We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.co.uk/access.
Rather Be the Devil Audiobook

Rather Be the Devil: Inspector Rebus 21

Regular Price:£24.99
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • £7.99/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Publisher's Summary

What could be better than settling down to listen to an elegantly crafted, intricate mystery thriller fraught with tension and excitement? Set in Edinburgh, Ian Rankin's best-selling Inspector Rebus series makes its return with a dark installment that revisits the haunting unsolved murder of a young woman.

Some cases never leave you.

For John Rebus, 40 years may have passed, but the death of beautiful, promiscuous Maria Turquand still preys on his mind. She was murdered in her hotel room on the night a famous rock star and his entourage were staying there, and Maria's killer has never been found.

Meanwhile, the dark heart of Edinburgh remains up for grabs. A young pretender, Darryl Christie, may have staked his claim, but a vicious attack leaves him weakened and vulnerable, and an inquiry into a major money laundering scheme threatens his position. Has old-time crime boss Big Ger Cafferty really given up the ghost, or is he biding his time until Edinburgh is once more ripe for the picking?

In a tale of twisted power, deep-rooted corruption and bitter rivalries, Rather Be the Devil showcases Rankin and Rebus at their unstoppable best.

©2016 John Rebus Ltd (P)2016 Orion Publishing Group

Related Videos

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.5 (606 )
5 star
 (394)
4 star
 (158)
3 star
 (38)
2 star
 (11)
1 star
 (5)
Overall
4.5 (551 )
5 star
 (349)
4 star
 (137)
3 star
 (48)
2 star
 (11)
1 star
 (6)
Story
4.7 (546 )
5 star
 (410)
4 star
 (109)
3 star
 (18)
2 star
 (8)
1 star
 (1)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Simon Waterlooville, UK 04/11/2016
    Simon Waterlooville, UK 04/11/2016 Member Since 2017

    A man with a child in his ears - @shutterspin.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1985
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    311
    307
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    371
    14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "No Half Measures Here!"

    Another few hours spent in the company of James Macpherson's silken Edinburgh tones and Ian Rankin's brilliant characters. An unsolved case from Rebus's past is skilfully interwoven with events happening in the current day to set up another quality installment in one of crime fiction's longest running series.

    The delicious interactions between Rebus and yes, he's still there, Big Ger Cafferty are an absolute highlight for me. Two men with enmity boiling under the civilised veneer of their conversations. Each of them having to face up to their own mortality in their own characteristic ways.

    It's not completely without its problems though. The leeway that Rankin gives the retired Rebus in his involvement with the police investigations probably does go a bit further past the realms of the believable. I'd say more so than Rankin would normally have allowed himself. If you are like me and love the old curmudgeon and his associates you'll likely let it go but if that kind of thing bothers you then warning flags will raise themselves throughout.

    For the rest of us, there's just about life in this old dog yet! Though be prepared for a jolt very early on in the story . . . Rebus with a half in his hand! If you can get over that shock the violence and criminality that follows should be a breeze.

    9 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ms GM 14/11/2016
    Ms GM 14/11/2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    13
    6
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Thank you Mr Rankin - loved it!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Rather Be the Devil to be better than the print version?

    Went straight for the audio


    What other book might you compare Rather Be the Devil to, and why?

    Incomparable!


    What about James Macpherson’s performance did you like?

    He brings it to life & maintains the character voices brilliantly. Such a lovely accent


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    It's not what you'd call a moving book. What I love about Ian Rankin is that his portrayal of violence is bearable. Some writers go over the top with blood & gore to the point of making if too unpleasant! I want to be entertained & kept in suspense not made depressed by the horrors of our world - there's enough of that in the daily news. I hope there's another Rebus in you Mr R.


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    keith 09/11/2016
    keith 09/11/2016 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Ageing disgracefully..."

    Rebus back on his old manor against old sparring partners. Nothing new but engaging as always. Strong, if familiar, writing and excellent performance.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M. Gosney 21/11/2016
    M. Gosney 21/11/2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    39
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A little less conversation, a little more action p"

    Another good narration James, but a very weak story. It was like listening to a transcript of a never-ending conversation. Very little actually happens.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    simon gower 16/11/2016
    simon gower 16/11/2016 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    21
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Love it! Thanks Mr Rankin absolute classic!"

    Loved this great read, couldn't stop listening, hmm big Ger might just be a lovable rouge, can't help but like him thanks Mr Rankin total class can't wait for the next one !?

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dee Murray 14/11/2016
    Dee Murray 14/11/2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    14
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    23
    10
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Rebus is getting old"

    but he's still got it. Lots of twists and turns, many evil wee rat bags. Fox and Clarke are there too. How do they manage without Rebus?

    James MacPherson is his usual brilliant self with many voices (does anyone else think of Scunner Campbell when they hear Big Ger's voice?).

    My husband and I both loved it. Quite a few laughs thrown in. Use a credit. You won't be disappointed.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Caroline Adams 06/11/2016
    Caroline Adams 06/11/2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    26
    16
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Rebus and Cafferty are both back!"

    What a story! Performance Class A. Hope there's more to follow, PLEASE. Rebus, Clark and Fox are all flawed in different ways but make a brilliant team.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ANDREW 13/11/2016
    ANDREW 13/11/2016 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "First Audio Book"

    A massive fan of Rankin but this was my first audio book. Fantastic and I have now found a new way of enjoying books.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    mollyeyre 23/04/2017
    mollyeyre 23/04/2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
    661
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    468
    420
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    14
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Series is getting a bit tired"

    I feel that this series is waning, I find Rebus's bad behaviour and lies quite tedious. Big Ger too gets away with murder and I find that difficult to believe.

    Too many things I didn't enjoy while reading this book - I don't think I'll go for any more Ian Rankin books.

    Rebus used to be quite 'pithy' and although he bent his rules a bit it seemed to be excusable - but in this book - he was a blatant liar and I really didn't enjoy it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    FictionFan 03/04/2017
    FictionFan 03/04/2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
    71
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    22
    18
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Hail! Hail! The gang's all here!"
    Any additional comments?

    While Rebus is having dinner with his long-term girlfriend, forensic pathologist Deborah Quant, in the Caledonian Hotel, he tells her of a murder that took place there years ago, when a famous rock star and his entourage were staying in the hotel – a woman who, it appeared, was probably murdered by her lover, except that the lover had an alibi. The murder was never solved and, as he tells the story, Rebus's interest in it revives. Time for a little amateur sleuthing! Meantime, gangster Darryl Christie has been beaten up and Siobhan is on the case. The obvious suspect is Big Ger Cafferty, the older gangster whom Darryl has pushed aside, but Cafferty hints to Rebus that there's a Russian connection. (No, fear not, Comrade Trump isn't in it!) Malcolm Fox has been moved to the Specialist Crime Division in Gartcosh. They are quietly looking into some of Darryl's business interests and reckon the investigation into his beating will be a good opportunity to nose around his affairs, so Malcolm is sent back through to Edinburgh to liaise with Siobhan. And so the scene is set for another full-cast outing, all the detectives and gangsters gathered together one more time.

    Rebus is up there at the top of my list of favourite detectives, and Ian Rankin can really do no wrong in my eyes. As always, the plotting is great, with the various strands crossing and interconnecting. The old murder story is a traditional whodunit, where alibis and motives are key, while the gangster story allows for plenty of action and a good, believable thriller ending. There's lots of room for the regulars to interact with each other, which is always one of the major joys of the books – tension between Siobhan and Malcolm because she's jealous of his move to Gartcosh, concern over Rebus's health as he undergoes some tests, and Rebus and Big Ger continuing their roles as the elder statesmen of policing and crime, running rings around the young'uns as usual.

    However, in truth, I couldn't help but notice that there are a good deal of similarities to the last book. The rivalry among Darryl, Big Ger and their Glasgow counterpart, Joe Stark, has been rumbling through a few books now, and shows no signs of coming to a conclusion. In retirement, it's harder to create reasons for Rebus to be involved, and the excuse of Big Ger only being willing to deal with him is becoming a little worn. I hate to say it because I love the old man so much, but I think it's time to let Rebus go and allow Siobhan and Malcolm to take over as the lead characters. Either that, or Rankin should break his own rule and take us back in time to revisit Rebus as a younger man, when he was still on the force. That's not to suggest I didn't enjoy this one – I did, thoroughly, and I'm sure other Rebus fans will too. But this and the last one have felt like encores, given as a treat to those who've watched the whole show and want a little bit more. And I think it would be better if Rebus left the stage while the audience is still applauding.

    I listened to the Audible audiobook version of this, narrated by James Macpherson whom some of you will remember as Chief Inspector Michael Jardine in the long-running STV series, Taggart. I'd listened to him narrate Rebus before, in the short story collection The Beat Goes On, so knew he'd be good. But actually he's even better in this one – the length allows him to create different personalities for all the characters, and his range of Scottish accents and voices is fabulous. From posh Morningside gents to wee Glesca nyaffs, he can do them all brilliantly! He has a real understanding of the recurring characters, so his interpretation never jars. And his timing for the humour is perfect – he often made me laugh out loud. I heartily recommend his readings to any Rebus fans out there – I can't imagine a better narrator for them, and fully intend to back track and listen to his readings of some of the older books.

    For anyone coming new to the series, I'd definitely recommend starting much further back – this one depends to a large extent on familiarity with all the relationships amongst the regulars. But for existing Rebus fans, another thoroughly enjoyable book. Rankin writing and Macpherson narrating are a dream team – pure pleasure! Highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • George Fogden
    27/11/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Mr Rankin at his best"
    Where does Rather Be the Devil rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This is vintage Rebus, nothing has been lost on this one


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Rebus, of course


    What does James Macpherson bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Understanding the accent


    Any additional comments?

    Ask Mr. Rankin for more of the same please. I see Cafferty is back so I expect some more in the near future.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Simon
    24/11/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Never fails to entertain, Rebus is as good as ever"
    If you could sum up Rather Be the Devil in three words, what would they be?

    Like an old friend


    What did you like best about this story?

    Character relationships


    What does James Macpherson bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Brings out the characters own personalities.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Yes but it would be a spoiler to write about it, although Hank Marvin will suffice.


    Any additional comments?

    After 20 previous books, with not even a slightly 'iffy' one amongst them, this book shines. Rebus is on form and every bit as good as he's always been, albeit slightly less edgy than his younger days, he still packs a punch! highly recommended! Patrica Cornwell could well learn some lessons about her character's appeal from this!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Anna
    14/01/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Very consistent Rankin"

    Always very consistent, engaging and painfully well written. Worth 5 stars but saving one for in case.n

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Doha Punk
    14/01/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Another great Rebus novel"

    Took me a couple of chapters to warm to the narrator and then the voices he used for some of the well know characters didn't gel with what I thought they would be.

    But that is my preferences, great story by Rankin.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Edie
    Windsor, Ontario Canada
    03/12/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "great book"

    The only complaint i have with this book is thst sometimes i found it very hsrd to determine who was talkingng because the voices of Fox and Rebus are almost indistinguishable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.