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Summary

From the iconic Number One best seller Ian Rankin, comes one of the must-listen audiobooks of the year: A Song for the Dark Times.

"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....

©2020 Ian Rankin (P)2020 Orion Publishing Group

Critic reviews

"Ian Rankin is a genius." (Lee Child)

"A master storyteller." (Guardian)

"Rebus is one of British crime writing's greatest characters: alongside Holmes, Poirot and Morse." (Daily Mail)

What listeners say about A Song for the Dark Times

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Will make more sense to those with prior knowledge

I read recently the extraordinary statistic that books by Ian Rankin represent 10% of all crime fiction read in the UK. I wanted to find out what all the fuss was about and plumped for this, his latest work. It is, apparently, the 23rd book in the Inspector Rebus series. Having not read any of the previous stories or seen the TV shows it felt like I was joining a party when everyone knew each other or watching a long running TV soap that I have never seen before.
It took me a while to work out who the characters were and I needed some help from the internet for this as ,for example, I would not have known that Samantha is Rebus' daughter otherwise. This made it all a bit hard going and although the story of a wealthy student being murdered and a missing person was well done and came together nicely in the end, it made me wonder whether I would have been better advised to start with one of the earlier books in the series.

20 people found this helpful

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Depressing

This is one book too many for Rebus it's depressing to read about an ex-policeman in old age with health problems just making a nuisance of himself he used to be edgy now he is just doddery sad to see a great detective hanging on where he can't even manage the stairs in his flat.

7 people found this helpful

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Excellent return for the old dogged Rebus

I was always concerned Rebus had been retired too early and I’m pleased to see he’s still alive and kicking (just!)

6 people found this helpful

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A Rebus Masterpiece

So wonderful to meet up with the irascible old detective again, still up to his old tricks and determined to catch his man. He may be getting older but his hunt for the truth keeps him at the top of his game. Loved it

5 people found this helpful

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Good return for Rebus

All the familiar characters and a multi layered story, classic Rebus and a great listen.

3 people found this helpful

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Not sure what all the fuss is about...

I really wanted to like this book. I’ve been recommended several books by the author and of course know how hugely successful this particular series is. However, what I found was a very laboured and uninteresting story, with bland characters and a very obvious outcome. I’m not sure where all the reviewers got the idea that there was some sort of biting take on modern life here. Just mentioning Brexit a few times does not make for insightful social commentary. I won’t be going back to this author, though I doubt he will lose any sleep over it!

2 people found this helpful

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Unlistenable

Possibly the worst narration I have heard. Who told James Macpherson to make Siobhan sound like a Granny. Just awful.

1 person found this helpful

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Time to go

Let's face it. There comes a time in every long serving literary character's life to be presented with a cozy armchair; be asked to put his feet up and allow the cold autumnal winds to blow away his well worn reminiscences of summer. Such a time has arrived for Rebus. Winter is just around the corner and his life of crime fighting has long past. His legacy will be best served far away from tired and formulaic fiction.
John Rebus RIP

1 person found this helpful

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Brilliant

Perfect narration by James Macpherson, he brings the book and characters to life.

Rebus' dogged determination to find the truth continues especially as the case involves his daughter, not allowing his age or no longer being a serving police officer stop him.

One of the better Rebus books.



1 person found this helpful

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You can’t keep a Rebus down…

Definitely enjoyed, but did not feel it to be amongst the best. Mildly irritated by threads begun and never brought to a conclusion. Will there still be more? I do hope so….