Book Review | A Song for the Dark Times by Ian Rankin - The latest Rebus thriller

Book Review | A Song for the Dark Times by Ian Rankin - The latest Rebus thriller
Title: A Song for the Dark Times

Author: Ian Rankin

Publisher: Harper Collins UK

Release Date: 1st October 2020

Source: NetGalley

Buy: Amazon UK
'He's gone...'

When his daughter Samantha calls in the dead of night, John Rebus knows it's not good news. Her husband has been missing for two days.

Rebus fears the worst - and knows from his lifetime in the police that his daughter will be the prime suspect.

He wasn't the best father - the job always came first - but now his daughter needs him more than ever. But is he going as a father or a detective?

As he leaves at dawn to drive to the windswept coast - and a small town with big secrets - he wonders whether this might be the first time in his life where the truth is the one thing he doesn't want to find...

Before I start I have a confession to make, this is my first foray in to the world of Rebus and as a Scottish book blog I am a little ashamed.  I’ve always been aware of Rebus but for some reason I never got around to reading about his exploits in the Lothians, now that I’ve finished A Song for the Dark Times I know I need to get my hands on the books that came before this utter gem of a read.

Rebus has retired, hung up his badge and has settled in to cosy new flat with his dog Brillo.  His visitors are few, he hasn’t even told his daughter Samantha he has moved.  So when she calls him up in the middle of the night he knows something is very wrong.

DI Siobhan Clarke is supposed to be on holiday, she has taken time off to help her mentor, Rebus, move in to his new bachelor pad but a new case has her heading back to the station to see if she can lend a hand.

A wealthy student has been murdered, was he in the wrong place at the wrong time or did he make the wrong connection amongst his influential friends?  Clarke is on the case along with DI Fox and their investigations take them on to the patch of local gangster Big Ger Cafferty, owner of very “respectable” establishment.  Cafferty takes an interest in their case and gives them some tantalising titbits to thrown in to the ring, of course he wants something in return.

Rebus has headed north to see Samantha.  Her partner Keith has gone missing, they didn’t have the best relationship and at one point she was seeing someone else but they have a child together and she is worried.  Rebus worries too, he knows if anything has happened to him Samantha will be suspect #1.  Despite his retirement he quickly starts gently questioning the locals, it is a close knit community and not everyone is happy to see him, notably Creasey, a detective from Inverness who wishes Rebus would just butt out and let him get on with - that of course is never going to happen.

Back south, Clarke has the joy of looking after Brillo, Rebus keeps her up to date with his findings up north and she begins to notice that some of the names he is mentioning have popped up during her own investigation, there is no way Keith’s disappearance could be related to her murder in Edinburgh, could it?

I devoured this and it is a word that I think is overused in book reviews but I did, started it last night and finished this afternoon.  I enjoyed it that much, I think one of the main reasons for enjoying it was the locale, from the streets of the capital to the wild north of Scotland, I could see it because I have physically been there.  I loved little nods to current things like when the A9 (our main road north) is mentioned and the fact is been getting dualled for what seems like centuries, it just made it very relatable.

All in all this is a great book, its entertaining and as a murder mystery it also keeps the perpetrator close to its chest till the end.  I’m really looking forward to exploring more in the world of Rebus.

Thanks to Net Galley for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟


  



13 comments

  1. I've never read Ian Rankin either, but I do love stories set in locations I've been to, it just adds so much to the story:-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It totally does, it made me feel involved in the story some way.

      Delete
  2. I'm in the same boat. I've always been a fan of the genre, but have never read a Rankin novel. It sounds like he doesn't disappoint!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He certainly doesn’t, I’ve bought the first Rebus book so I can go back to the beginning.

      Delete
  3. Guess that makes four of us! I haven't read Rankin, either. I love that the dog's name is Brillo!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Another author and series I need to add to my list. I've been aware of Rankin's books for years, of course, but haven't ever tried one. But I think I'd really like them. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was the same, I’m glad I read this, it was lovely to see my home country in print.

      Delete
  5. I love when a book has me so hooked that I spend every moment reading it. I've never read this author before but I've heard of him. Great review!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I once tried an Ian Rankin book, somewhere in the middle of the series. I had trouble following the story and decided I needed to start at the beginning. Of course my TBR lists being what they are I have not accomplished that yet but I am determined to do so because he seems a great writer of the genre.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I did worry with this one that I wouldn’t be able to follow as it is well in to the series but it was fine, I’ve taken delivery of the first book so I’ll eventually get round to that!

      Delete
  7. I've been reading Rankin's Rebus books for years, and I can't wait to get my hands on this one. But even then, I've only read 12 of the 23 novels, with most of the ones I haven't read falling around the middle of the series. There are also three story-collections and a play about Rebus. I haven't read the short stories, but I can vouch for the play.

    Rebus is one of my all-time favorite fictional detectives. I love the setting, the continuing-characters, and the plotting. Ian Rankin tells a great story.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for taking the time to comment, I appreciate it and will make the time to come and visit your blog, maybe not today but soon as I am always behind!

Sorry due to lots of Spam I am moderating all comments - no spammers I don't want to buy whatever it is you are selling!