Set 2In the rough and tumble world of Ian Rankin’s bestselling Inspector Rebus crime thrillers, the hardworking detective has witnessed a lot, and not only lived to tell the tales, but lived to solve the crimes. Who better to portray the iconic detective than native Scotsman (actually born in Edinburgh like John Rebus himself) Ken Stott? With Stott’s long line of detective roles (DI McCall in Shallow Grave, DCI Red Metcalfe in the Messiah trilogy, and DI Pat Chappel in the tv show The Vice) it ony seems fitting that Rebus be his crowning achievement.

Having never read the books myself, I can’t directly comment on the success of the transfer from page to screen, or on the choice of mysteries to adapt, but the four included in this set (The Black Book, A Question of Blood, Strip Jack, and Let It Bleed) are each appealing adaptations in their own sense. As borderline alcoholic Inspector Rebus goes about trying to solve crimes in his own unique way – while still keeping his job, the viewer is simply along for the ride.

Fans of mystery series will rejoice in the unfolding of each plot, expertly condensed for the screen and reshaped to fit into an hour show by a team of writers who maintain a surprisingly solid story shape and dialogue style throughout. Strip Jack and Question of Blood were penned by Matthew Evans while The Black Book and Let it Bleed were written by David Kane (The Black Book was also co-written by Daniel Boyle). The story is the most important aspect of these short films, and these writers deliver the goods, while Ken Stott chews through the scenery with a seemingly unending passion. Clair Price, as his young partner Detective Sergeant Siobhan Clarke, is equally enjoyable and provides a perfect foil to Rebus’s quixotic ways.

While the setup for each episode is largely the same (someone commits a crime, Rebus and Clarke are brought in to solve it, Rebus rubs people the wrong way, people worry he’s losing it, Rebus solves the crime) the action and dialogue that take place between point A and point B make for exciting and enjoyable watching. 

To watch a clip of Rebus at his hardnosed best, visit Youtube
To purchase Rebus, Set 2, visit Amazon
For more information about Acorn Media, visit their homepage

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