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A Good Hanging and Other Stories [Mass Market Paperback]

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

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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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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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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Rebus anthology Jan. 24 2002
A GOOD HANGING consists of twelve police procedural investigations starring John Rebus and co-starring his hometown Edinburgh. The anthology is different from most short story collections, as there is no introduction explaining the topic or its greatness. Instead Ian Rankin uses the investigative stories to provide the audience a close up look at Rebus and some of his cohorts enabling the greatness to shine. Fans of the series will fully enjoy the collection and anyone interested in a first look at one of the best detectives around today ought to take the fall because they will conclude that this anthology and subsequently the Rebus novels are among the top police procedural series in bookstores.

Harriet Klausner
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5.0 out of 5 stars found a new author July 14 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I had heard of Ian Rankin's books, but I always stick to my known author's, Ruth Rendell, Wingfield, P. D. James, Elizabeth George, etc. I picked up "A Good Hanging" by chance when I noticed it was not one story, but several short Rebus stories.
Boy, did I find the mother lode!! I read this book in one sitting & have ordered the first ten Ian Rankin Rebus books from sellers on Amazon.com. I can't wait to get started with the first in the series, "Knots and Crosses". This book, "A Good Hanging" will get you acquainted with Inspector Rebus of Edinburgh enough to make you want more...good place to start!!
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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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