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A Good Hanging Mass Market Paperback – December 30, 2003


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Product Details

  • Series: St. Martin's Minotaur Mysteries
  • Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books (December 30, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312980000
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312980009
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 3.9 x 6.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,288,822 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Penzler Pick, January 2002: Ian Rankin is now the United Kingdom's bestselling crime writer. His 15 police procedurals featuring the dour Scottish Detective Inspector John Rebus are beginning, at last, to attract a devoted--and deserved--following in this country. St. Martin's has just published this, Rankin's 1992 collection of short stories, and I can't think of a better way to be introduced to John Rebus and his creator.

Dubbed "Tartan Noir" by James Ellroy, Rankin's tales are set in Edinburgh. Not in the beautiful streets that tourists see (those cobbled sidewalks leading up to Edinburgh Castle), but in its dark, damp recesses where crime flourishes. That's where Rebus works. The crime and criminals there make Rebus's job a tough one, and they also offend his sense of decency and order.

These 12 stories tell of mystery, suffering, and mayhem, which Rebus alone of all the detectives on the force, with his remarkable deductive skills, can solve. In "Being Frank," a homeless man, from his unique perspective on the park bench, is able to give Rebus the information he needs to break up a scam by local ne'er-do-wells. Crimes gone unsolved for 20 years, religious sightings, lovers crossed, and tales of revenge all come under the jaundiced eye of the very talented Rebus.

Even 10 years ago, when he was writing these stories, Rankin was a writer of great gifts. Time has borne out this promise. So it is easy to predict that, once you have sampled these short cases, you will become one of the many readers eagerly awaiting another Rebus novel from this sensitive and enormously talented young writer. --Otto Penzler --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

For his 13th Det. Insp. John Rebus volume, Ian Rankin (The Falls) has traded the full-length police procedural for a collection of 12 gripping stories. The king of tartan noir puts his popular Scottish "heart attack material" supersleuth to work investigating arson, a ghostly vision, a converted ex-con and the "perfect murder" in A Good Hanging's fast-paced mini-mysteries.

Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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See all 28 customer reviews
The stories are well crafted and told.
Amazon Customer
This had a weird beginning and ended by being too easily solved and so very sad.
Kathy Davie
That's my definition of a good airplane book.
Beejay Walter

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on January 24, 2002
Format: Hardcover
A GOOD HANGING consists of twelve police procedural investigations starring John Rebus and co-starring his hometown Edinburgh. The anthology is different from most short story collections, as there is no introduction explaining the topic or its greatness. Instead Ian Rankin uses the investigative stories to provide the audience a close up look at Rebus and some of his cohorts enabling the greatness to shine. Fans of the series will fully enjoy the collection and anyone interested in a first look at one of the best detectives around today ought to take the fall because they will conclude that this anthology and subsequently the Rebus novels are among the top police procedural series in bookstores.

Harriet Klausner
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By RachelWalker on July 22, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is quite a good short story collection from Ian Rankin. Indeed, it is good not just by his standards, but by most authors.
There are some really very good stories here..."A Good Hanging" "The Gentlemen's Club" and "Concrete Evidence". All of which are very enjoyable. the final story "Monstrous Trumpet" would be included in the above category, but for it's rather unbelieveable solution. The inclusion of the French visiting policeman, though, was a stroke of genius. His presence is incredibly enjoyable.
All of the stories are clever, and all enjoyable. there are several nice twists here and there, and Rebus, of course, to provide for extra entertainment.
"Sunday" is perhaps the most inventive story, certainly the one most "Rebus orientated". "Auld Lang Syne" is a very dull story until the final two or three pages, where it picks up some life. Of "Not Provan" , the same can be said.
"Playback" is a nice lite story to ease you into the collection.
All in all, there are some very good short stories contained herein. I would prefer a novel, but these will do. (Edinburgh is not quite so much a presence. Nor is the character development awfully good.)
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Beejay Walter on December 29, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this book, as I have all of Ian Rankin's John Rebus writings to date. These are short stories that are quick and absorbing reading. Nothing is particularly heavy, but all are very clever. I wanted to move to the next after I finished each. That's my definition of a good airplane book. And, Rankin is such a talented writer.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Kathylene Privitera on July 14, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I had heard of Ian Rankin's books, but I always stick to my known author's, Ruth Rendell, Wingfield, P. D. James, Elizabeth George, etc. I picked up "A Good Hanging" by chance when I noticed it was not one story, but several short Rebus stories.
Boy, did I find the mother lode!! I read this book in one sitting & have ordered the first ten Ian Rankin Rebus books from sellers on Amazon.com. I can't wait to get started with the first in the series, "Knots and Crosses". This book, "A Good Hanging" will get you acquainted with Inspector Rebus of Edinburgh enough to make you want more...good place to start!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By kellytwo on September 2, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
A collection of short stories is an excellent way to be introduced to an author, and this collection should net Ian Rankin many, many new readers.
Such an edition as this is rather a throw-back to those good-old 'golden' days of the great mystery writers, such as Dame Agatha, Ellery Queen, Rex Stout and many others who regularly wrote short stories along with their full-length novels. Eventually, when a dozen or so of these little gems had accrued in the author's basket, they would be brought out in their own separate volume. Many of these collections are as well known as the authors' full-length novels.
Following this lead, Mr. Rankin displays a sure touch with this batch of shorter stories, all of which feature Detective Inspector John Rebus of the Edinburgh police force. There are other continuing characters as well, who surface here or there, providing a spot of humor or compassion or just camaraderie.
I'd not read anthing by Mr. Rankin before finding this book. That situation is about to be remedied as I go looking for "Knots and Crosses" to begin at the beginning of the Inspector Rebus tales. I would highly recommend a similar path to any other devoted readers of mystery novels, especially those who treasure a setting that's nearly part of the plot, characters with whom one can practically form a friendship, and above all, exellent writing.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Stephanie De Pue VINE VOICE on December 10, 2010
Format: Paperback
"A Good Hanging," (1992) is a collection of twelve taut, tight short stories, in the Detective Chief Inspector John Rebus series, by the outstanding, award-winning, author Ian Rankin, currently the best-selling author of British mysteries in the United Kingdom. It can, like most of his work, be described as a police procedural, within the tartan noir school, and it is set in Edinburgh, more or less Rankin's home town. Mind you, it surely isn't the tourists' Edinburgh, with its tartan tea rooms and cobbled streets: Rankin takes readers to far meaner streets than any tourists will ever see. Within the book's pages we see many of the city's anonymous middle-class neighborhoods, and its slums. We also meet blackmailers, peeping toms, and a satisfying quotient of murderers.

However, the stories, well-done as they are, do rather lack the author's usual vibrant commentary on the city of Edinburgh, and on Scots weather, food preferences, social habits, etc. that I always so much enjoy. But, mind you, the book is still written with power, wit and energy. The stories also lack the emotional heft that would make them memorable. Only "The Dean Curse," about a retired army man, evidently written as a comment upon Dashiell Hammett's The Dain Curse; and the title story, about a troupe of green young actors in Edinburgh for its famous annual drama festival, actually get any traction. I must also add that these short stories do not show the playful audacious invention of Irvine Welsh's Reheated Cabbage: Tales of Chemical Degeneration.
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