From the iconic Number One bestseller Ian Rankin, comes one of the must-read books of the year: A SONG FOR THE DARK TIMES
'Genius ... Only great novels capture the spirit of the age. This is one of them.'
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When his daughter Samantha calls in the dead of night, John Rebus knows it's not good news. Her husband has been missing for two days.
Rebus fears the worst - and knows from his lifetime in the police that his daughter will be the prime suspect.
He wasn't the best father - the job always came first - but now his daughter needs him more than ever. But is he going as a father or a detective?
As he leaves at dawn to drive to the windswept coast - and a small town with big secrets - he wonders whether this might be the first time in his life where the truth is the one thing he doesn't want to find...
PRAISE FOR A SONG FOR THE DARK TIMES:
'Magnificent ... utterly unputdownable and an immersive pleasure' MARIAN KEYES
'This is Rankin at his best, Rebus at his best, storytelling that meets the moment and transcends all genres and expectations' MICHAEL CONNELLY
'An outstanding addition to one of the finest bodies of work in crime fiction' MICK HERRON
'Rankin remains the king of the castle' THE TIMES
'Typically compelling' DAILY TELEGRAPH
'Masterly storytelling' SUNDAY EXPRESS
'Excellent' LIZ NUGENT
'The best that the crime genre can offer' FT
'Rankin grows better with time . . . Rebus grows ever more compelling' DAILY MAIL
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PRAISE FOR THE ICONIC NUMBER ONE BESTSELLER:
'Ian Rankin is a genius'
'A master storyteller'
'Rebus is one of British crime writing's greatest characters: alongside Holmes, Poirot and Morse'
'Great fiction, full stop'
'One of Britain's leading novelists in any genre'
'Rankin is a phenomenon'
'Worthy of Agatha Christie at her best'
'The king of crime fiction'
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Ian Rankin’s Inside Story: “In some ways, it’s a very odd book because I started writing it just before the lockdown, so the bulk of it was written in lockdown. Normally, I go away. We’ve got a second home up in a little fishing town called Cromarty, which is up past Inverness. I would normally go there to write, because it’s quite isolated, and there’s no interruptions. That wasn’t possible, because the lockdown happened. So I was stuck in Edinburgh, writing a book for the first time in a while. Luckily, I’d done the research before lockdown and the book was written quite quickly, because there was nothing getting in the way. There were no festivals, no trips here and there.
“And honestly, it was an escape. It was a way of just blocking out the virus and the lockdown. I could escape into this other world. So it was actually a fun book to write. And then, of course, published in extraordinary circumstances, where you’re thinking, ‘Will anybody be interested in books?’ So when it was released, got rave reviews and then reached number one in the UK chart, I was just thrilled. And I think it’s a good book. I think it was a challenge for me. The challenge for me with Rebus, is—now that he’s no longer a detective and an OAP—how I can manage to involve him realistically in an ongoing police investigation when he’s basically a member of the public.
“With this one, his daughter phones him up and says, ‘My partner’s gone missing.’ So Rebus heads up to the far north of Scotland to try to help or hinder any investigation. The big moral question for me—the motivating force of that part of the book—was whether Rebus was going to arrive there as a father or as a detective? Because being a detective is in his DNA. If he starts to suspect his daughter may have played some role in the disappearance of her partner, will he try to put her away? Or will he try to protect her and frame someone else? That gave it a dramatic tension right from the get-go. It stretched me, and it stretched Rebus, because he’s no longer in his comfort zone, he’s a couple of hundred miles from his comfort zone.
“I had made the decision early on, thank goodness, that the book would be set in the summer of 2019—not summer of 2020. That would have been a very different book. It would have been the crime being solved through Zoom, or something. That was fortunate. The title came to me in September 2019. I thought the world was going through a pretty dark time: politically, socially, environmentally. A Song for the Dark Times just screamed at me as a great title, without knowing that COVID was around the corner.”