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A Good Hanging [Paperback]

Ian Rankin
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Dec 7 2010
Twelve remarkable, gritty stories starring Detective Inspector John Rebus in his home city of Edinburgh, as only Ian Rankin can portray it: not just the tearooms and cobbled streets of the tourist brochures, but a modern urban metropolis with a full range of criminals and their victims--blackmailers, peeping Toms, and more than one kind of murderer. It's a city like any other, a city that gives birth to crimes of passion, accidents, and long-hidden jealousy, and a city in which criminal minds find it all too easy to fade into the shadows. As dedicated readers of the series well know, nobody is better equipped to delve into Edinburgh's back alleys and smoky pubs than Rebus, and no one better able to illuminate his world than Ian Rankin.

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From Amazon

Penzler Pick, January 2002: Ian Rankin is now the United Kingdom's bestselling crime writer. His 15 police procedurals featuring the dour Scottish Detective Inspector John Rebus are beginning, at last, to attract a devoted--and deserved--following in this country. St. Martin's has just published this, Rankin's 1992 collection of short stories, and I can't think of a better way to be introduced to John Rebus and his creator.

Dubbed "Tartan Noir" by James Ellroy, Rankin's tales are set in Edinburgh. Not in the beautiful streets that tourists see (those cobbled sidewalks leading up to Edinburgh Castle), but in its dark, damp recesses where crime flourishes. That's where Rebus works. The crime and criminals there make Rebus's job a tough one, and they also offend his sense of decency and order.

These 12 stories tell of mystery, suffering, and mayhem, which Rebus alone of all the detectives on the force, with his remarkable deductive skills, can solve. In "Being Frank," a homeless man, from his unique perspective on the park bench, is able to give Rebus the information he needs to break up a scam by local ne'er-do-wells. Crimes gone unsolved for 20 years, religious sightings, lovers crossed, and tales of revenge all come under the jaundiced eye of the very talented Rebus.

Even 10 years ago, when he was writing these stories, Rankin was a writer of great gifts. Time has borne out this promise. So it is easy to predict that, once you have sampled these short cases, you will become one of the many readers eagerly awaiting another Rebus novel from this sensitive and enormously talented young writer. --Otto Penzler --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

For his 13th Det. Insp. John Rebus volume, Ian Rankin (The Falls) has traded the full-length police procedural for a collection of 12 gripping stories. The king of tartan noir puts his popular Scottish "heart attack material" supersleuth to work investigating arson, a ghostly vision, a converted ex-con and the "perfect murder" in A Good Hanging's fast-paced mini-mysteries.

Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bits of the Best -- Sept. 2 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
A collection of short stories is an excellent way to be introduced to an author, and this collection should net Ian Rankin many, many new readers.
Such an edition as this is rather a throw-back to those good-old 'golden' days of the great mystery writers, such as Dame Agatha, Ellery Queen, Rex Stout and many others who regularly wrote short stories along with their full-length novels. Eventually, when a dozen or so of these little gems had accrued in the author's basket, they would be brought out in their own separate volume. Many of these collections are as well known as the authors' full-length novels.
Following this lead, Mr. Rankin displays a sure touch with this batch of shorter stories, all of which feature Detective Inspector John Rebus of the Edinburgh police force. There are other continuing characters as well, who surface here or there, providing a spot of humor or compassion or just camaraderie.
I'd not read anthing by Mr. Rankin before finding this book. That situation is about to be remedied as I go looking for "Knots and Crosses" to begin at the beginning of the Inspector Rebus tales. I would highly recommend a similar path to any other devoted readers of mystery novels, especially those who treasure a setting that's nearly part of the plot, characters with whom one can practically form a friendship, and above all, exellent writing.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Thanks, Mr. Rankin, now I'm hooked... Sept. 7 2003
By Pansori
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I decided to try to read a Rebus novel after being introduced to the character one night while watching BBCAmerica. I thought I would start with a good hanging, based on the other reviews. This book is just great. Each story is well thought out and written. Rebus, a poor tormented soul can be dark one minute, and then put a smile on your face with his dry wit the next. Count me in as a Rebus fan.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Read and get hooked. March 26 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I have read Rankin's works in chronological order (well actually still having to read the last four because I am not spoiling myself...). This collection is a good way to be introduced to the series, and believe me I loved Inspector Morse novels, but this is on a class of his own (and far above realistic). Well researched/written/beliavable/human.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Some very good short stories July 22 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is quite a good short story collection from Ian Rankin. Indeed, it is good not just by his standards, but by most authors.
There are some really very good stories here..."A Good Hanging" "The Gentlemen's Club" and "Concrete Evidence". All of which are very enjoyable. the final story "Monstrous Trumpet" would be included in the above category, but for it's rather unbelieveable solution. The inclusion of the French visiting policeman, though, was a stroke of genius. His presence is incredibly enjoyable.
All of the stories are clever, and all enjoyable. there are several nice twists here and there, and Rebus, of course, to provide for extra entertainment.
"Sunday" is perhaps the most inventive story, certainly the one most "Rebus orientated". "Auld Lang Syne" is a very dull story until the final two or three pages, where it picks up some life. Of "Not Provan" , the same can be said.
"Playback" is a nice lite story to ease you into the collection.
All in all, there are some very good short stories contained herein. I would prefer a novel, but these will do. (Edinburgh is not quite so much a presence. Nor is the character development awfully good.)
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4.0 out of 5 stars Very good first time Rebus July 16 2002
By Megami
Format:Mass Market Paperback
As I am staying in Scotland for 6 months, I thought it was time I tried an Inspector Rebus book (they are set in Edinburgh, though I am living in Glasgow). This collection of short stories, and some are very brief, was a great introduction to Rankine's work, in as much as he has made me want to read more! If this collection is anything to go by, Inspector Rebus is going to be one of my favourites.
And for those of you who are sick of crime fiction - I am not a fan of crime fiction at all, but I found this book to be extremely well written and clever. And yet crime fiction fans seem to love it too?
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