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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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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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