IT was a wee bit of a heartbreaking moment finishing the last Inspector Rebus novel, Exit Music. What was more heartbreaking was it was Ian Rankin's best of the 17 Rebus novels.
Dark (but not in a hackneyed way), full of blind alleys and red herrings, it really did toss in a curve ball at the end. It subverted the easy tie-up much beloved by crime writers since the genre achieved mass appeal more than a century ago.
Rebus should be the template for British detective fiction: hard bitten ex-army with a taste for the dark side and an overwhelming thirst for justice. That he has a brilliant record collection makes it even better. That the supporting cast of his partner DS Siobhan Clarke and arch nemesis, gangster Big Ger Caffrey, are also compelling, engaging real characters make it all the more worthwhile.
Anyway, it's all in the past now as Rankin has a new character in his latest tome, The Complaints.
Let's hear a wee dram of Rebus' last adventure dramatised by Little Brown's books podcast and spoken by James McPherson.