Cover image for A good hanging : short stories
A good hanging : short stories
Rankin, Ian.
Personal Author:
First U.S. edition.
Publication Information:
New York : St. Martin's Minotaur, 2002.

Physical Description:
253 pages ; 22 cm
General Note:
Reprint. Originally published: Great Britain: Century, 1992.
Playback -- The Dean curse -- Being Frank -- Concrete evidence -- Seeing things -- A good hanging -- Tit for tat -- Not Provan -- Sunday -- Auld lang syne -- The gentlemen's club -- Monstrous trumpet.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Adult Fiction Popular Materials-Mystery
X Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense
X Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense

On Order



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.

Author Notes

Ian Rankin lives in Edinburgh, Scotland, with his wife and their two sons.

Born in 1960, Ian Rankin graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 1982. He is the author of the much translated, bestselling Inspector Rebus Series whose first Rebus novel was published in 1987.

Rankin has been elected a Hawthornden Fellow, and is also a past winner of the Chandler-Fulbright Award. He is the recipient of four Crime Writers' Association Dagger Awards including the prestigious Diamond Dagger in 2005. In 2004, Ian won America's celebrated Edgar Award for 'Resurrection Men'. He has also been shortlisted for the Edgar and Anthony Awards in the USA, and won Denmark's Palle Rosenkrantz Prize, the French Grand Prix du Roman Noir and the Deutscher Krimipreis.

Rankin is a contributor to BBC2's 'Newsnight Review' and also presented his own TV series, 'Ian Rankin's Evil Thoughts'. He recently received the OBE (Order of the British Empire) for services to literature.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

The gently swaying body of a young man is discovered on a scaffold erected in the middle of Edinburgh's Royal Mile in the title story of this collection of 12 short stories, all starring Detective Police Inspector John Rebus, who has appeared in 14 highly regarded Scottish police procedurals. Given to deductive leaps that leave his coworkers gaping, the sharp-eyed, sharp-tongued Rebus often seems like a hard-boiled Sherlock Holmes, time warped to contemporary Edinburgh. The short story format works perfectly in showcasing Rebus unraveling a series of old-fashioned puzzles, including a locked-room murder and a murder that is perfect except for one tiny detail, a line from Twelfth Night, picked up by Rebus alone. One story, "Sunday," follows Rebus on a lazy recovery day off; the surprise ending, revealing what he is recovering from, is beautifully understated. Here are classic deductive puzzles, in which everything is laid out for the reader in an intellectual challenge. The setting, moving from the gray pile of Edinburgh Castle through the cafes and bars of trendy New Town to Dickensian tenements, is arresting in itself. A captivating collection. --Connie Fletcher

Publisher's Weekly Review

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. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Although Edgar Allen Poe proved that it was possible to craft a satisfying short mystery, there is always something disatisfying about that form: under its limitations, the plot contrivances are more obvious and the character development skimpier. First published in England in 1992, this collection of 12 tales reflects those flaws, but it also features Detective Inspector John Rebus, Rankin's police hero, and his fascinating city of Edinburgh. From the hanging of a young actor to a confessed murderer's declaration of innocence, the enigmatic and secretive Rebus solves these cases, much to the chagrin of his inferiors (and superiors): "How was he [Holmes] expected to shine, to be noticed, to push forward to promotion, when it was always Rebus who, two steps ahead, came up with the answers?" These stories are slight but enjoyable. Budgets allowing, purchase for your Rankin fans; otherwise, stick to Rankin's more complex and compelling novels like The Falls. Wilda Williams, "Library Journal" (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.