The Best Books in Ian Rankin’s Inspector Rebus Series

The Best Inspector Rebus Books by Ian RankinInspector Detective John Rebus is back! Ian Rankin’s new book is In a House of Lies, featuring everyone’s favorite Scottish detective in his 22nd adventure. Twenty-two Rebus books—wrap your head around that! It’s an incredible feat. The Rebus novels are one of the most consistently wonderful detectives series, scoring amazing reviews every time.

John Rebus first appeared in Knots and Crosses in 1987. Rebus once served in Britain’s elite SAS and later became an Edinburgh cop. He’s gruff and disheveled, but his messy exterior and bad habits hide a keen mind and (mostly) benevolent nature. So far, ten of the Rebus novels have been made into television movies. And the newest book, In a House of Lies, would make another great one! In it, Rebus is retired—but not for long. The skeletal remains of a private investigator who went missing a decade before have been found, stirring up old memories for Rebus and his former coworker, Siobhan Clarke. Bones aren’t the only thing that gets dug up during their investigation: as Rebus and Clarke search for clues, long-buried secrets will be revealed.

While every new Rankin novel is published to great acclaim, Rebus still deserves more recognition in the States. His clever, perfectly-plotted novels have acquired such fans as bestselling authors Tana French and Lee Child. If you have wanted to try the Rebus series, but if 22 books seems a little daunting, don’t worry! Below is a list of some of the highlights from the series. The best of the best, let’s call them. These thrilling selections will give have you turning the pages long past your bedtime.


Liberty Hardy is a Book Riot senior contributing editor, co-host of All the Books, a Book of the Month judge, and above all else, a ravenous reader. She resides in Maine with her cats, Millay, Farrokh, and Zevon. You can see pictures of her cats and book hauls on Twitter @MissLiberty and Instagram @franzencomesalive.