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Exit Music (Inspector Rebus #17)

4.10  ·  Rating Details  ·  9,000 Ratings  ·  512 Reviews
It's late autumn in Edinburgh and late autumn in the career of Detective Inspector John Rebus. As he tries to tie up some loose ends before retirement, a murder case intrudes. A dissident Russian poet has been found dead in what looks like a mugging gone wrong. By apparent coincidence a high-level delegation of Russian businessmen is in town, keen to bring business to Scot ...more
Paperback, 400 pages
Published 2008 by Orion (first published January 1st 2006)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Sep 29, 2008 Rasmus rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone.
I had extremely high expectations prior to reading this book. After all, this is the culmination of a long and amazing series. Perhaps, I would say, the best series of crime novels since Chandler. Maybe even better. This was the last one. DI John Rebus's last days before retirement.

It was with a mix of dread and hope, that I picked it up and started reading. I wanted things to end well for Rebus, but I knew it wasn't going to be all rosy and happy either. It just wouldn't be Rebus, if that had b
James Thane
Jul 01, 2011 James Thane rated it really liked it
This is the seventeenth and allegedly last book in Ian Rankin's excellent series featuring Edinburgh Inspector John Rebus. Rebus was already nearly sixty years old before his creator was stunned to discover that sixty was the mandatory retirement age for detectives in Scotland. Accordingly, this book finds Rebus in the autumn of the year and of his career as well.

Rebus has ten days do go when Alexander Todorov, a Russian poet, is brutally murdered after a reading. To all appearances Todorov was
Jon Mountjoy
Apr 21, 2008 Jon Mountjoy rated it really liked it
Okay, I've read all of the Rebus series. I suspect this is the final book, given the title. I don't often read the genre, but I've grown to love the warty, very human Rebus. He fights the world, and himself. I suppose I started reading these books because Rebus is set in Edinburgh, where I live. It adds a wonderful dimension when the story takes place in streets and pubs that you know (and I've just learned about a bodysnatching lookout tower from the book). So, you'll enjoy this book if you've ...more
Pris robichaud
Jan 03, 2009 Pris robichaud rated it it was amazing

As We Say Goodbye, Let Me Wish You Grace and Danger, November 18, 2007

"I never knew the road that carried me along
Crazy sidewalk, concealed by pretty song
You want my life from me
I'll give you two
You'll be no strife for me
As we say goodbye
Let me wish you as you fly.

Grace and danger
Sweet grace
No danger
Sweet grace
No danger
Grace and danger."
John Martyn

John Rebus hooked me into his life with his love of music and his style, and that is how he ends his career, style with 'Exit Music'-ho
Apr 07, 2011 Dorothy rated it really liked it
Anyone who follows my book reviews is probably already aware that I am a big fan of Ian Rankin's Inspector Rebus series. Mysteries are my favorite genre and the Rebus series is really one of the best, in my opinion. Rankin can always be counted on to give us believable characters and situations and always there is in the background the wonderfully funky and historic city of Edinburgh, a smallish town in a smallish country where everybody and everything seems intertwined. And always in the middle ...more
Dec 10, 2015 Jeanette rated it liked it
Rebus has personality and onus. He just holds it. And this book occurs just prior to his scheduled retirement. It had a good plot and interesting balance to the Russian poet's murder. I've only read a few of these. It is the Scottish location police department hierarchy and peer pub snark factor that nearly always puts me off with these Rebus books, coupled with a bit of overload word verbosity. It did this time too, which knocks off an entire star.

I bet he comes back as an unauthorized consult
Chuck Slack
Dec 31, 2014 Chuck Slack rated it really liked it
It is with sorrow that I read another in this great series as with each passing book I get closer to the end. To say this series has been a joy is an understatement. Rankin, through his wonderful character, Rebus, has introduced me to Edinburgh. So much so that my family and I, my wife is a huge fan of the series as well, travelled to Edinburgh for holidays. Seeing Waverley Station, Princes Street, the Oxford Bar, and all of Rebus' haunts was a lot of fun. Reading this book was too. A great read ...more
May 16, 2016 RJ rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: u-k, crime-fiction

I finally got there, last of the original 17 Inspector Rebus novels, and Exit Music is Rankin's masterpiece. Everything is here - the rich bankers, the lazy parking lot attendants, young flatmates into drugs and partying, Big Ger Cafferty and several Russians. Throughout Rankin makes Edinburgh as large a character than it has ever been before. The spooky Kings Stables Rd. where the mysterious parking garage DOES exist (Google maps and street view a constant companion), where
Aug 22, 2015 Lori rated it it was amazing
Shelves: crime-fiction
"That was that, then. End of the line, end of the job. These past weeks, he'd been trying so hard not to think about it - throwing himself into other work, any work. For three decades now this job of his had sustained him, and all it had cost him was his marriage and a slew of friendships and shattered relationships. No way he was ever going to feel like a civilian again; too late for that; too late for him to change. He would become invisible to the world..." And so it ends. Exit Music marks DI ...more
Amanda Patterson
Nov 16, 2010 Amanda Patterson rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-i-remember
This is Ian Rankin’s second masterpiece. The first was Black & Blue.
I have grown old with DI Rebus. I define the way I enjoy crime fiction from Ian Rankin’s, and Michael Connelly’s, writing. I read Exit Music as slowly as I could. I don’t want Rebus and his arch-enemy, Big Ger Cafferty, off my reading radar. I was not disappointed. Rankin is a fine storyteller. He and Rebus work through Edinburgh as one in this swan song. Or is it?
The crime Rebus investigates is cleverly concealed and reveal
May 24, 2016 Vastine rated it it was amazing
There is a point in the career for the best crime fiction series writers that they have so much comfort with the world they have created and their characters it is like drinking a cold, smooth, milkshake made from the best homemade ice cream. And by the point Ian Rankin wrote "Exit Music" he was there. While I have some minor quibbles with the plot, the perfection of the interplay between Rebus and Siobhan makes this book special.
Mary Gilligan-Nolan
Mar 01, 2016 Mary Gilligan-Nolan rated it it was amazing
I am sparing with my 5 stars, but I am giving them here, for all the Rebus Series collectively, because I have loved them. I still wonder why it took me so long to find Ian Rankin and his Rebus books. They have been entertaining, realistic and well written and I am sad to have come to almost, but not quite, the end of the series. There are 3 others after Exit Music so it's not all over yet. I hope maybe Ian Rankin considers keeping the theme going with Siobhan Clarke taking over, with Rebus cons ...more
Dec 28, 2015 Sandra rated it liked it
It is hard to write about a crime novel without spilling too much information. And it is especially hard when it is, at least, two months since you finished the book. So I will give you just the basics and make the overall theme of music my main focus for this review.

The music is not part of the crime solving process, but for inspector John Rebus, the bizarre main character of a complete crime fiction series by Ian Rankin, the music is important to get either his brain working or to relax after
Toni Osborne
Mar 02, 2009 Toni Osborne rated it really liked it
Inspector Rebus, book17

With this installment Mr Rankin has written a great send off, a suitable finale for his protagonist Inspector Rebus. Each chapter is a count down to his last days before retirement. True to the author's style, suspense builds till the end making this story not only entertaining but also intriguing.

Under pressure to solve the murder of a Russian poet and a local sound recordist, Rebus and Siobhan quickly find out this case is connected to the underworld led by Big Ger Caffe
Tess Mertens-Johnson
Dec 24, 2011 Tess Mertens-Johnson rated it really liked it
This is my first Inspector Rebus book, but I hear it is the last in the series (sigh). I must read the others. I spent some time in Edinburgh, so I recall the places they spoke of. A beautiful city!
Detective Inspector John Rebus is retiring and tries to tie up some loose end. There is a murder of a Russian poet that seems to be a mugging gone wrong. By apparent coincidence a high-level delegation of Russian businessmen is in town, keen to bring business to Scotland. The politicians and bankers w
Babs Green
Jul 18, 2012 Babs Green rated it liked it
I was quite frankly disappointed with this book. I understand now that there will be another in the Rebus series but, at the time of publication it was considered to be the last . Now let me say I have, from the beginning, been an Ian Rankin fan which I guess could have contributed to my high level of anticipation. And when I opened the book it drew me in pretty quickly and we 'were off' as they say. The only problem for me it, like its heroe, it began to run out of steam. I wom't delineate the ...more
Cathi Davis
Aug 10, 2013 Cathi Davis rated it liked it
This was a kindle deal of the day. Worth every one of the 199 pennies, but don't make this your first Inspector Rebus story. Too much short-hand writing, ie rankin assumes you know much of the back story and the quirks of the characters. This wasn't my first, so I enjoyed it. Though it felt a tad like the author was a wee bit tired of old Rebus and wanted to hurry him along off the page. The story about a murdered Russia poet has plenty of twists and turns, and the result is good, possibly unexp ...more
May 29, 2010 Maddy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2008-reads
PROTAGONIST: DI John Rebus and DS Siobhan Clarke
SETTING: Edinburgh, Scotland
SERIES: #17 of 17
RATING: 3.75

The time that fans of Detective Inspector John Rebus have long dreaded has arrived—in only ten days, Rebus is set to retire. Anyone who knows him does not expect him to go gently into that good night. Even though his career clock is ticking, he’s completely engaged in the newest case to come in to the department. Acclaimed Russian poet Alexander Todorov has been beaten to death. What at first
Nov 23, 2008 Judy rated it liked it
What did I learn from this book? Easy. Don't come into a series on the 16th and final book. Why, you may ask? Because apparently the primary characters in the book have a long and complex history of which I was ignorant. And the author did little to bring a novice reader up to speed. I was urged to read this book by a long-time reader of Ian Rankin, who, apparently, also read them in order. Anyway, the book takes place in Scotland in 2006 as Detective Inspector John Rebus is facing imminent mand ...more
Kathy Davie
Mar 19, 2016 Kathy Davie rated it it was amazing
Seventeenth in the Inspector Rebus detective mystery series set in Edinburgh, Scotland.

My Take
Please. Please, don't let Rebus retire…I want to read more about him! He's too interesting a character to sit back in an armchair with his music and Scotch.

Rebus reminds me of Inspector Morse in that he's a bit cantankerous, "knows-all" (usually true!), and he has an eye for the ladies — besides the drink and the music! As for other characters, there's really only Siobhan Clarke who has been stuck with
EXIT MUSIC (Police Proc-John Rebus-Scotland-Cont) – Ex
Rankin, Ian – 18th in series
Orion, 2008, UK Hardcover- ISBN: 9780752868608

First Sentence: The girl screamed once, only the once, but it was enough.

DI John Rebus is one week from retirement. What begins as the murder of a Russian poet becomes much more complex. Does it involve the Russians meeting with Edinburgh real estate agents and bankers? How does it link with a second murder? What is the connection to Rebus’ nemeses Ger Cafferty?

When Re
Apr 12, 2015 Anetq rated it it was amazing
Been a long time since I read Rankin, but he's still great. One the one hand just a story of a murder - on the other hand a much larger story of global capital, Scottish independence & the involved politics. And also the personal story of DI Rebus' last week in the force and the unknown that awaits him in retirement.
Funny how I'm reading "Crime and Punishment" at the same time and their interweaving of stories into one another is actually pretty similar. Not quite as much rambling inner dial
Bookmarks Magazine

This nostalgic farewell for the aging, rebellious, and popular Rebus raised an all-consuming question for critics: is this really the end to the beloved detective, or will he return? The cliffhanger ending, as well as the general belief that Rankin would never give up his adored character, suggests that Rebus could make a comeback. "Exit Music does leave the door open for more Rebus stories as well as a series featuring Siobhan, who has become more of a presence in each novel," notes the South F

Nov 09, 2015 Steve rated it it was amazing
As Rebus' career as a DI nears an end. he's still in the thick of it, still getting into trouble, and still wicked good as a detective. This volume makes you wish the series could continue forever...
Margaret Barnes
Jun 15, 2015 Margaret Barnes rated it liked it
I am a fan of Rebus and Ian Rankin, but this is not his best novel. Rebus is on the point of retiring, when a Russian dissident is murdered. Rebus and Siobhan Clarke believe the killing is political and the victims links with the Russian diaspora in Edinburgh and their links to local politicians come under scrutiny. The ending was a little contrived and I thought not very credible. Rebus is wary of the consequences of his retirement as is Clarke who anticipates promotion.
The city plays it's usu
Gareth Otton
Exit wounds was the 17th and supposedly last book in the Rebus series (something I now know to be false) and I thought that this ending of sorts would be enough to inspire me to write a review in a series that so far has been failing to move me enough one way or the other, to really care.

The truth is that this book is much like the rest in this long and, in my opinion, over rated series. It is easy reading, something you can do to pass a couple of hours and then forget about almost the moment y
Ian Brydon
Jan 28, 2015 Ian Brydon rated it really liked it
The creators of popular fictional detectives have always been faced with a taxing dilemma. Do they allow their characters to age in (or at least close to) real time, or do they leave them in an eternal prime, letting neither age weary them nor the years condemn. Prime examples of the latter approach might be Chief Inspector Wexford, who has been solving crimes in Ruth Rendell's novesl for nigh on fifty years, or Commander Adam Dalgleish, the former poet who investigated numerous murders in the p ...more
Steve Aldous
Oct 22, 2014 Steve Aldous rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When first published many thought Exit Music would be DI John Rebus’ swansong. Following the lead of his excellent Naming of the Dead, set with a background of the G8 summit, Rankin uses another newsworthy issue as background for this story. The poisoning of Russian dissident Alexander Litvienko in London is referenced on a number of occasions throughout – the timeline of the news story coinciding with events in Rankin’s Edinburgh. Unlike in Naming, the reference is not used to drive the plot. I ...more
Paul Westwood
Nov 23, 2015 Paul Westwood rated it liked it
Ok, once again it's been ages since I actually finished this but I'll try my best.

Even though this is the last of a long series of books I didn't feel like I was missing out on loads of the story by not having read all the others. There were references to past events which regular readers might recognise but there was enough explanation given for this particular story.
All the characters are suitably mysterious enough for a thriller of this sort and they felt quite realistic as well.
I wasn't that
Όταν ένας Ρώσος ποιητής, ο Αλεξάντερ Τοντόροφ, ξυλοκοπείται μέχρι θανάτου στο Εδιμβούργο, ο Επιθεωρητής Ρέμπους και η Αρχιφύλακας Σιβ Κλαρκ, στρέφουν τις έρευνές τους στον αρχιγκάνγκστερ Κάφερτι , ο οποίος φαίνεται να έχει επαφές με ρωσικά επιχειρηματικά κυκλώματα, με σκοτσέζικους τραπεζικούς κύκλους αλλά και με μέλη πολιτικών κομμάτων του Κοινοβουλίου. Προσπαθούν να συνδέσουν το θανάσιμο ξυλοδαρμό του Τοντόροφ με τη δολοφονία που ακολουθεί του ηχολήπτη Τσαρλς Ρίορνταν. Κι όταν ξυλοκοπείται και ...more
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Do u think there should be another book after Exit Music? 5 22 Oct 13, 2014 12:30PM  
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AKA Jack Harvey.

Born in the Kingdom of Fife in 1960, Ian Rankin graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 1982 and then spent three years writing novels when he was supposed to be working towards a PhD in Scottish Literature. His first Rebus novel was published in 1987; the Rebus books are now translated into 22 languages and are bestsellers on several continents.

Ian Rankin has been elected a
More about Ian Rankin...

Other Books in the Series

Inspector Rebus (1 - 10 of 20 books)
  • Knots and Crosses (Inspector Rebus, #1)
  • Hide and Seek (Inspector Rebus, #2)
  • Tooth and Nail (Inspector Rebus, #3)
  • Strip Jack (Inspector Rebus, #4)
  • The Black Book (Inspector Rebus, #5)
  • Mortal Causes (Inspector Rebus, #6)
  • Let It Bleed (Inspector Rebus, #7)
  • Black and Blue (Inspector Rebus, #8)
  • The Hanging Garden (Inspector Rebus, #9)
  • Dead Souls (Inspector Rebus, #10)

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“It seemed to him a very Edinburgh thing. Welcoming, but not very.” 12 likes
“John Martyn on instead, Grace and Danger,” 0 likes
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