pubs he frequents all too often, his team (Siophan Clarke being #1), his smokes and his relentless effort in finding the truth. Let us not forget Rebus' nemesis Big Ger Cafferty! LOVE IT ALL!!! In this Rebus's supposedly last book a Russian poet has been murdered. Rebus has it in his noggin that Cafferty may be behind it all. (Gee, ya think?). For myself, the main focal point is between Rebus and Cafferty. Let us all hope that the next entry will be of Rebus's team contacting him at a local pub with their latest homicide...needing his assistance. That I can live with.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Deanna

    A four-star final quarter brought this book to three stars for me. This is my second read in the series but the 17th published. I happened to start at 13 and hopscotch up to here. Rankin doesn’t write to bring new readers on board informationally or emotionally, so it’s apparently a series to be read in order. He starts his books at a trot and keeps them rolling, but without feeling I know these people or the background for their choices or situations, I feel like I’m slogging through a busy cro A four-star final quarter brought this book to three stars for me. This is my second read in the series but the 17th published. I happened to start at 13 and hopscotch up to here. Rankin doesn’t write to bring new readers on board informationally or emotionally, so it’s apparently a series to be read in order. He starts his books at a trot and keeps them rolling, but without feeling I know these people or the background for their choices or situations, I feel like I’m slogging through a busy crowd I just need to get to the end of. The final part of the book brought the sizzle and a focus that made me feel like it mattered. Review consensus suggests that if I started back from the top I would enjoy the series. I wouldn’t rule it out but I don’t plan to try.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Pris robichaud

    As We Say Goodbye, Let Me Wish You Grace and Danger, November 18, 2007 "I never knew the road that carried me along Crazy sidewalk, concealed by pretty song You want my life from me I'll give you two You'll be no strife for me As we say goodbye Let me wish you as you fly. Grace and danger Sweet grace No danger Sweet grace No danger Grace and danger." John Martyn John Rebus hooked me into his life with his love of music and his style, and that is how he ends his career, style with 'Exit Music'-ho As We Say Goodbye, Let Me Wish You Grace and Danger, November 18, 2007 "I never knew the road that carried me along Crazy sidewalk, concealed by pretty song You want my life from me I'll give you two You'll be no strife for me As we say goodbye Let me wish you as you fly. Grace and danger Sweet grace No danger Sweet grace No danger Grace and danger." John Martyn John Rebus hooked me into his life with his love of music and his style, and that is how he ends his career, style with 'Exit Music'-how apropos.Rebus mentions how much John Martyn, The Stones and 'The Cure' have meant to his life, and the songs that he can identify with. Rebus and I and my best friend and it seems Ian Rankin are The Stones, Cure and Martyn fans. Ian Rankin has Rebus at the age of 60, and in Scotland he must retire. It seems I hardly got to know ya, Rebus. We have seen Rebus through much of his detective's life, and as he grew and aged so did we. But, me, I am no way intending to retire. And, what will Rebus do? He can't sit and listen to his music and drink, Can he? Rebus has eight days to go to his retirement. His genial sidekick who may just may take over his job, DC Siobhan Clark, is crafting her trade. She has learned a great deal from this man she loves and respects. Love is not mentioned by either, but we know it is there. Siohban is explaining to him what his retirement party will look like. Rebus does not want any big fuss with his superiors in the audience. It will be quiet with just his kind. And, what is that kind you may ask. If you have to ask.... They are called to the scene of a murder. A body, that of a Russian poet, found in a parking garage. And into the foray they march. Siobhan and Rebus find that a group of Russians have come to Scotland to buy whatever they can. A bank in Scotland has become good neighbors and, of course, who is in the middle of the action? Cafferty, the long time nemesis of Rebus. They have meetings and Rebus follows Cafferty's every move. The murder investigation turns nasty when Rebus is brought up to his superiors for his actions with a murder witness who happens to be the daughter of the bank president. Rebus is suspended. Just as good, now he can go on to solve this murder, and maybe more without being impeded by his bosses. Siobhan takes on the investigation full time and she has learned well from this man, Rebus. She will miss him but she can go it alone. This is more than a book about a bank and the Russian involvement. We are saying goood-bye to Rebus. The retirement party of Rebus and his thoughts as he leaves the job he loves. This is a story of John ,and the end of his career. We are led step by step as he wraps up the murder with the skill he has always shown. There is a twist and we are left to wonder "Is That All There Is? Detective John Rebus, I will miss you. I have hopes you will be around in some capacity. I will miss your music choices and how your moods match your choice in the music of the days of yore. Good on Yer, Rebus. Highly, Highly Recommended. prisrob 10-25-07

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jon Mountjoy

    Okay, I've read all of the Rebus series. I suspect this is the final book, given the title. I don't often read the genre, but I've grown to love the warty, very human Rebus. He fights the world, and himself. I suppose I started reading these books because Rebus is set in Edinburgh, where I live. It adds a wonderful dimension when the story takes place in streets and pubs that you know (and I've just learned about a bodysnatching lookout tower from the book). So, you'll enjoy this book if you've Okay, I've read all of the Rebus series. I suspect this is the final book, given the title. I don't often read the genre, but I've grown to love the warty, very human Rebus. He fights the world, and himself. I suppose I started reading these books because Rebus is set in Edinburgh, where I live. It adds a wonderful dimension when the story takes place in streets and pubs that you know (and I've just learned about a bodysnatching lookout tower from the book). So, you'll enjoy this book if you've read the others, and it has a fitting end. It's perhaps not as dark as some of the others - you get the feeling Rankin was in a good mood :-)

  9. 5 out of 5

    Dorothy

    Anyone who follows my book reviews is probably already aware that I am a big fan of Ian Rankin's Inspector Rebus series. Mysteries are my favorite genre and the Rebus series is really one of the best, in my opinion. Rankin can always be counted on to give us believable characters and situations and always there is in the background the wonderfully funky and historic city of Edinburgh, a smallish town in a smallish country where everybody and everything seems intertwined. And always in the middle Anyone who follows my book reviews is probably already aware that I am a big fan of Ian Rankin's Inspector Rebus series. Mysteries are my favorite genre and the Rebus series is really one of the best, in my opinion. Rankin can always be counted on to give us believable characters and situations and always there is in the background the wonderfully funky and historic city of Edinburgh, a smallish town in a smallish country where everybody and everything seems intertwined. And always in the middle of it all is Rebus, a cop who hates being hamstrung by rules, but a cop, who at his core is a very moral man. That's what drives him crazy. What keeps him sane is the music. Rock music. It is the background noise of his life. It tells the story of his alienation, his lost loves, his broken marriage, the daughter who has drifted away, the dead friends, the ghosts of cases without a "result." Those ghosts haunt him at night as he sits in his favorite chair in his living room, a tumbler of malt in his hand, and music from his vast collection of CDs streaming from his audio system. But now the music that John Rebus is hearing is Exit Music. He is one week away from retirement from his long inglorious career with Borders and Lothian Police. He's trying to interest his partner DS Siobhan Clarke in his collection of "no results" so that she will carry on with them when he is gone. He's also shadowing his great nemesis "Big Ger" Cafferty in hope of finally finding something that will put him away for good. He had been able to send Cafferty to prison a couple of times in his career, but never for long enough. Now he's out and, to all appearances, a legitimate businessman. Rebus doesn't believe it. Then, right in the middle of his last week and his wrapping up of loose ends, a dissident Russian poet who is in Edinburgh gets himself murdered. At first it seems like a simple mugging, but as Rebus and Clarke dig deeper, things get more complicated. Things get even more complicated with a second murder of a man who had been recording the poet's appearances at book stores and other venues. Are the two murders related? Finally, just after he has had a late night meeting with John Rebus, "Big Ger" Cafferty is brutally attacked and left for dead. Initial evidence points to Rebus as the attacker. Will he be able to finish out his last week with CID without being arrested for assault with grievous bodily harm, or even murder? Rebus is now nearing 60, but is just as irascible as ever. He can't even get through his last week on the job without being suspended. Of course, when did a minor impediment like a suspension ever stop John Rebus? He goes on with his investigation as if nothing had happened. This is the 17th and final entry in the Rebus series. I guess we knew it had to end sometime, and it's probably best that Rankin puts his detective out to pasture before he begins to repeat himself. He's probably heartily fed up with the old boy after all these years and ready to move on to other things. Still, I will miss him and I shouldn't be surprised to find myself wondering how Rebus is coping with retirement. Somehow I suspect it would not be a pretty thing to watch.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jeanette

    Rebus has personality and onus. He just holds it. And this book occurs just prior to his scheduled retirement. It had a good plot and interesting balance to the Russian poet's murder. I've only read a few of these. It is the Scottish location police department hierarchy and peer pub snark factor that nearly always puts me off with these Rebus books, coupled with a bit of overload word verbosity. It did this time too, which knocks off an entire star. I bet he comes back as an unauthorized consult Rebus has personality and onus. He just holds it. And this book occurs just prior to his scheduled retirement. It had a good plot and interesting balance to the Russian poet's murder. I've only read a few of these. It is the Scottish location police department hierarchy and peer pub snark factor that nearly always puts me off with these Rebus books, coupled with a bit of overload word verbosity. It did this time too, which knocks off an entire star. I bet he comes back as an unauthorized consultant or some other form of being a sneaky observer in the know.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Patricia

    This audio CD version of Exit Music is superbly narrated by James Macpherson who brings the characters to life. The story itself is also absolutely brilliant. The streets of Edinburgh have never seemed so alive as they do from the pen of Ian Rankin. The characters are well thought out and interact well with each other throughout the story. The reader becomes totally immersed in the action from the outset. I heartily recommend this book and audio cd to everyone who enjoys a good crime story

  12. 4 out of 5

    Bettie

    Bettie's Books Bettie's Books

  13. 5 out of 5

    Leslie

    I have not read the Rebus series in order so I suspect that people who have would like this one even more than I did. An excellent police procedural (though with not a lot of procedure as Rebus isn't a rule-following kind of guy!) and I love the way Rebus (& Rankin) describes Edinburgh. I have not read the Rebus series in order so I suspect that people who have would like this one even more than I did. An excellent police procedural (though with not a lot of procedure as Rebus isn't a rule-following kind of guy!) and I love the way Rebus (& Rankin) describes Edinburgh.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Hobart

    This originally appeared at The Irresponsible Reader. --- Before I get into this, last week my son was playing some EASports game -- FIFA something, I think. Anyway, I notice that he's playing Hiberian, and my first thought is, "Hey, that's Siobhan's team." That's a sign that I'm probably reading too many Rebus novels, right? Anyway, on with this post... “No sign of any abandoned cars in the multistory?” “Good point, Shiv, I’ll have someone check. Talk to you later.” The phone went dead, and she ma This originally appeared at The Irresponsible Reader. --- Before I get into this, last week my son was playing some EASports game -- FIFA something, I think. Anyway, I notice that he's playing Hiberian, and my first thought is, "Hey, that's Siobhan's team." That's a sign that I'm probably reading too many Rebus novels, right? Anyway, on with this post... “No sign of any abandoned cars in the multistory?” “Good point, Shiv, I’ll have someone check. Talk to you later.” The phone went dead, and she managed a little smile, hadn’t heard Rebus so fired up in several months. Not for the first time, she wondered what the hell he would do with himself when the work was done. Answer: bug her, most likely--phone calls daily, wanting to know everything about her caseload. I think many readers, like DS Clarke, have wondered just what Rebus will do after retirement -- which is looming as this book begins. Actually, it's more than looming -- it's 10 days away. Ten days of Rebus trying to squeeze in any last-second mentoring he can, ten days of him trying to get Clarke invested in cold cases he can't let go of, ten days of Rebus trying to stay relevant, active . . . ten days of John Rebus trying to remain John Rebus. John Rebus has no family left, few friends, only a handful of colleagues that trust him, no plans for retirement at all. He's going to have to come up with something, he knows, but he can't really contemplate that reality, much less plan for it. But first, there's a murder -- a man without any identification on him has been found by a few pedestrians out for a late-night walk, apparently beaten to death. A literately-inclined morgue worker recognized him as a Russian exile and poet of note. Plunging Rebus and Clarke (named to lead the investigation, only because of Rebus' impending retirement *wink*) into an investigation with international implications. Funnily enough, a contingent of Russian businessmen is in Edinburgh looking for investment opportunities, all of which are welcomed and encouraged by members of Scottish Parliament -- especially by those MSPs seeking independence. None of the MSPs have any interest in their Russian friends being hassled by detectives over a pesky little thing by murder. Even if the victim was drinking in the hotel they were staying at shortly before the murder. But once Di Rebus finds not only a link between the victim and their hotel bar, but a link between the poet and Gerald Cafferty, and links between Cafferty and the Russian delegation? All bets are off. The clock is ticking on his career -- and the ticking is getting really loud -- but here's Cafferty with some sort of connection to a murder victim? There's no way that John Rebus can let this go (not that Siobhan Clarke is that interested in letting this opportunity pass by, either). The investigation isn't making too much progress, but maybe is getting far enough, when someone else connected to the case is killed. And the investigation looks like it's dealing with a web of drugs, prostitution, blackmail, international interests, politics, a large national bank a poet, and Cafferty. Which would be a lot to deal with even without Rebus' deadline. While preparing for Rebus' departure, Clarke takes a uniformed PC under her wing -- he has talent and ambition -- he was one of the two initial officers at the site of the original murder and wants to be a detective soon. Clarke brings him along with her to many interviews and visits to various places in the investigation, as him run errands and even do some of the grunt work (scouring through hours of audio recordings that may or may not hold relevant information). He's an interesting character -- he adds some emotional weight to some scenes, and comic relief in others. It's possible that Rebus is at his most introspective in these pages -- he knows his career is finished and that in no time at all he'll be forgotten by just about everyone. What's been the point of it all? Outside in the car park he unlocked his Saab, but then stood there, hand on the door handle, staring into space. For a while now, he’d known the truth--that it wasn’t so much the underworld you had to fear as the overworld. Maybe that explained why Cafferty had, to all purposes and appearances, gone legit. A few friends in the right places and deals got done, fates decided. Never in his life had Rebus felt like an insider. From time to time he’d tried--during his years in the army and his first few months as a cop. But the less he felt he belonged, the more he came to mistrust the others around him with their games of golf and their “quiet words,” their stitch-ups and handshakes, palm greasing and scratching of backs. Still, he perseveres, he gets into hot water with his superiors, with Clarke, with government officials, and -- of course -- Cafferty. In the end, despite the large number of detectives eventually working on the murders, Rebus is the only one to focus on the important facts (it helps that he's not worried about what happens after the arrest, like everyone else is) and makes the important conclusions so that the cases can be closed in time for him to leave the force. It's really a nice bit of storytelling by Rankin here, and I'd be very happy reading it even without all the hubbub around Rebus' retirement. And then Rankin ends it with a jaw-dropping final chapter and a last line that just about floored me. I'm so glad that I'm discovering these books now -- when I know that there's a future for Rebus (even if I'm not really sure what it is, but there are 5 books to come, at least). It can't have been easy for Rebus fans to close this book not knowing what Rankin was going to do next. At the same time, this remains a decent entry-book -- like every other book in this series. Sure, you get more of the emotional weight if you've been reading about the DI for several books, but Rankin writes them in a way that the weight can be seen regardless. I think if this were any other Rebus book, I'd rate it 4 stars for the case work, the internal squabbles with the hierarchy and the politics -- but when you add in Rebus counting down the last ten days of his career, the hope of this case leading him to one more shot at Cafferty, the reflections on what he's done and why he's done it and what it cost . . . essentially, all the intangible things, the parts of a novel that are hard to pin down, much less describe. All that combined with a strong story, some excellent non-Rebus/Clarke/Cafferty character development (not that theirs isn't strong as usual, but this is a new characters) -- and it's easy. Rebus retires with a 5.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kathy Davie

    Seventeenth in the Inspector Rebus detective mystery series set in Edinburgh, Scotland. My Take Please. Please, don't let Rebus retire…I want to read more about him! He's too interesting a character to sit back in an armchair with his music and Scotch. Rebus reminds me of Inspector Morse in that he's a bit cantankerous, "knows-all" (usually true!), and he has an eye for the ladies — besides the drink and the music! As for other characters, there's really only Siobhan Clarke who has been stuck with Seventeenth in the Inspector Rebus detective mystery series set in Edinburgh, Scotland. My Take Please. Please, don't let Rebus retire…I want to read more about him! He's too interesting a character to sit back in an armchair with his music and Scotch. Rebus reminds me of Inspector Morse in that he's a bit cantankerous, "knows-all" (usually true!), and he has an eye for the ladies — besides the drink and the music! As for other characters, there's really only Siobhan Clarke who has been stuck with Rebus for most of the series as his not-quite-equal partner. We know so little about her that I don't see her taking over the series. Other minor characters appear in the background to give it some consistency — it's primarily Rebus with Shiv and his maneuvering to get his way in his (well, mostly his) investigations. A fascinating look at crime in Edinburgh and an incredible tour of the city and Scottish culture and politics. If this truly is the end of Rebus…I'll miss it. I do have my suspicions that Rebus may be joining another squad though… The Story Always a pain in management's back side (one of Rebus' three delights in life, besides the scotch and music), this is Rebus' last chance to clear up old cases, and especially, clear up Ger Cafferty. So when a Russian dissident poet is murdered and a possible connection to Big Ger rises, Rebus insists that there is more to the murder.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Alex

    This is it. Rebus is over. For the first time, anyway. Rankin famously was not a fan of the TV versions of his work, and retired Rebus until the option expired. That's how we ended up with two standalone Malcolm Fox novels before Rebus shows back up to cause a ruckus. So now you have to read Exit Music in the knowledge that it's not the end, but was intended as a possible end. It works pretty well on that front, although it would have left a lot of people dangling over the precipice as Rankin lef This is it. Rebus is over. For the first time, anyway. Rankin famously was not a fan of the TV versions of his work, and retired Rebus until the option expired. That's how we ended up with two standalone Malcolm Fox novels before Rebus shows back up to cause a ruckus. So now you have to read Exit Music in the knowledge that it's not the end, but was intended as a possible end. It works pretty well on that front, although it would have left a lot of people dangling over the precipice as Rankin left one tantalising thread unresolved. In a dazzling change for his form, instead of disparate plot points coming together, some of them actually separate from each other. It's an impressive shift from someone who has clearly known what he was doing with the character for 17 books. Ten years ago, we thought that there would be no more Rebus, and while we would have been okay with that, this is a character who begs not to be put to bed for good. Even if his future capacity is slightly different - time waits for most literary detectives, but not this one - Rebus has never worn out his welcome.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Chuck Slack

    It is with sorrow that I read another in this great series as with each passing book I get closer to the end. To say this series has been a joy is an understatement. Rankin, through his wonderful character, Rebus, has introduced me to Edinburgh. So much so that my family and I, my wife is a huge fan of the series as well, travelled to Edinburgh for holidays. Seeing Waverley Station, Princes Street, the Oxford Bar, and all of Rebus' haunts was a lot of fun. Reading this book was too. A great read It is with sorrow that I read another in this great series as with each passing book I get closer to the end. To say this series has been a joy is an understatement. Rankin, through his wonderful character, Rebus, has introduced me to Edinburgh. So much so that my family and I, my wife is a huge fan of the series as well, travelled to Edinburgh for holidays. Seeing Waverley Station, Princes Street, the Oxford Bar, and all of Rebus' haunts was a lot of fun. Reading this book was too. A great read. Plot twists but consistency in living with Rebus on his final days before retirement from the force. Wonderful!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Tim

    Unfortunately, this story lacked interest over a pace too slow for my liking. I could not finish this novel because I kept falling asleep.

  19. 4 out of 5

    John Machata

    John Rebus' Exit Music is wonderfully done police procedural with wheels within wheels. John Rebus' Exit Music is wonderfully done police procedural with wheels within wheels.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Sharon

    Brilliant! Just the book to read before heading to RebusFest this weekend :D Love the message of 'Less than meets the eye' and the beautifully wound up story involving such an interesting range of characters. Rebus is a class act. My first read of this and I'm actually glad to come to it after knowing that the characters will go on... Brilliant! Just the book to read before heading to RebusFest this weekend :D Love the message of 'Less than meets the eye' and the beautifully wound up story involving such an interesting range of characters. Rebus is a class act. My first read of this and I'm actually glad to come to it after knowing that the characters will go on...

  21. 4 out of 5

    Campbell

    This was originally supposed to be the final Rebus book; I'm glad it wasn't. The ending was satisfying, yes, but inconclusive. I think I'm going to end my Rebus reread here. This was originally supposed to be the final Rebus book; I'm glad it wasn't. The ending was satisfying, yes, but inconclusive. I think I'm going to end my Rebus reread here.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Lori

    "That was that, then. End of the line, end of the job. These past weeks, he'd been trying so hard not to think about it - throwing himself into other work, any work. For three decades now this job of his had sustained him, and all it had cost him was his marriage and a slew of friendships and shattered relationships. No way he was ever going to feel like a civilian again; too late for that; too late for him to change. He would become invisible to the world..." And so it ends. Exit Music marks DI "That was that, then. End of the line, end of the job. These past weeks, he'd been trying so hard not to think about it - throwing himself into other work, any work. For three decades now this job of his had sustained him, and all it had cost him was his marriage and a slew of friendships and shattered relationships. No way he was ever going to feel like a civilian again; too late for that; too late for him to change. He would become invisible to the world..." And so it ends. Exit Music marks DI John Rebus' last 10 days on the force before his mandatory retirement. In the memorable words of his UK countryman, Dylan Thomas, Rebus is "not going gently into that good night". As feisty as ever, Rebus continues to defy authority right to the bitter end in the hopes to close the books on the final two crimes that come his way in his last week of work. The first consists of the beating death of a Russian poet and the second, of which Rebus is sure is connected to the first, is the murder of a known associate. As with all books in this excellent series, this one has an extremely well-written and complex plot line and introduces enough shady characters and possible motives to keep you guessing until the end. The excellent story aside, this book is so much more. It's all about Rebus facing the end to the only life he's ever known and staring into a future so non compelling and empty that he's almost fearful of what will become of him. It's about him letting his longstanding mentee and closest friend, Siobhan go it alone and trusting her to carry on where he's left off and him coming to terms with all the unsolved cases and uncaptured villains of his past. With the latter, his main order of unfinished business is his longstanding nemesis, Big Ger Cafferty. His relationship with the gangster of Edinburgh is nothing short of complicated and multifaceted and the turn it takes in this story is a fitting segue to Rebus' life after policing. An impressive final chapter to one of the most interesting, relatable and yes, likable detectives in crime fiction today. Goodbye John Rebus, I do hope we will see you again in your life post-retirement just to see how you're holding up. "Penny for them." It was Siobhan, standing in the doorway. " You'd be wasting your money," he told her. "Somehow I very much doubt that. Are you ready?" Hoisting her bag on her shoulder. "As I'll ever be." He decided this much was true.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Shirley Schwartz

    This book is the one. This is the one where we see Rebus leaving the police force. The book covers the last ten days of Rebus and his life as a police officer. Does he leave in a quiet, laid-back manner? Not Rebus. He is actually working on two cases in these last days. One is a Russian poet who is found beaten to death in a dark alley, and the other is a British sound tech who is burned in his home. Are they murders, and are they connected? Rebus and Siobhan try to figure it out. The investigat This book is the one. This is the one where we see Rebus leaving the police force. The book covers the last ten days of Rebus and his life as a police officer. Does he leave in a quiet, laid-back manner? Not Rebus. He is actually working on two cases in these last days. One is a Russian poet who is found beaten to death in a dark alley, and the other is a British sound tech who is burned in his home. Are they murders, and are they connected? Rebus and Siobhan try to figure it out. The investigation takes them into the murky world of diplomatic and domestic politics. It even brings them back into Big Ger Mcafferty's orbit. That's never good news for Rebus. He and Big Ger have a long and very tumultous history, and Rebus's biggest regret is that he didn't manage to have the gangster placed behind bars for good during his police career. Rebus is his usual "bull in a china shop" self in this book. His doggedness and his constant search for truth land him in trouble with the big wigs both in and out of the police force. I actually delayed reading this book becasue I just didn't want to come to the end of this wonderful series. As it turns out, this book isn't the end of Rebus (thank you Ian Rankin), just his time on the Edinburgh police force. That in itself is a little sad though because I have grown to love this character, and I don't think his retirement is going to be an easy one. There are too many demons at war inside this man. I was happy to see his protege seems to have come into her own and her policing methods are almost the same as her mentor's, but she's more analytical and doesn't seem to have the inner demons that her boss has. Siobhan will do well in her rise up in the force. I think she is Rebus' biggest achievement, and I think that he thinks so too. I am looking forward to post-retirement Rebus. I'm sure there will be lots of delights in store yet with this wonderful character.

  24. 5 out of 5

    LJ

    EXIT MUSIC (Police Proc-John Rebus-Scotland-Cont) – Ex Rankin, Ian – 18th in series Orion, 2008, UK Hardcover- ISBN: 9780752868608 First Sentence: The girl screamed once, only the once, but it was enough. DI John Rebus is one week from retirement. What begins as the murder of a Russian poet becomes much more complex. Does it involve the Russians meeting with Edinburgh real estate agents and bankers? How does it link with a second murder? What is the connection to Rebus’ nemeses Ger Cafferty? When Re EXIT MUSIC (Police Proc-John Rebus-Scotland-Cont) – Ex Rankin, Ian – 18th in series Orion, 2008, UK Hardcover- ISBN: 9780752868608 First Sentence: The girl screamed once, only the once, but it was enough. DI John Rebus is one week from retirement. What begins as the murder of a Russian poet becomes much more complex. Does it involve the Russians meeting with Edinburgh real estate agents and bankers? How does it link with a second murder? What is the connection to Rebus’ nemeses Ger Cafferty? When Rebus gets suspended, it’s up to DS Siobhan Clark to work on the inside while Rebus keeps investigating from the outside. I put off reading this book because I was concerned as to how Rankin would close out Rebus’ career. I need not have worried. This is quintessential Rebus who has given up almost everything in his life for his job. The case seemed to start off as a simple killing, but layers build upon layers and twists upon turns. Rankin has done such a fine job creating Rebus, he is very real. I don’t always like him, but you know that is intentional. Rankin hasn’t glamorized Edinburgh, as many authors do, but presents it as a city of people and problems as is any city, and he makes that city alive to us. For me, the ending was perfect and just the right touch. I’m anxious to see what Rankin does next, but I do sincerely hope Rebus reappears from time-to-time. Bravo, Mr. Rankin.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Amanda Patterson

    This is Ian Rankin’s second masterpiece. The first was Black & Blue. I have grown old with DI Rebus. I define the way I enjoy crime fiction from Ian Rankin’s, and Michael Connelly’s, writing. I read Exit Music as slowly as I could. I don’t want Rebus and his arch-enemy, Big Ger Cafferty, off my reading radar. I was not disappointed. Rankin is a fine storyteller. He and Rebus work through Edinburgh as one in this swan song. Or is it? The crime Rebus investigates is cleverly concealed and revealed b This is Ian Rankin’s second masterpiece. The first was Black & Blue. I have grown old with DI Rebus. I define the way I enjoy crime fiction from Ian Rankin’s, and Michael Connelly’s, writing. I read Exit Music as slowly as I could. I don’t want Rebus and his arch-enemy, Big Ger Cafferty, off my reading radar. I was not disappointed. Rankin is a fine storyteller. He and Rebus work through Edinburgh as one in this swan song. Or is it? The crime Rebus investigates is cleverly concealed and revealed by Rankin. It marks the beginning of an end. It ties up and loosens threads that have run through the entire series of these 18 novels. All the usual suspects, including Siobhan Clarke, are there. Edinburgh plays its part. Rankin laughs at that the walking tours that the legend of John Rebus has birthed. He takes Rebus on this walk as he approaches his final day as a policeman. The voices, and rhythms, of Rebus’s life are so well defined and so well paced in this novel, that I fell in love with this character, and his creator, all over again. The relationship between detective and criminal is shown. Obsession is fear, hatred is love, and terror is fascination. It takes an exceptional writer to show this. I was apprehensive about committing to this book. If it is Rebus’s final appearance, I wanted it to be brilliant. I wasn’t disappointed. Here’s to you, Mr Rankin. As I’ve said before; if you weren’t writing crime fiction you would win a literary prize.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Ron

    5 STARS ALL THE WAY! I finally got there, last of the original 17 Inspector Rebus novels, and Exit Music is Rankin's masterpiece. Everything is here - the rich bankers, the lazy parking lot attendants, young flatmates into drugs and partying, Big Ger Cafferty and several Russians. Throughout Rankin makes Edinburgh as large a character than it has ever been before. The spooky Kings Stables Rd. where the mysterious parking garage DOES exist (Google maps and street view a constant companion), where 5 STARS ALL THE WAY! I finally got there, last of the original 17 Inspector Rebus novels, and Exit Music is Rankin's masterpiece. Everything is here - the rich bankers, the lazy parking lot attendants, young flatmates into drugs and partying, Big Ger Cafferty and several Russians. Throughout Rankin makes Edinburgh as large a character than it has ever been before. The spooky Kings Stables Rd. where the mysterious parking garage DOES exist (Google maps and street view a constant companion), where muggers and mysterious hooded figures apparently roam. A thrilling chapter as Rebus follows Cafferty to a canal bridge late at night had me in huge suspense the whole time. SPOILERS? Nope. For newbies, if you're in a hurry start at Black and Blue (halfway through the Rebus series). But there's much in the early books to chew on too. Don't start here, you'll enjoy the ride more when you get here. And Det-Sgt. Siobhan Clarke gets better with every book, more her own person, more in control. As for Det-Inspector John Rebus, we get a FOCUSED and alert version this time. Still breaking the rules, still being irreverent to superiors, but not wallowing at home or drowning his sorrows at the Oxford Bar. With SO many threads in this book there's enough for him to do after all. This novel is LOADED with fascinating secondary characters who may or not be crucial to events. Even the ending is wrapped up beautifully. I will say no more, I couldn't put this one DOWN!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Judy

    What did I learn from this book? Easy. Don't come into a series on the 16th and final book. Why, you may ask? Because apparently the primary characters in the book have a long and complex history of which I was ignorant. And the author did little to bring a novice reader up to speed. I was urged to read this book by a long-time reader of Ian Rankin, who, apparently, also read them in order. Anyway, the book takes place in Scotland in 2006 as Detective Inspector John Rebus is facing imminent mand What did I learn from this book? Easy. Don't come into a series on the 16th and final book. Why, you may ask? Because apparently the primary characters in the book have a long and complex history of which I was ignorant. And the author did little to bring a novice reader up to speed. I was urged to read this book by a long-time reader of Ian Rankin, who, apparently, also read them in order. Anyway, the book takes place in Scotland in 2006 as Detective Inspector John Rebus is facing imminent mandatory retirement. A highly honored Russian poet is found murdered and the fun (?) takes off from there. In mood, the book reminded me of a Henning Mankell book--honestly, these Northern Europeans need to lighten up. And the story meanders along several different tangents, including parallels between Russian and Scottish history and the possibility of the independence of Scotland from the United Kingdom. I found myself plowing through the book about as fast as I could plow through a three foot high snowdrift. But then the last 75 pages made it all worth while. I'm not sure that I will pick up another Ian Rankin book in the near future, but if I do, I'll start with the first book in the series and get to know these people.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kathy

    I fell into a touch of luck with the selection of this book to read having just read A Gentleman in Moscow. I like it when I can follow a theme. The 17th Rebus book kicks off with notice that it will soon be Christmas (another apropos theme considering the date) and Rebus will soon be retiring after decades of police work. The focus of his final week of work is the investigation of a brutal murder of a Russian poet. The book can be enjoyed as stand alone. The working relationship between Rebus a I fell into a touch of luck with the selection of this book to read having just read A Gentleman in Moscow. I like it when I can follow a theme. The 17th Rebus book kicks off with notice that it will soon be Christmas (another apropos theme considering the date) and Rebus will soon be retiring after decades of police work. The focus of his final week of work is the investigation of a brutal murder of a Russian poet. The book can be enjoyed as stand alone. The working relationship between Rebus and his Detective Sergeant Siobhan Clarke is a good one. The "crime lord" Cafferty seems to be working with a group of Russians along with a group of bankers and another related death plays a part in the investigation. Of course Rebus manages to rattle one of the bankers and is suspended for his last few days of work (officially) though he stays on task surreptitiously. A whole lot of musical references throughout the book culminate in a retirement gift from Clarke of i-pod loaded with what Rebus calls his "Exit Music." I was not aware that a series was produced based on this series, and it almost makes me want to subscribe to Acorn TV. I will see if I can scare up some free you tube video of it first.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Vastine

    There is a point in the career for the best crime fiction series writers that they have so much comfort with the world they have created and their characters it is like drinking a cold, smooth, milkshake made from the best homemade ice cream. And by the point Ian Rankin wrote "Exit Music" he was there. While I have some minor quibbles with the plot, the perfection of the interplay between Rebus and Siobhan makes this book special. There is a point in the career for the best crime fiction series writers that they have so much comfort with the world they have created and their characters it is like drinking a cold, smooth, milkshake made from the best homemade ice cream. And by the point Ian Rankin wrote "Exit Music" he was there. While I have some minor quibbles with the plot, the perfection of the interplay between Rebus and Siobhan makes this book special.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Lesley

    A page turner thriller as all Ian Rankin books are . Rebus was as good as ever and crimes in Edinburgh are his specialty . Rankin brings the city to life and it is great to read about places and streets seen when visiting the city

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