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The Beat Goes On: The Complete Rebus Stories Hardcover – August 11, 2015
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Brilliant, irascible and frequently frustrating to both his friends and his long-suffering bosses, John Rebus has made the dark places of Edinburgh his home for over two decades. The Beat Goes On collects all of Ian Rankin's Rebus short stories for the first time, including two never-before published tales written specifically for this collection.
From his beginnings as a young Detective Constable in Dead and Buried right up to his dramatic, but not quite final, retirement in The Very Last Drop, Rebus shines in these stories, confirming his status as one of crime fiction's most compelling, brilliant, and unforgettable characters. In these gripping, fast-paced tales, the legendary Scottish detective investigates the sinister cases that are his specialty, including a gruesome student death, the brutal murder of a woman at the crux of a love triangle, an audacious jewel heist, suspicious happenings at a nursing home, and an ominous email that brings a family's darkest secrets to light.
The Beat Goes On is the ultimate Ian Rankin treasure trove -- a must-have book for crime fiction aficionados and a superb introduction for anyone looking to experience DI John Rebus, and the dark, twist-filled crimes he investigates.
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From the Publisher
Photo credit: Niall McDiarmid
Peter Robinson interviews Ian Rankin
1. When you were pulling this collection together, did you uncover anything about Rebus that you had forgotten about? Do you keep a Rebus dossier?
I used to keep a Rebus dossier. Years ago I was giving a talk in Edinburgh and someone asked a question about one of the early books and I couldn't remember the (minor) character in question. Afterwards, a fan approached me and offered to put together a database of all the characters in the series. That has proved very useful, though I lost touch with the guy a few years back. Did I discover anything from these stories? Short stories allow me to show Rebus with a lighter touch - there is more room for humour, I think.
2. After you had submitted the book to your UK publisher, you found the story 'My Shopping Day' (which is included in the US edition). How did this come about?
I'm trying to remember who it was who found My Shopping Day. Maybe a fan mentioned it online, or someone at the publishing house found a reference to it. I had dug back through various old computers and floppy disks looking for uncollected stories, but I think My Shopping Day was probably written on a typewriter! It appeared in a very limited edition 'chapbook' featuring four stories, and was ( I think) the only one to feature Rebus. Plus, he only plays a cameo role, so maybe I can be forgiven for forgetting it!
3.Do you find writing short stories more difficult than working on a novel?
Short stories can be a lot of fun. They are short jogs which aren't going to tire you out, unlike the marathon involved in writing a novel. They can be places to experiment, to try out narrative twists, to explore sides of your characters that haven't been explored in your novels. There isn't the same constant worry that what you're writing is no good - with a novel, that gnawing feeling can go on for weeks and months.
4. In the introduction, you say that the novella 'Death is Not the End' was 'cannibalized' into your novel Dead Souls. Do you use short stories as a way to explore ideas that could become novels? Or do you find that the story form is markedly different?
Death Is Not The End was written to order. But after it was delivered, nothing happened. I didn't think it was ever going to see the light of day, but I liked the central premise so decided to use it in my next novel. Then the novella ended up being published anyway. I think I use the plot, theme and characters in a different way in the novel, and I knew I was working in a grand tradition - Raymond Chandler used to cannibalise his pulp short stories for material in his novels, too! My short stories are often very short, leading up to a single narrative twist - this is a structure that wouldn't work at novel length, so any idea I get like that, I know they're going to be Eire discrete short stories or else maybe minor sub-plots in full-length novels.
5. These stories were written over a long period of time and much has changed—cassette tapes are (basically) gone, mobile phones have been introduced and Rebus is a little bit creakier. What is it like to look back over this time period with Rebus? Do you sometimes long for a detective’s world without DNA analysis, CCTV and computers?
In the real world, they keep changing the structure of the police force in Scotland - and that is really annoying because I have to keep taking those changes on board. Plus, yes, technology changes and I have to be conscious that Rebus mistrusts these new developments and cannot get to grips with them. But that means I can have fun with him, too. Cellphones were game-changers for novelists, too - we have to be aware of them. If someone is being abducted, we need to ditch their phone.
6. And in that vein, what’s next for Rebus?
There's a new Rebus novel due out in the U.S. in January 2016 - Even Dogs In The Wild. After that, who knows? But I reckon there's life in the old dog yet. ..
"Rankin's canny cop is as gray and dour as his Edinburgh beat, but he's in fine form in these clever, occasionally touching, and often wryly funny vignettes."―Kirkus Reviews
"All of the stories are tightly wrought and entertaining. He moves ahead at great speed to deliver work that is potently inspiring, bringing readers a gem in each one...Rankin fans should add this tome to their other books in the series immediately." ―Barbara Lipkien Gershenbaum, BookReporter
"It's a very welcome return for Rebus that should tide fans over--until his next full novel comes out." ―Laura DeMarco, The Cleveland Plain Dealer
"...one of the great literary crime solvers of our time...Rebus is a Van Morrison kind of detective...Put THE BEAT GOES ON in your guest room for the pleasure of a traveler, weary or insomniac, who needs a stout companion for an evening's adventure." ―Jim Higgins, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
"...sharply crafted...the book has a pleasing, offbeat rhythm of its own." ―Lloyd Sachs, The Chicago Tribune
"sharply observed, economically written stories...for Rankin fans used to a regular diet of Rebus, this collection makes up for the year off the author took after the 2013 novel Saints of the Shadow Bible. For the uninitiated with short attention spans interested in sampling one of the finest crime fiction practitioners going, it's an excellent place to start."―Dan DeLuca, The Philadelphia Inquirer
PRAISE FOR STANDING IN ANOTHER MAN'S GRAVE:
"Rankin bangs out a rich, rowdy prose...Rebus has become one of the great modern cops, a kind of Scottish cousin to Michael Connelly's Harry Bosch."―Patrick Anderson, Washington Post
"John Rebus remains one of crime fiction's crankiest, most interestingly complex figures....We can rejoice in Rebus's return--the mean streets of Edinburgh are better for it."―Adam Woog, Seattle Times
"Absorbing....Rankin is a master of the mystery universe."―Carole E. Barrowman, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
"Rebus remains as fascinatingly complex and gruffly engaging as ever. Retirement will not suit him, or Rankin's readers."―Dan DeLuca, Philadelphia Inquirer
PRAISE FOR SAINTS OF THE SHADOW BIBLE
"Longtime fans of the series will savor every nuance in the subtle interplay between characters here, but Rankin doesn't forget the thriller plot, either, corkscrewing the narrative into a surprising and satisfying conclusion. Hats off to a writer who can keep a long-running series fresh by upsetting our expectations and rummaging ever deeper into the rag-and-bone shop of his characters' hearts."―Booklist
"[There is] real joy in watching Fox and Rebus dance around each other, acknowledging a burgeoning respectful rapport in spite of themselves, while the ace Siobhan Clarke - more please, Mr. Rankin! - shoulders new responsibilities."―Boston Globe
"Ian Rankin issuch a practiced and successful writer...If anything, he is at the top of his game, and Saints of the Shadow Bible is one of the best novels he has produced."―BookReporter
"Rankin shows no signs of losing steam with John Rebus...his interaction with Malcolm Fox works to build empathy for both characters, as fans discover a side of Fox not seen before...Rankin's gift with dialogue, his wit and raw examination of human nature continue to intensify, resulting in a resonant reading experience for both seasoned series devotees and new Rebus recruits."―Shelf Awareness
"This might be the best detective novel of the year."―Dayton Daily News
About the Author
- Publisher : Little, Brown and Company; First Edition (August 11, 2015)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 480 pages
- ISBN-10 : 031629683X
- ISBN-13 : 978-0316296830
- Item Weight : 1.5 pounds
- Dimensions : 6.38 x 1.5 x 9.5 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,881,807 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
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John Rebus is a great character and apart from the extremely interesting plot, detective Rebus provides food for thought...